The 2017 Pangos All-American Camp has drawn to a close and when the dust settled, two rising juniors shared Most Outstanding Player honors: power forward Charles Bassey of St. Anthony (San Antonio, Texas) and point guard Cole Anthony (Archbishop Malloy, Queens, N.Y.). At the conclusion of the event, the Cream of the Crop All-Star games were played and, in addition to the MOPs, there were plenty of standouts. Bassey and Anthony join a distinguished list of Pangos Campers named Most Outstanding Player over the years. We also take a look at players who made a national reputation for themselves.
Cerritos, Calif. -- The 15th annual Pangos All-American Camp had a similar theme to many of its predecessors: it served as a coming-out-party for some of the nation's top talent in the rising senior class and as a platform for elite players to see where they stack up against their peers from around the country.
It was clear the event didn't necessarily have the top-end star power as some of the recent Pangos Camps, but many players considered in the top 30-100 range nationally of the still unsettled Class of 2018 had the opportunity to make their mark and plenty took advantage of the situation.
Players such as power forward and Arkansas commit Reggie Perry of Thomasville (Thomasville, Ga.), 6-foot-6 small forward Jules Bernard of Windward (Los Angeles), 6-foot-2 point guard Devon Dotson of Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.), shooting guard Anfernee Simons of Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.) and center Bryan Penn-Johnson of Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) upped their stock with national recruiters at the camp.
Perry was one of the many talented power forwards in attendance (it was the position with the most talent) and he shined with his combination of power scoring and perimeter shooting. He also is a strong shot blocker finished up the camp with nine points and four steals in the Pangos Cream of the Crop Top 30 All-Star Game (which was live streamed by Ballislife on Facebook Live). Bernard, a smooth lefty, had multiple 25-point plus games and displayed improved three-level attack from previous camps we've seen him play at. Dotson, an underclass All-American in 2016-17, has excellent open court speed and changes direction well. He is a complete guard and a competitor who plays winning basketball. Simons, who has committed to Louisville, was the top overall combo guard in attendance. He is aggressive offensively and made positive plays on both ends of the floor all weekend long.
With the lack of Top 5, Mr. Basketball USA-type talents in attendance among 2018s (7-foot Bol Bol of Mater Dei of Santa Ana, Calif. played in less than half of the camp games), two juniors-to-be were named this year's most outstanding players: power forward Charles Bassey of St. Anthony (San Antonio, Texas) and point guard Cole Anthony (Archbishop Malloy, Queens, N.Y.).
Bassey, the 2015-16 National Freshman of the Year who used last year's Pangos Camp as his national coming out party, was better this time around and the top overall front-court performer among a loaded crop of big men. He is explosive finishing around the cup and continues to improve his footwork and overall skill set. Bassey wasn't out played in any matchup and helped his camp team to a 4-0 record. He also played well in leading Team Westbrook to a 103-91 win over Team Harden. He finished the Cream of the Cop Top 30 game with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Shooting guard Luther Muhammad of Hudson Catholic (Hudson, N.J.) also hit double-figures with 10 points (to go along with four assists and three rebounds) as did Anthony, who scored a team-high 15 points. Anthony was arguably the most explosive point guard in attendance and is one of the most gifted offensively regardless of class. Nobody could stay in front of him (or didn't attempt to for fear of being a viral mixtape victim) and he was efficient getting in the key and finishing with both hands. The son of former UNLV and NBA point guard Greg Anthony (who hails from Rancho High in Las Vegas and was in attendance) becomes the first underclass guard ever named MOP in the 15-year history of the camp. As co-MOP with Bassey, the duo join eventual 2014 Mr. Basketball USA Cliff Alexander (Curie of Chicago, Kansas and NBA) as the only juniors-to-be ever named Pangos Camp MVP. Alexander earned top honors in 2012 (see list below).
Anthony's high school teammate at Archbishop Malloy -- 7-foot-1 junior-to-be Moses Brown -- led Team Harden with 17 points. Another one of the camp's top post players, 6-foot-10 Kofi Cockburn of Christ the King (Queens, N.Y.) hit double figures (10) in a losing effort, as did Bernard (10).
Pangos Camp Fast-Risers
Among the players who didn't have big national reputations who really helped their cause over the weekend were 6-foot-4 combo guard Will Richardson of Liberty County (Hinesville, Ga.), 5-foot-11 point guard Joe Toussaint of Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.), 6-foot-3 combo guard Logan Johnson of St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.), and 6-foot-3 shooting guard Trey Doomes of Allatoona (Acworth, Ga.).
Richardson, who recently went on an unofficial visit to USC, is a left-handed player who can run a team and really shoot the ball. Richardson was also the guard most under control throughout the camp in terms of making the right reads, avoiding the urge to over penetrate or rely on the spectacular play and being positive when things didn't go his way. After leading his small school to a state championship game, he now has much of the SEC recruiting him and look for him to shoot up in all the respectable national player rankings.
Perhaps outside of Anthony, no guard consistently got in the key and made positive plays as much as Toussaint. A tough customer, Toussaint drew raves from evaluators in attendance and consistently had some of the highest assists totals. He dished out a game-high six assists in the Cream of the Crop Top 60 game. Doomes is a bouncy wing who was efficient in terms of his shot selection while Johnson got better as the camp wore on. He comes from a high school environment that is very system-oriented, but once Johnson understood the individualistic nature of this camp environment, he was one of the most efficient and productive players. He's the younger brother of former Fresno St. and current Miami Heat standout Tyler Johnson and will likely see his recruitment soar to a much higher level than his brother's ever did as the summer rolls along.
Cream of the Crop Top 60 Highlights
Team Jennings rolled to a 121-92 victory over Team DeRozan, as 6-foot-3 junior-to-be Tre Mann of Villages School (The Villages, Fla.) and 6-foot-4 junior-to-be P.J. Fuller of FAB 50 National Champion Nathan Hale (Seattle, Wash.) netted a game-high 20 points for the victors. Mann made 3-of-4 3-pointers, while Fuller did not miss a shot from the field (8-of-8).
For Team DeRozan, Arkansas commit Ethan Henderson, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Parkview (Little Rock, Ark.), led the way with 14 points. Doomes added 13 and 6-foot-5 shooting guard Bryce Willis played well according to trusted scouts in attendance. He finished with 12 points, including 3-of-4 3-pointers.
Johnson finished with 16 points and gets our vote along with Toussaint and 5-foot-10 point guard Tyler Harris of Cordova (Memphis, Tenn.) as the most deserving players who could have been selected for the Cream of the Crop Top 30 game. Johnson was particularly impressive throughout the camp to a number of respected scouts, including at least two who felt he was the most efficient overall guard throughout the three day camp.
Pangos Camp All-Time MOPs
2017 (co): Cole Anthony, Archbishop Malloy (Queens, N.Y.) 6-2 PG
2017 (c0): Charles Bassey, St. Anthony (San Antonio, Texas) 6-10 C
2016 (c0): Trevon Duval, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-2 PG
2016 (c0): Michael Porter Jr., Nathan Hale (Seattle) 6-9 SF
2015 (co): Rawle Alkins, Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 6-5 SG
2015 (co): Mustapha Heron, Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.) 6-5 SG
2014: Isaiah Briscoe, Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 6-3 PG
2013: Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 6-7 SF
2012: Cliff Alexander, Currie (Chicago) 6-9 PF
2011: Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 6-6 WF
2010: Myck Kabongo, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-2 PG
2009: Harrison Barnes, Ames (Ames, Iowa) 6-7 WF
2008: John Wall, Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) 6-3 PG
2007: Brandon Jennings, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-1 PG
2006: James Harden, Artesia (Lakewood) 6-5 SG
2005: Jerry-Davon Jefferson, Lynwood 6-8 WF
2004: C.J. Miles, Skyline (Dallas) 6-6 WF
2003: Robert Swift, Bakersfield 7-0 C