The inaugural Pangos All-Canada Camp showcased some of the top Maple Leaf Ballers and veteran observers from South of the Border were impressed. The camp featured 80 eager players from various provinces plus Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York and when the dust settled power forward Jevonnie Scott of Athlete Institute (Orangeville, Ontario) and wing Taryn Todd of Vaughn Secondary (Vaughn, Ontario) emerged as camp co-Most Outstanding players. There were plenty of Maple Leaf sleepers who got an opportunity to shine and made the most of it.
The one aspect of doing a showcase camp in a new location is the eagerness and enthusiasm of the players to make a name for themselves and gain greater exposure. This is especially true across international lines and combine that with the large basketball-crazed population of Toronto, it made a perfect recipe to create a successful Pangos Camp in The Six. The first Pangos All-Canada Camp held at St. Michael's College School in the swank Forest Hills area of Toronto featured 80 players of various ability, including a handful with mid-major to low-high major ability.
Those players separated themselves from the pack and all of them were selected to the Cream of the Crop Top 25 All-Star Game at the two-day camp's conclusion. The camp's atmosphere led to the final game of the event arguably being its most competitive since the event's most outstanding player award was still up for grabs and the participants knew it. Following the all-star game, 6-foot-7 power forward Jevonnie Scott of Athlete Institute (Orangeville, Ontario) was named co-Pangos All-Canada MOP along with 6-foot-6 wing forward Taryn Todd of Vaughn Secondary (Vaughn, Ontario).
Scott, a 2019 prospect, was the most powerful and confident player in camp, and had dominant moments from the outset with his strong finishes around the basket, ability to run the floor and good-looking outside shot that kept defenders honest. His confidence and boastfulness nearly got him ahead of himself on the camp's second day, but he reared it in and channeled that energy to lead his White Team to a 96-75 victory over the Black Team in the Cream of the Crop Top 25 All-Star Game. Scott put his stamp on the game with big-time flushes while punishing defenders who dared to get in his path and with timely outside shooting. He nailed three three-pointers, including two in the second half, to help his team build a comfortable cushion on its way to victory. Scott, finished with a game-high 21 points and six rebounds.
While Scott reminds observers of a poor man's Draymond Green jack-of-all trades type, Todd doesn't overpower the senses at first glance with his ability, but is just as productive and impacts winning basketball to perhaps an even greater degree. Scott made a big first impression, while Todd just keeps coming and growing on scouts with his nice blend of skill and production on the wing. The left-handed 2020 prospect wasn't exactly unknown coming in, as Todd was a standout on the Nike EYBL 16U circuit with UPlay Canada and was one of 17 players invited to Canada's 17U national team training camp in June, but he will become a household name on the grassroots circuit on both sides of the border after his performance at this camp. It was evident Todd had the most explosive first step during skill drills to open camp and also played both ends of the floor while scoring on all three levels. With a bit more consistency in his perimeter game, Todd could develop into a mid-major plus standout.
"I think I can play way batter," Todd said after a 18-point, nine-rebound, two-block Top 25 game performance and the announcement he was camp co-MOP. "Create better off pick and rolls is one area I need to work on. I have a Kansas State offer and I'm getting looks from Princeton and Howard. I may attend a prep school, possibly in the states, this year."
The biggest true sleeper to emerge at the first Pangos All-Canada Camp was Todd's teammate during the event: 6-foot-5 2019 shooting guard Derrell Perreira-McLaughlin of Pine Ridge Secondary School (Pickering, Ontario). He gave the most consistent effort on both ends of the floor of any college level player in camp and literally willed his camp team to victories, including a big win against Scott's camp team. Perreira-McLaughlin has an active offensive game and really is a positive asset on defense with his lively feet and positive talking. Although he needs to continue to develop touch and consistency with his jump shot, it all came together for Ferreira-Mclaughlin in the Top 25 All-Star Game, as he led the White Team (along with Scott) to victory with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
"The (all-star game) was great and the competitiveness of it was unbeatable," Perreira-Mclaughlin said. "It showed me Toronto is on the come up for basketball.
"No, I didn't expect to be one of the top players in camp. I feel like Russell Westbrook (at Pangos) in that I got something to prove. I need to work on my pull-up game to go to the next level."
For the next level, Perreira-Mclaughlin doesn't have any true college interest as of yet, but expect that to change over the course of the 2018-19 season.
There were a handful of other players surely to catch the eye of college recruiters in the future, and we'll be surprised if 6-foot-10 2021 power forward Jai Smith of Bishop Ludden (Syracuse, N.Y.) doesn't develop into a national Top 50-type talent. Smith attacks the rim with a vengance on his two-hand gathers and is a relentless second-chance rebounder. Smith's offensive face-up game is a work in progress, but he showed flashes of a mid-range jumper off the catch to compliment good passing ability from the post.
Other post players who made a positive impression include 6-foot-8 2019 Markus Harding (Henry Carr, Toronto), 6-foot-10 2021 Javonte Brown (Thornlea Secondary, Thornhill, Toronto) and 7-foot-3 2021 Zach Edney, a Leaside, Toronto native who now attends IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.). Edney intrigued scouts and other veteran onlookers with his sheer size, and he displayed good ability in spurts, although he needs to continue developing stamina, lateral quickness and using both shoulders to score.
As is usually the case at showcase camps, there was an abundance of athletic wing guards, with 6-foot-6 2021 Matthew Nelson (Crestwood Prep, Toronto), 6-foot-3 2019 Malachi Davis (Central Tech, Toronto), and 6-foot-4 2019 Mateo Spencer-Gomes (St. Mary's, Pickering, Ontario) being among the standouts. Davis is athletic and covers ground and combines that with great hang time. He also threw some excellent touch passes.
Among lead guards, the best in the lot included 5-foot-10 2020 Trey Thomas (Crestwood Prep, Toronto), 6-foot 2020 Kevon Watt (Downsview Secondary, Toronto), 6-foot-4 2021 Kyle Duke (St. Michael's College School, Toronto) and 6-foot-1 2022 Javier Gilgeous-Glasgow (Jean Vanier Catholic, Scarborough, Ontario). Thomas was the most impressive front start to finish with his quickness, square shooting, and nice ball skills. Thomas also used his extensive soccer background to display excellent footwork and stamina that showed in the Cream of the Crop Top 25 Game. The jet-quick guard who reminds us of former Westchester (Los Angeles), Cal-St. Fullerton and NBA guard Bobby Brown finished with 14 points.
The best individual performance of the camp was turned in by 5-foot-9 2019 point guard Kalyem Mullings (Central Tech, Toronto), who hit seven 3-pointers, including the game-winner, in a 86-83 camp game victory. The player who most deserved to participate in the Top 25 who didn't was 6-foot-4 2021 wing guard Sage Idahosa (St. Martin Catholic, Mississauga, Ontario).