There were many prospects at the LSI who can further their careers at the collegiate level ranging from D1-D3. The state of Oregon isn’t lacking talent that’s for sure. As a matter of fact, you might not find a state with a group of coaches that know how to coach their kids the fundamentals of basketball like they do in Oregon. The out of state teams had quality D1 talent as well but none of them made it to the championship game.
LCR was in the gym for three days and saw many prospects all three days. Here is a rundown of players that stood out throughout the tournament.
- Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty) – Gordon is at his best while in the paint. His athleticism is off the charts and there really wasn’t anyone who could match it. Gordon goes out on the court and gives 200%. During the tournament Gordon had a career high in points (43) and rebounds (24). There are a couple of things on the court Gordon will need to work on especially if he wants to be a three at the next level and beyond. Gordon will need to work on his dribbling more. It has come a long way but needs more work. Gordon has to work on his free throws as well. The loss to Jesuit was mainly due to Gordon’s horrific night at the line, 3-14. Great players work on their weaknesses and Gordon was on the free throw line for 20 minutes the next day after the loss to Jesuit before his game. Whoever gets Gordon is getting one heck of a player.
- Austin Dyer (Central Catholic) – Dyer showed a nice face up game down in the paint for Central Catholic. The 6’7 Azusa Pacific commit has a nice touch around the rim and was fundamentally sound. If Dyer is asked upon to play in the post full time in college, he will need to work on getting bigger.
- Madison McCaffrey (Century) – The 5’11 guard can flat out shoot and put on a clinic against Archbishop Mitty in a loss. McCaffrey dropped 40 points and most of those were from behind the arc. If any D2 or D3 college is a looking for a shooter and doesn’t mind size, McCaffrey won’t let you down when he is on fire.
- Austin Flues (Century) – The Air Force Academy commit showed signs of what he can do. Flues really didn’t display a post-up game but did have a nice face up game. Flues can hit a 15 foot jumper and is very long so it isn’t hard for him to get his shot off. Yet another player who will need to work on his post-up game if he wants to be effective in the paint.
- Isaiah Smith (Columbia River) – Smith has an all-around game. Was very impressed with the 6’8 post player. Smith displayed a soft touch in the paint and had an array of moves in the paint along with a nice face up game which led to a 32 point on Thursday. Smith has a chance to become a late bloomer and is still unsigned. Any D2 schools and possibly low major D1 schools might want to check out Smith
- Kris Jenkins (Gonzaga College HS) – Jenkins was fun to watch at the LSI. The 6’6 Villanova commit showed an all-around game that was real impressive. For being about 15-20 pounds heavier than he needs to be, Jenkins took his opponent off the dribble, could step back and hit the jumper, or use his body in the paint to display his post-up game. Villanova is getting a good one in Jenkins. If he loses some weight he could be one heck of a player than what he already is.
- Tavon Blackmon (Gonzaga College HS) – Blackmon is headed to Brown next year to play college ball. The 6’0 point guard was the vocal leader for Gonzaga. Brown isn’t great at one thing but all his intangibles make him a solid player. Brown can hit the open shot, get his teammates involved, and can take it to the rack.
- Victor Sanders (Jefferson) – Sanders is one of the most underrated players in the Northwest. Sanders showed how underrated he was in a 42 point performance for Jefferson. When Sanders is on his A game it’s a beautiful thing to watch. There are times when Sanders can do too much instead of just letting the game come to him. Word is that he is just waiting on his ACT score and then everything should be a go. D1 college coaches need to make a trip to Jefferson to check him out.
- Khyan Rayner (Jesuit) – Rayner was MVP in my book of the tournament. The Princeton commit shot lights out throughout the LSI. Rayner was deadly from behind the arc but he also displayed a nice mid-range game. Rayner was the key player in Jesuits road to the championship game.
- Calvin Hermanson (Lake Oswego) – The Saint Mary’s commit is a solid 6’6 wing. Hermanson looks nice when his shot is falling and when he is aggressive taking it to the rim. It took him three days to be aggressive but when he did, he did it well. Hermanson isn’t one to force any action at all; he just lets the game come to him. Saint Mary’s is getting a coachable guy who could be something special a couple years from now.
- Christian McDonald (Lake Oswego) – McDonald knows how to run the point guard position. A real leader on the court, McDonald showed great poise when playing against Neuman-Goretti. Anything that was thrown at McDonald he didn’t let faze him. Very surprised he is still not signed. McDonald has nice size at 6’4.
- John Davis (Neumann-Goretti) – Davis was a man amongst boys in the LSI. A little undersized at the next level, Davis had his way in the post during the event. Davis has a go to move in the paint with his left hand that couldn’t be stopped. When open Davis also knocked down jump shots.
- AJ Lapray (Sprague) – The Oregon commit didn’t do much in front of head coach Dana Altman. He showed a couple signs of what he could become. Lapray will need to work a lot on his game. His body is college ready but just needs to put it all together. Don’t be surprised to see Lapray redshirt and possibly transfer.
- Evan Garrison (Tigard) – Garrison might be 5’11 but he is leader at the point guard position. Defiantly a D2 prospect, Garrison has the fundamentals of a guard to lead his team. He is a bit undersized and won’t wow you with his athleticism but the kid can definitely hoop.
- Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof (Gonzaga College HS) – Abdur-Ra’oof is an interesting prospect. At 6’7 he is very long and can easily block shots with his length. Abdur-Ra’oof will need to work on his offensive game. Right now he is more of a defensive force kind of like how 2013 Oregon commit Jordan Bell is.
- Silas Melson (Jefferson) – It won’t be too long until Melson becomes nationally known. The 6’3 guard is very athletic and has a sweet jump shot. Melson’s shot was falling the first day of the LSI. The young man went 7-7 from behind the arc in the first half. If you can compare Melson to anyone it would have to be Avery Bradley minus the defensive intensity. Melson is able to break down his opponent and hit the open shot or take it to the rack and finish with his athleticism. Melson had the most college coaches watching him Thursday at the LSI.
- Ja’Quan Newton (Neumann-Goretti) – Newton displayed the good and bad but when he was good it was nice to watch. The 6’3 guard at times can over dribble and it showed during the game they lost against Lake Oswego. On Wednesday and Thursday it was a whole different story. Newton was taking defenders off the dribble and finishing at the rim or he would find the open man for the jump shot. Newton is an athletic guard getting attention from many schools out east.
- AJ Monterossi (Southridge) – Monterossi might be 5’10 but he was taking it to the rack like he was 6’4 at times. Monterossi has no fear on going to the rim and finishing with some contact. The Southridge Skyhawk was very fun to watch and will be interesting to see if he grows some.
- Tyler Gutierrez (Sunset) – At 6’6 Gutierrez has a nice face up game. Many of these post players want to be wings now but it is what it is. At times Gutierrez showed a back to the basket game.
- Ryan Shearmire (West Linn) – Shearmire has a nice frame on him which includes length and broad shoulders. The 6’5 forward can post up and has a nice face up game. Shearmire can put up points and had 27 on the first day and most of those points came within 15 feet of the rim.
- Bryant Crawford (Gonzaga College HS) – Crawford is going to be a superstar when it’s all said and done. The 6’2 point guard carries himself a lot like Brandon Jennings on the court. The talent level isn’t quite there but it possibly could be in the near future. Crawford is a flashy point guard who will need to take care of the ball more. Crawford can break down his defender and finish at the rim. A couple of things Bryant will need to work on are his attitude, not getting down on himself, and his jump shot. Schools like UCONN, Georgetown, Indiana, SMU, Maryland, and Villanova are all interested in Crawford.
- Lamarr Kimble (Neumann-Goretti) – The baby face sophomore defiantly held his own on the court. At 6’1 Kimble displayed a nice jump shot and attacked the rim as well. Kimble is another guard who will be a hot commodity that coaches will want on their roster. Kimble was very poised out on the court and didn’t play like a young sophomore.
- Joel Johnson (Tigard) – Johnson is one to keep tabs on. Standing at 6’7, Johnson showed some signs on what’s to come.
- Anthony Mathis (West Linn) – Mathis is smooth on the court and will be one to watch down the road. Mathis can shoot from anywhere on the court and has a quick first step to get past his opponent. Once Mathis bulks up it will be hard to stop him. Don’t leave him open or it will be trouble.
- Payton Pritchard (West Linn) – Pritchard is one of a kind. Not too many point guards come around and can display court leadership at such a young age. Pritchard has been groomed into a pass first point guard, which is rare these days. The fundamentals that Pritchard brings to the court are one of an old school type pg. Pritchard did prove he could break down the D and hit an open shot. Only standing 5’11 right now, Pritchard’s dad is 6’5. Size 14 is the shoe size the young man wears right now so there is defiantly some time for Pritchard to grow into them.
Left Coast Recruiting would like to thank the Les Schwab Invitational, Nike, Prime Time Sports, and everyone else who treated LCR with the upmost respect and hospitality. LCR is looking forward for next year.
Topics: Aaron Gordon, AJ Lapray, Aj Monterossi, Anthony Mathis, Austin Dyer, Austin Flues, Bryant Crawford, Calvin Hermanson, Christian McDonald, Evan Garrison, Gonzaga, Isaiah Smith, Ja'quan Newton, Joe Johnson, John Davis, Khyan Rayner, Kris Jenkins, Lamarr Kimble, Les Schwab Invitational, Madison McCaffrey, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-12, Payton Pritchard, Ryan Shearmire, Silas Melson, Tavon Blackmon, Tyler Guiterrez, UConn, Victor Sanders, Washington, Washington State