Tag Archives: Pango’s All American Camp

Top 10 SF Stanley Johnson has Duke on his short list

Stanley Johnson is a 6'6" SF/Wing, class of 2014, playing at traditional power Mater Dei High School in Southern California.  He is a physical specimen -- strong, long, agile, with a game to match.  Johnson is a relentless worker at both ends of the floor.  The versatile young man was the MVP of last weekend's Pangos All-American Camp in Long Beach, and deservedly so.  He was super.  Duke is on his final list of 8 schools.  See what he has to say here:


(apologies on this one guys - the camera malfunctioned for the first few minutes of the interview so it starts in the middle.  In those first few minutes we had been talking about his experience with his Oakland Soldiers AAU squad at the recent EYBL events and then transitioned into a discussion of Stanley's physical strength and the maturity of his body and how that combines with the tremendous motor that he has to give him a big advantage over so many opponents.)  OK here goes:

Stanley Johnson at Pangos, 2013



National Talent Scout Van Coleman Sizes Up the Prospects at Pango’s

Van Coleman is one of the most well-respected scouts of high school basketball talent in the land.  He has long been a friend of Mark and BDN.  He took in the action last weekend at the Pango's All-American Camp in Long Beach, and was kind enough to give me his impressions of a number of players of interest, their strengths, areas to improve upon, recruiting outlook, and other good stuff.  Here it is:


Van Coleman at Pangos, 2013


One Man’s Impressions from the Pangos Camp

Pangos logoWe'll be along shortly with a video of veteran scout Van Coleman's take on some of Duke's actual or potential prospects, and I'm certainly not a professional scout.  But I did spend a fair amount of time last weekend watching these kids play in multiple games and in case anyone's interested, here's what I saw:


Stanley Johnson was the MVP of the camp, and deservedly so.  He's a solid-bodied, athletic SF/wing, and the thing about Stanley is he really, really competes hard.  Nobody is outworking this guy.  He has really worked on his outside shot, and it is much improved.  He was hitting them all weekend, but nowhere more visibly than in the end-of-camp all-star game, where he nailed 4 3-pointers from range.  But I think he's at his best taking it to the hole.  He's strong with the ball, he can play through contact, and he's just relentless in there.  Johnson is also a serious defensive player, locking down mostly opposing 3's, but also can play 2-guards easily and in the all-star game was matched up with bigtime PF Elijah Thomas inside.  Johnson plays at a very good high school (Mater Dei) and in a top quality AAU program as well (Oakland Soldiers) and comes from a solid background.  I spoke at length [private] with his father, who is a smart and thoughtful guy, and says that while he will have input, the decision will be Stanley's to make.  Duke is in his list of 8, and it's between Duke and Kansas for the fifth and final official visit -- Stanley said that the first four have all been recruiting him longer and he thought they deserved a visit for sure.  I would not expect a decision too soon.  The other thing is that Stanley has an outgoing personality and was clearly one of the most popular kids at the camp.  People around him all the time -- likable kid.

Colorado point guard Josh Perkins, also Class of 2014, helped himself perhaps more than any other player in this camp.  He was just super.  He's the main guy that I didn't get that I would've liked to get an interview with, but just couldn't squeeze it in at the end.  But his game: his handle is tight, and man can this kid dish it.  He really, really sees the floor well.  Stats don't mean much from this camp, because other than the all-star game the games are played with a 40 minute running clock, so they're short.  But in one game, Perkins amassed 17 assists.  And these are to kids he perhaps has never played with before, as the teams are just put together for the weekend with kids from all over the country.  Perkins also has a solid outside jumper to complement his outstanding floor game, and he's a natural leader out there.  Perkins is fearless going to the hole, and finishes well.  He'll even be better in that department when he gets a little stronger, and he should be in the weight room to do so, but he has time.  Defensively that would help him, but it's not like he is a liability or anything at that end right now.  Good overall athlete.  Despite his transfer to Huntington Prep in West Virginia, right now Josh seems to be focused more on west coast schools -- UCLA, USC, and Gonzaga (among others) are involved, and undoubtedly he is aware of Duke's pursuit of Tyus Jones to play the point out of this class, but I had heard earlier that Duke was interested in him as well, so we'll have to see where this one goes, if anywhere.  As far as point guards go in this class, there is Tyus and there is Emmanuel Mudiay -- who everyone seems to think will end up at Kentucky -- and Perkins is right at the top of the next group.  He's not at the level of Jones or Mudiay, but he's not as far behind them as he used to be after what he showed this past weekend.

I caught a little of 6'6" wing Jalen Lindsey this weekend, but not as much as I would've liked, making it disappointing that, though selected, he did not play in the all-star game.  I think he had to catch a plane.  In any event, he has a very smooth outside jump shot and is athletic.  Doesn't get beaten much on D.  But I see him as being a little passive out there.  He has a tendency to hang on the perimeter too much rather than force his defender to play him all over the floor.  I would like to see him get stronger and more importantly, get more aggressive.  He's highly skilled, but he doesn't impact the game as much as he could if he were to change his mindset a bit.

Moving to the 2015's, obviously Elijah Thomas, PF out of Texas, was the man.  He has a wide body, wide, round shoulders, and soft hands.  And an ample derierre -- in a good way.  He has a knack for scoring in traffic, with a soft touch.  He has lost a lot of weight so is in much better condition.  I could easily see him gaining 20 pounds of muscle too, and being just a man-child at 255 pounds or so.  Not baby fat, but muscle.  He's a lefty, but I saw him shooting FT's right handed all of a sudden, and when I talked to him about it, he told me that he considers himself ambidextrous.  Huge plus for an inside player to be able to shoot naturally and shoot well with both hands.   I won't be surprised if he ends up a top-5 player in the Class of 2015.  Just like Stanley Johnson, Thomas is really an outgoing personality, lots of people around him, kids laughing with him all the time.  His high school team at Prime Prep in Dallas is going to be a monster this year, and his AAU squad has been solid in the EYBL events, so he'll be center stage at the Peach Jam at the end of the summer.  He has a lot of the top schools in the nation after him, and he seems like the kind of kid who won't be in a rush to make his decision.  But he mentioned Duke prominently in our interview, and that can't be a bad thing.

I got my first look at 6'11" Stephen Zimmerman out of Bishop Gorman High in Vegas -- that's Shabazz's old school.  He doesn't look like much standing on the sidelines, long neck, thin, gangly, holds one arm a bit funny that he told me resulted from breaking it as a 2 year-old, but it's a whole different deal when he steps on the court.  The left-hander looks smooth and polished on his 15 foot face-up jumper.  He somehow powers through guys underneath and scores in traffic.  He has good fundamentals -- when he catches it high, it stays high.  He's very athletic and showed it by catching numerous poorly thrown alley-ooops and finishing them anyway.  Oh, and he had one of the weekend's highlights when he got a pass about 10 feet out, took one dribble and just threw down right in the face of this 6'10" kid named Idrissa Diallo out of LA.  Lots of oohs and aahs on that one.  Defensively, he showed that he already understands and can execute concepts such as the show-and-recover.  Underneath, he doesn't just put his arms up and hope for the best.  He challenges shots.  Zimmerman is only about 215 pounds now, but he hasn't even begun to fill out.  With his frame, I can easily see him at 235 or 240, and Van Coleman said he could see him at 255 or 260.  The kid is more reserved than many others.  While he gets along well with the other kids, in the interview I had with him -- and others confirmed this as well -- he is not all that forthcoming with information.  His mom and dad were here for the whole weekend, and perhaps have coached him to play it close to the vest, which of course is his decision to make.  He's also really just busting out now, so this level of attention may be so new for him that he's not sure how much to divulge.  That's understandable as well.  Stay tuned on this one -- the camp director thinks Zimm is really a Duke-type of kid.

Tyler Dorsey is a skilled 2015 combo guard out of Southern California.  He's from Pasadena but is playing down at St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, which is a traditional power.  Dorsey has grown several inches and now at 6'4" has excellent size for a point guard, which is where he's focused on developing his skills.  He held his own this weekend when matched up with Emmanuel Mudiay, taking it to him for an and-one, not turning it over, finding teammates frequently, and hitting the open J.  There's a smoothness to Dorsey's game.  He never seems rushed or in a hurry and seems to see the floor very well and know where guys are going to be.  Reminds me a bit of Kyle Anderson (now at UCLA) in that way, except he's much more athletic than Anderson.  But with his strength and power, Mudiay was tough for Tyler to handle defensively, but then again Mudiay is tough for every point he plays against to handle defensively.  While it's very early in his process, Duke has initiated contact with him, and Tyler told me that he really looks at who the coach has put in the league at his position.  He is quite aware of the name Kyrie Irving, let's just leave it at that.  As you can see in the interview, very nice and respectful kid as well.

Finally, there is Thon Maker, the 7 footer, class of 2016, originally from the Sudan, then Australia, now at the Carlisle School in Martinsville, VA.  He is incredibly long, with a huge wingspan. And very, very thin.  I saw him play at the EYBL in LA a few weeks ago, and he didn't make much of an impact.  Then in his first game at the Pangos camp, same thing.  Many minutes would go by and he would just run (gracefully) from end to end but not really be involved in the action.  When he did get the ball, it was usually 20+ feet from the basket, and what Thon did show out there was a surprisingly good handle, going between his legs, crossing over, all of that.  But then he would try to get too fancy and he turned it over a number of times.  And he really likes to hoist up 3-pointers.  I think all weekend I saw him make one or two, but he missed a lot more than that.  Funny thing is, he has a really good looking stroke, both from the FT line and beyond.  Very good mechanics.  But obviously that's not where a 7 footer, especially at this level, should be playing.  That said to me that he needs to learn his game and play to his strengths much more.  That's a matter of coaching, in a big way, as he needs to learn how to play the game and how to approach it properly.  The kid is athletic, no doubt.  He's very thin so he can be pushed around.  His handler from Boo Williams says he's already gained 35-40 pounds, which is almost hard to believe, but that he plans on putting another 35 or so on Thon.  We'll see if his frame can handle that.

But getting back to his game, I must say that as the weekend wore on, he got better.  He got more aggressive with his post-ups, he held position better, he took the ball to the hole some, and he was very aggressive on the boards and in going after shots at the defensive end.  He really seemed to turn his energy level up, which was really good to see.  If a kid this tall with arms this long, who is already athletic, can bring passion and energy to the defensive end, challenging shots and making life very difficult for the opposing offense, he's going to be a major presence.  And then if his coach can get him to learn a post move or two, look out.  Get him off the three point line, get him on the blocks, so that he'll be a true inside-outside threat.  Keep in mind, the young man is not only not from this country, he's only just finishing up the 9th grade.  Plenty of time to grow, both on and off the floor.

For you guys who like to follow national recruiting, some other guys who were impressive, in no particular order: Leon Gilmore, 6'7" out of Texas, Craig Victor, 6'8" out of New Orleans, Alex Robinson, good looking point guard out of Texas, Kodi Justice, 6'5" shooter out of Arizona, PG Emmanuel Mudiay of course, who is just so strong for a point guard, he can shoot it and he just plays very physically -- he's a handful, but the question is: is he a floor general?, Jabari Craig, 6'10" out of Atlanta, Daniel Hamilton, 6'7" HS teammate of Tyler Dorsey and brother of former Texas guard Justin Hamilton (Daniel has already committed to UConn), Carlton Bragg 6'9" out of Cleveland, Dwayne Morgan 6'7" committed to UNLV, 6'5" Rashad Vaughn, clearly one of the top players in the class of 2014, maybe the best and smoothest SG out there, co-MVP of camp all-star game with Mudiay, being recruited hard by among others UNC (even with Theo in tow), 6'7" Terry Larrier out of Pennsylvania, who was a big surprise but really impressed, and Chris McCullough 6'9" uber-athlete already committed to Syracuse --they've got a real good one here.

From a Duke perspective it was just a shame that Kevon Looney and Myles Turner couldn't make it.

That's it, guys.  Great weekend of hoops and hope to provide more down the line.

Talk about this article or ask questions to Tom for further analysis on the BDN Premium Message Board.




BDN Recruiting Focus – Anthony Bennett


It seems over the last two years there has been an overwhelming amount of Canadian talent pouring into the hoops world. No longer do Canadians have to only point to Steve Nash, there are now talents such as Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, and Myck Kabongo representing our friends north of the border. Findlay Prep, a powerhouse basketball program located in Henderson, Nevada, has accumulated much of this Canadian wealth recently. All three of those players have matriculated to college or are now waiting for their dreams to come true - hearing their name be called by NBA commissioner David Stern. The next in line to take over at Findlay prep and represent Canadian players is none other than 6’7 wing forward Anthony Bennett. Built like a freight train, Bennett hails from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, a city roughly 45 minutes west of Toronto, Ontario’s capital city. A [private] city more notably known for its hockey players and hilarious comedian Russell Peters, Brampton is now starting to produce some big time basketball talent starting with Tristan Thompson and now Bennett. Bennett has been extremely impressive these past two weekends making scouts certainly rethink where they originally had him slated. BDN got a chance to briefly catch up with the bruising wing forward last weekend at the Nike EYBL in Los Angeles.

BDN: Just to make sure the program has this right, you are from Brampton correct?

AB: Yes sir, I am.

Well that is very interesting as I am originally from Hamilton, not too far from you.

Oh for real? (smiles) Not too far from Brampton.

I spoke to Myck Kabongo about this awhile ago, but I’d like to get your take. What’s it like being the Canadian kid moving to the U.S to play?

I mean, they think Canadian players only play hockey and stuff, so they really don’t take us seriously at first. But, us as Canadians, we have to show them what’s really good. So we just go out and play strong all the time.

What is the biggest difference from playing in Canada to playing out here?

Players in Canada, they are a lot smaller. They aren’t really that big in general.

Oh you mean like the 6’2 center? We had one of those on my high school team.

(laughs) Yea yea that’s exactly it. But out here in America, it’s really great competition. People are bigger and stronger. People are just as good as you so you really have to work on your game to improve.

Tell some of our fans a little bit about your game?

I’m very aggressive, I get rebounds, I try to get my teammates open. I can go down low and play and I can shoot from the outside. In the high post, I get it and turn around and face up and do my thing out there.


Do you have a preference on where you play?

Not really, but I am trying to work my game outside, but right now I feel like my game is a high post, short corner type of game.

What are some of the schools that are interested in you right now?

Well there are a lot of them really. I can’t even list them off the top of my head, but I’ll try (laughs).

Just a few will do.

UConn, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Florida St., UNLV, Xavier, oh man..

That’s an impressive list. Anyone else specifically from the ACC?

I had heard from Duke at about mid-season, but I haven’t really talked to them that much.

If they were to pursue you, would you be open?

Yea I would.

You’ve got a teammate on CIA Bounce that is absolutely blowing up. Tell me about Andrew Wiggins a little bit.

He’s very young right now. He’s very athletic though. He can shoot, he can drive, he’s just a really great kid, and in the future he’s going to be a great player.

Being at Findlay right now, what are the coaches working on most with you?

They are trying to get me out on the wing more right now. Every time we do ball handling and shooting drills and stuff, they have me with them.

Do you model your game after any players specifically?

Oh naw man. I just do me!

When it comes time to make your decision eventually, who will you look to for guidance?

I would have to say my mom and my AAU coach Mike George.

Do you have any time frame for your decision?

No not yet, but I might go later on in the year.

Thanks for your time.

No problem man, thanks.  [/private]

BDN’s Pango’s Camp Recap – Shabazz Muhammad shines

LOS ANGELES - Just a week after the Nike EYBL, Los Angeles got another taste of some of the nation’s top high school basketball prospects during the Pango's All American Camp. In comparison to last weekend there wasn’t the same depth of Duke prospects, but this was still a field with a lot of talent that caught our eye. The destination this weekend for BDN Premium? Cal State Dominguez Hills located right on the border of Compton/Carson, CA.

The camp kicked off with former New Orleans Hornets assistant and current ESPN radio personality Dave Miller teaching the campers some defensive fundamentals. The best way to describe Dave is loud and in charge. The former NBA assistant used his great personality to get the attention of the campers and explain to them the real world of high school, college, and pro hoops.

Some of the big time names at the camp were: Isaiah Austin, Andre Drummond, Shabazz and Rasheed Muhammad, and Anthony Bennett.

The name who likely helped his stock the most this weekend was  2012 forward Anthony Bennett, a 6’7 230 lbs tank.  Bennett threw down countless thunderous dunks and ran the court extremely well. While speaking to him last weekend he mentioned the staff [private] at Findlay Prep was really working his outside game, and it is certainly paying off. The big man showed an impressive outside touch knocking down numerous three point shots keeping the defense very honest. Findlay coach Mike Peck was in attendance and was sure to be proud of Bennett.

This was my second chance seeing Isaiah Austin, the last time being at last year’s Pangos camp. Austin looks to have put on a bit of weight as his arms look thicker but still has a very wiry thin frame. The 7 footer got to match up with Andre Drummond in the very first game of the camp and was immediately put to the test. Drummond’s powerful frame proved to be too much for him in the end but Austin did disrupt Drummond with his length a little bit. At this point Isaiah still tries to bring the ball up the court like a guard. His thin frame doesn’t allow him to really bang down low like you would like most 7 footers to do. The potential is there with Isaiah but adding weight is an absolute must for the Baylor bound prospect.

Let’s move on to 2012 big man Andre Drummond. For a long time scouts have touted him as the next big thing. It seems this weekend he came out to back up their statements. Drummond looked extremely motivated this weekend hustling up and down the court and attempting to grab any and every loose ball within his area code. The Connecticut prospect abused the rim and wooed the crowd with countless spectacular dunks, often making them look effortless. Sporting a college ready frame at 6’9 250 lbs it’s plain to see why so many scouts ranked him so highly. At this point, the big man has minimal to not shooting touch, a skill he would be wise to eventually add. I do not mean adding a three point shot, but simply a 10-15 footer to add a new dimension to his game. His free throw shooting also leaves much to be desired as I could have counted the number of free throw makes on one hand, despite countless trips to the line. Still, it is very easy to see how talented and athletic Drummond is, and is sure to be a future pro, though I’m not doing much more than stating the obvious.

No single player plays with more consistent intensity than Shabazz Muhammad. The 6’5 Las Vegas lefty scored in every way imaginable this weekend while bringing in camp MVP. Given his constant effort it was a simple choice to give him the award. Shabazz flew around all over the court and attacked the rim like with a ferocity that makes you think, “what did that poor rim ever do to you?” While not an incredible outside shooter, Shabazz showed enough that you must at least respect it to a certain degree. Not to say he doesn’t defend, but if that intensity ever fully carries over to the defensive side, watch out.  There isn’t much more to say about Muhammad that hasn’t been said. He is easily in my opinion the best prospect in 2012.

Recently a name that has popped up on Duke’s radar has been Brannen Greene, a 6’6 shooter out of Forsyth, Georgia. This was my first chance seeing the forward and his performance unfortunately was disappointing to say the least. Often times when a shooters shot isn’t dropping you’d like to see him be productive in other ways. This wasn’t exactly the case with Brannen. There wasn’t always effort on both sides of the court and at times seemed a bit unenthusiastic. He doesn’t seem to be possess a high level of athleticism at this point and often got his shot blocked when he tried to put the ball on the floor. Hopefully for his sake this was simply a bad weekend and he can move on from it and get better.

I have to give credit to BDN Recruiting Analyst Andrew Slater for the next player, 2013 guard/forward Stephen Domingo out of San Francisco, CA. Before the camp started he had mentioned that Stephen should be a player of interest to watch and boy did he not disappoint. Currently sporting a very skinny frame the 6’6 (though I must say he is likely a bit shorter than this listing by an inch) prospect lit it up during the Top 25 game this weekend where he took home MVP of the match. Despite his slender body Stephen had no problem mixing it up a little bit. He’s not Shaquille O’Neal by any means, but it was a joy to watch him try to grab rebounds and block a few shots. One particular impressive play, Stephen grabbed a rebound, turned around, looked ahead, and fired off a pin point outlet pass leading to an easy bucket for his team; an impressive play for the young prospect. Domingo showed off a very solid three point shot as well as some mid range game, particularly using the pull up jumper. I think it’s safe to say that the scouts will be paying a lot more attention to the St. Ignatius product. [/private]