Rising junior David Singleton from Bishop Montgomery used the Pangos Spring Spectacular as his own personal playground, scoring at will, and more importantly leading his travel team (Belmont Shore) to the 17U Invitational title last weekend in Las Vegas.
Sometimes young players from the West Coast get the "soft" label in comparisons to their East Coast counterparts. Often times the label doesn't have much to do with individuals, but rather style of play. Right now in Southern California, there is a young guard who has the stereotypical mindset of a take-no-prisoners playground player of yesteryear combined with the multi-dimensional skill set often find in top-flight West Coast backcourt prospects.
That player is David Singleton, a 6-foot-3 junior-to-be at Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) who suits up for Southern California-based Belmont Shore on the travel ball circuit. This past weekend he turned the Pangos Spring Spectacular held at Bishop Gorman (LasVegas, Nev.) into his personal showcase, leading Belmont Shore to the main division 17U title by averaging 35.6 ppg over five victories. Singleton, who led Bishop Montgomery to the SoCal Open Division title game and a No. 36 final FAB 50 ranking, scored 42 points in a 81-67 championship game win over MOC Elite 17 Black (Calif.).
Singleton also had games of 19, 32, 41 and 44 points in five tournament wins. Belmont Shore defeated 702 Attack (Nev.), 90-65, in the semifinals while MOC Elite 17 Black upset Rick Isaac's H-Squad club, 67-57.
Singleton's "old school" approach and intensity is complimented by a vast scoring arsenal. He bullies smaller defenders and is relentless in straight-line attacking of the rim from the top of the key. He also keeps defenders honest with a quick release jumper that continues to show improvement with regards to its knock down percentage. Singleton will attack a defensive weakness over and over again and has a short memory on misses. He also attempts to bring teammates up to speed with verbal leadership that is rarely seen in underclassmen.
Singleton, who was named the South Bay Daily Breeze Player of the Year over talented teammate Ethan Thompson Jr. and San Jose St.-bound Keith Fisher of L.A. City Section power Westchester, had seen his recruitment take off in recent months. In no particular order Duke, UCLA, Arizona, Stanford, CAL, Oregon, UConn, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Harvard, USC and Michigan have made serious inquiries and many of those college programs will evaluate Singleton during the upcoming second Spring live weekend at the Terrific 24 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Cali United, a Fresno, Calif.-based travel club previously known as Cali Chaos, served notice that it will be a team to watch for the next few years on the circuit by taking Pangos Spring Spectacular titles in the 16U and 15U divisions. Cali United downed Power Factory (Ariz.) 60-47 in the 16U title game with junior-to-be guard Lunden Taylor of San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) leading the way with 17 points, including a late 3-pointer to ice the contest. Cali United also got gritty performances all weekend from point guard Cashemin Williams of Central (Fresno, Calif.).
There was a high talent level in the 15U title game with Cali United puling out a 96-87 win over Vegas Elite 2020 Blue. Incoming ninth-grader Jalen Green of Fresno had a great all-around performance with 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Julian Strawther, a lanky wing prospect from Las Vegas who is also an incoming ninth-grader, finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
Vegas Elite 2020 had an abundance of talent, as well, with the likes of 6-foot-2 incoming ninth-grader Noah Taitz (Henderson, Nev.) and Zaon Collins, a 5-foot-10 2021 prospect who recently led his middle school, Faiss, to the Las Vegas city championship.
Green and Strawther were named 15U co-MVPs. Green will reportedly join Taylor, the 16U MVP, at San Joaquin Memorial in the fall.