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June 2, 2014
Honors handed out on final day of Pangos Camp
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- As is tradition, the final day of the Pangos All-American Camp wrapped up with a pair of Sunday All-Star games at Cabrillo High School. Rising senior point guard Isaiah Briscoe finished strong again with camp Most Outstanding Player honors while rising senior wing Ray Smith finished with a huge day himself.
Briscoe finishes in style
All spring long, five-star point guard Isaiah Briscoe has been building his case to be considered the nation's top point guard in the class of 2015. On Sunday, the product of Roselle (N.J.) Catholic completed another strong weekend and got the camp period of his travel season off in style by scoring 20 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing six rebounds in the top All-Star game to cement camp MOP honors.
We've written plenty about what it is that Briscoe does over the past month and there was no change to his formula in Long Beach. A powerful guard who plays similar to a young Kyle Lowry, Briscoe is highly skilled off the dribble and when he makes up his mind that he wants to get to the rim there is almost no stopping him.
Interestingly enough, Briscoe seems to prefer going left instead of to his natural right hand and his strength allows him to take bumps and finish. If anything, he could still improve his shooting from deep but based on his entire body of work since the completion of his junior season he is the favorite to take over as the top point guard in the class of 2015.
"I feel real good about how I played," Briscoe told Rivals.com. "I always like coming out to the West Coast and competing against the other great players."
Next up for Briscoe is a trip to Colorado Springs where he will compete for a spot on USA Basketball's 18 and under National Team. Soon after that, though, Briscoe is looking to trim down his recruitment some and establish a final list of contenders from a pool that includes the likes of Arizona, Connecticut, Louisville,Baylor, Rutgers, Seton Hall. St. John's, Villanova and many more.
"After USA Basketball is most likely when I'll cut my list," said Briscoe. "I think that I'm going to cut it down to about eight."
Smith continues his rise
Already ranked No. 32 in the class of 2015, there's only so much further that Ray Smith can rise in the rankings. Make no mistake about it, though, the 6-foot-7 wing from Las Vegas (Nev.) High will be on the rise in the next rankings update and he has solidified what will be a bump up into five-star status. Now, it's just a question of how far he rises.
The evolution of Smith's game over the past year or so has been very gradual and very steady. After bursting onto the scene as a long and lanky wing with athleticism in the spring of 2013, Smith has gotten better every time Rivals.com gets a look at him.
Since this time last year, Smith has grown a couple of inches and he has changed his game from that of a raw athlete to that of a pretty skilled wing player. His strength is still as a transition player. In the open floor, Smith is an absolute thoroughbred who runs with speed and grace. Teammates simply need to throw the ball up around the rim and he'll go get it. But, he's so much more than a dunker.
During Sunday morning's final round of games and camp ending All-Star game (where he went for 30 and earned game MVP honors), Smith showed that game comes easily to him. He has turned into a very respectable shooter from deep, he has improved his ball handling tremendously and he has a confidence about him that suggests he knows that he is one of the baddest dudes on any floor he steps on.
Smith told Rivals.com that he is happy with his final 10 of Arizona, Arizona State, California, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest. Smith said that he is looking into lining up unofficial visits to UCLA, Louisville and Georgetown during June and that he may cut his list further after the summer. Whether or not he cuts his list, though, Smith plans to sign during November.
Wrapping up Pangos AA Camp
Class of 2015 point guard Terrence Phillips wrapped up an impressive Pangos camp run on Sunday. With his older brother Brandon Jennings on hand, Phillips put together a triple double in the top 30 All-Star game and earned one of the game's MOP honors to follow in the footsteps of his big brother. Entering camp, a debate has been raging about whether Phillips is a fit for a mid major or high major program and both sides of the argument can be compelling. There is no doubt that the three-star prospect can play for some high majors because of his speed, strength and leadership. But, he might also be the missing piece for a mid major power to keep winning conference championships and make NCAA Tournament runs. His spring play has put him firmly into the discussion for inclusion in the next Rivals150 for the class of 2015.
Quietly and effectively, rising junior big man Nate Morris had himself a good weekend at camp and earned his way into the top 30 All-Star game. The center from Lancaster (Texas) High has a solid 6-foot-9 frame that is built for contact and he has very good functional athleticism (means he can get off the floor in tight spots and finish through bumps). He's one that we'll look forward to tracking down the road.
During Nike's EYBL, the Georgia Stars were one of the more disappointing teams in the country. Despite his team's struggles, though, rising senior wing Malik Beasley had a huge spring and his stock is on the rise. Currently ranked in the back end of the Rivals150 for 2015, Beasley is a pretty sure bet to rise into four-star territory. An extreme athlete who tries to attack the rim for dunks as often as possible, Beasley is a power driver. Beasley can also make some jumpers and plays with confidence. At times, Beasley is a bit too trigger happy when it comes to shot selection but there's no denying that he is a talent on the rise.
Recent Iowa commit Andrew Fleming finished camp on a strong note. The three-star shooting guard from Nashville who will play his senior season at Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill erupted for 31 points in a Sunday morning game and earned a birth in the top 60 All-Star game. Fleming played with more confidence and looked much less hurried on the offensive end than he he did the last time Rivals.com watched him at the Under Armour Invitational in Houston.
2015 big man Stephen Zimmerman had his best weekend of the spring at Pangos. He earned a share of the camp MOP honors and seemed to be a in a good place. The five-star prospect from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman has added needed weight in the last year and the additional bulk has meant that he's had to switch his game up a little. In Long Beach, he seemed to find a good balance between playing around the rim and facing up. Most importantly, he was sprinting from rim to rim and that resulted in good things for him.
If it were up to us, 2015 point guard Kevin Dorsey would have made the top All-Star game at camp. But, he had to settle for the top 60 game. That makes no difference in terms of how he played and the Rivals150 guard is angling pretty hard for four-star status. Dorsey told Rivals.com that his most recent offers are from Minnesota and Nebraska. They join a host of others including Virginia Tech, VCU, Old Dominion, Florida Gulf Coast, SMU and UMass who have already offered.
Speaking of SMU, committed point guard Sedrick Barefield finished his weekend in style. The four-star point guard played a solid floor game all weekend long taking what was offered to him by the defense. He finished things out by being named MOP of the top 60 game after scoring 13 points and handing out four assists while making all five of his shots from the field.
From the class of 2016, Mamadou Ndiaye is one to monitor going forward. At 6-foot-7 or so Ndiaye is a good athlete, runs the floor and is a fine transition finisher. He rebounds pretty well and looks to be a capable shooter. Is he a small forward, a slightly undersized four or a combo? That's something that we'll need to determine down the road. But, regardless of position the Columbia (Md.) Oakland Mills forward is one to watch.
Finally, Jesse Wade is going to be a very good player at Gonzaga. The 5-foot-10'ish point guard from Utah may need a year or two to get stronger and adapt to college basketball but he has a tremendous feel for the game, some juice off the dribble and he is a dynamite jump shooter.
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.