Pangos All-American Camp
Scott Kurtz

Five observations from the Pangos All-American Camp

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NORWALK, Ca. — The Pangos All-American Camp is one of the most fun events in grassroots basketball because of its old-school approach to certain things. The camp brings together tons of national prospects — regardless of shoe-company affiliation — and the event is littered with a lot of fun head-to-head matchups.

Always coming the weekend after Memorial Day, the 14th annual Pangos All-American Camp had the most talent the event has ever seen as more than a dozen five-star prospects took the floor for a lot of run-and-gun camp basketball. As most camps tend to go, the ball isn’t exactly crisp at times, but it’s still a nice indicator of where a lot of players stand heading into July.

1. DeAndre Ayton is great but what kind of player will he turn into?

DeAndre Ayton has the tools to be an elite, elite center. Like, we’re talking once or twice in a decade type of athleticism out of a player his size. Just watch this tip slam from Pangos on Friday night and you’ll see what I mean.

The 7-foot Ayton has the kind of quick lift off the floor you seldom see in a big man, but there are some questions as to what type of player he will be (or wants to be) at the next level. Ayton has publicly stated that he wants to try to play a bit on the wing before, but that doesn’t seem realistic given his athletic gifts for his size. No coach is going to let a dude that big and athletic not play near the basket for a good chunk of time.

There are also some questions about Ayton’s ability to protect the rim at an elite level.

Ayton hasn’t shown much interest in being a shot blocker. He’s the type of big man who will happily switch onto a smaller perimeter player (and he usually can with his lateral quickness), but he’s not one for absorbing blows at the rim and re-directing shots as some sort of menacing rim protector. With the way basketball is beginning to embrace switching one through five on defense, Ayton could be some sort of defensive freak who can stay with a lot of guys on the perimeter, but that would also depend on a coach using that style of play and having the right personnel around Ayton to make that possible.

Either way, Ayton’s continued development is going to be a ton of fun to watch. He’s currently the No. 1 player in a very solid class and he’ll definitely be pushed for that spot if he wants to hold onto it.

2. Michael Porter Jr. continues to get better (and push for No. 1)

One of the Class of 2017 prospects sitting right behind Ayton in the national rankings is Michael Porter Jr., a jumbo wing with an ever-improving all-around game.

The 6-foot-9 Porter can score from multiple levels of the floor with a smooth jumper and he’s also improved his toughness over the years to become an effective rebounder in traffic. Porter was the only player in the Nike EYBL this spring to finish in the top five in both points and rebounds per game.

If Porter continues that kind of production and shows that his perimeter skill is getting more consistent, then he’ll push for the top spot in the 2017 class because it’s so difficult to find wings with his size, skill level and athleticism.

With Michael Porter Sr. taking a men’s assistant coaching spot on Lorenzo Romar’s staff at Washington the writing on the wall would appear that Porter Jr. is going to eventually be a Husky. If Washington gets that one done, you’d have to argue that they’re adapting to the one-and-done culture as well as any program in the country with their last few recruiting classes.

3. Trevon Duval is a consistent jumper away from being impossible to cover

In the Class of 2017, 6-foot-3 point guard Trevon Duval has firmly established himself as the leader when it comes to point guards. With freakish athleticism and ridiculous ball-handling ability, Duval is the type of guard who gets anywhere he wants on the floor whenever he wants. Duval is impossible to keep out of the lane and he’s a contortionist at the rim if he needs to finish in traffic.

Because he has the ball on a string, Duval can make dribble moves others only pull off in 2K and he’s able to rifle some absurd one-handed passes with either hand off of those moves.

The next step for Duval is a consistent jumper. Duval’s jumper is workable and it will go down at times, but there are also stretches where he can go cold. My theory is that he’s still understanding the pure speed of his game, and once things slow down for him, then pull-up jumpers will become easier for him. A lot of Duval’s jumpers are usually taken when he’s on the move, so if he can get more consistent and score off jumpers while stopping on a dime, then it’s going to be impossible to guard him with only one player.

4. The Class of 2019 has some promising players led by Charles Bassey

One of the nice things about the Pangos All-American Camp is that it’s a chance for a lot of younger prospects to play against older competition and get their feet wet on the national stage.

The class of soon-to-be sophomores already has some very strong prospects, led at the top by big man Charles Bassey. Originally from Nigeria and playing his high school ball in San Antonio, Bassey is pushing 6-foot-10 and moves well for a young big man.

And his skill level is very intriguing.

Because he owns a great set of hands, Bassey can corral passes that other big men can’t catch and he also showed some strong court awareness on some difficult touch passes. When DeAndre Ayton went head-to-head against Bassey in a Saturday morning game, the young big man didn’t back down one bit from facing potentially the top player in the country. There is still a ton of time left for this group, but Bassey appears to be a serious contender for the No. 1 spot in a few years if he continues to develop.

Some other promising Class of 2019 prospects at Pangos included 6-foot-2 point guard Cole Anthony (the son of Greg Anthony) and 6-foot-5 shooting guard Cassius Stanley. Both Anthony and Stanley already play above the rim and show the kind of skill and athleticism that could make them five-star prospects with continued development.

5. Events like this are still important

One of the great things about the Pangos All-American Camp is that it brings players together who don’t normally play against each other on the grassroots circuit. With players from adidas, Under Armour, Nike and independent teams, it makes for some awesome head-to-head matchups.

And camp founder Dinos Trigonis makes sure to give the people what they want in terms of marquee head-to-head matchups.

Elite point guards like Trevon Duval, Jaylen Hands, Quade Green and Trae Young got to play against each other. Five-star shooting guards Hamidou Diallo and Gary Trent Jr. matched up for one game. Although they don’t play the same position, one game had DeAndre Ayton’s team playing Michael Porter’s squad. Porter also got to face another talented five-star forward in Billy Preston. It seemed like every session of play had monster matchups that were fun to gauge in terms of where certain guys stack up with other elite prospects.

Obviously, in a camp like this, the games can devolve into street-ball like atmospheres but most of the five-star guys embraced the opportunity to play other top players. There are a lot of very competitive guys in the Class of 2017 and that’s never a bad thing.

Mixtape from the 2015 Pangos All-American Camp (VIDEO)

Scott Phillips/NBC Sports
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The 2015 Pangos All-American Camp finished up last week and featured some of the best players in the country from coast-to-coast.

Five-star Class of 2016 prospects like Terrance Ferguson and T.J. Leaf were in attendance while four-star guards like Rawle Alkins and Mustapha Heron had very good weekends.

The guys at Home Team Hoops were there to capture all of the action and they put together this mixtape of highlights.

Five observations from the Pangos All-American Camp

Scott Phillips/NBC Sports
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CARSON, CA. — The Pangos All-American Camp is once again in the books and this year’s annual showcase featured a deep camp roster with some of the best players in the country. A couple of Class of 2016 shooting guards are making a strong push towards All-American status as we enter the summer while the 2017 class showed it has a lot of big men who could be national recruits.

1. Mustapha Heron and Rawle Alkins position themselves for a big summer

In the Class of 2016, shooting guards Mustapha Heron and Rawle Alkins have already positioned themselves as national recruits with a chance to become future All-Americans. Both bruising East coast guards had outstanding showings at the Pangos All-American Camp and they were the two best players during the weekend.

The 6-foot-5 Heron showed an ability to score going to the hoop almost any possession he wanted and he also showed that he can create for others with the pass. While his jumper and going right (using his off-hand) are both still a work-in-progress, Heron showed that he’s more confident going to those moves than he was last summer. He’s put himself in prime position to potentially be a five-star recruit with All-American honors this spring if he continues to play like this.

As for Alkins, he was a bit more inconsistent than Heron, but the New York native had peaks that were as good as anyone at the camp. With a deceptive first step and a lot of power going to the rim, the 6-foot-4 Alkins is very difficult to stop going to the basket and he had his way at Pangos in the camp’s up-and-down style of play. Much like Heron, the jumper is still a work in progress, but Alkins is crafty scoring the ball inside of 15 feet and he isn’t afraid to finish with either hand.

2. The Class of 2017 will have a lot of big men with national-level recruitments

The Class of 2017 already has some star power among big men as DeAndre Ayton sits clearly in the pole position. Other five-star big men like Zach Brown, Wendell Carter and Jeremiah Tilmon also had some good spring showings playing up an age level in the Nike EYBL.

Although Heron and Alkins were the two best players at the Pangos All-American Camp, the two best long-term prospects might be New York-native Mohammed Bamba and San Diego-native Brandon McCoy. The 6-foot-10 Bamba has been playing 16U basketball this spring since the PSA Cardinals already have Omari Spellman and Kassoum Yakwe playing on the 17U team, but Bamba a big-time prospect with mobility, an emerging skill level and a lot of desirable physical tools. Bamba made a few moves during camp that had the place buzzing and he’s beginning to put the ball on the floor a little bit, which helps him use his quickness for his size in the post.

McCoy, who is originally from Chicago, showed flashes of strong play this spring in the Nike EYBL playing up with Cal Supreme and he’s pushing 7-feet tall and already weighs 230 pounds. Despite his size, McCoy moves incredibly well for a young big man and is at his best running the floor and making plays. The added strength has also given McCoy more of an edge on the interior and he’s getting more consistency as a rebounder and post defender.

3. Javin DeLaurier and Taurean Thompson make a big statement

Two big men in the Class of 2016 that have put themselves in position for a big summer include Virginia native Javin DeLaurier and New Jersey native Taurean Thompson. After seeing both players do good things this spring on the grassroots circuit, both big men had tremendous Pangos camps and should hear from a lot of high-major programs this summer.

DeLaurier has already been bumped into the top 50 in the 2016 class for Rivals this week with LaGerald Vick’s move out of the class and onto the Kansas roster for next season. During Pangos, DeLaurier outworked every other player on the floor and ran rim-to-rim as hard as any player on every single possession. Rebounding the ball at a high rate, DeLaurier also showed a bit of a face-up game and defended a bit as a weak-side rim protector.

While DeLaurier rebounded the ball well, Thompson was arguably the camp’s top glass man, as he snatched away numerous rebounds in traffic and finished plays around the rim. Thompson also showed an improving face-up game that included a smooth jumper out to 17 feet.

Expect both DeLaurier and Thompson to receive a lot of high-major attention this summer when they hit the July live evaluation period.

4. Terrance Ferguson needs to be more consistent

There is no question that five-star Class of 2016 wing Terrance Ferguson is an elite prospect and one of the best in his class. But now is the time for Ferguson to showcase more consistency after an up-and-down showing at Pangos All-American Camp. Ferguson is regarded as the No. 5 overall prospect in Rivals’ Class of 2016 rankings and if you’re going to be that high in the rankings, you have to bring it every game.

Ferguson is an exceptional athlete with good range on his jumper, but he disappeared for too many stretches of time during camp play. It’s admirable that Ferguson was playing through some injuries during a camp that isn’t a live-period event, but his so-so outings also happened this spring on the Under Armour circuit. Ferguson played on a very talented MWA Elite squad — so he didn’t have to carry big scoring numbers — but he shot 37 percent from the field, 55 percent from the free-throw line and 34 percent from 3-point range over the 12-game league schedule. If he wants to remain a top-five prospect, those numbers have to improve across the board.

That being said, there is no doubting that Ferguson has the physical tools to remain an elite prospect going forward. He’s still a likely All-American with his best basketball ahead of him.

5. Some new 2017 names emerge

The Pangos All-American Camp is often a good setting to see some new players who flew a bit under-the-radar this spring. The Class of 2017 had some new names emerge that high-major schools should look out for this summer. New York native Isaiah Washington had a strong camp going toe-to-toe with some of the best players in the country. The 6-foot-0 point guard is crafty with the ball in his hands and gets to the rim using a variety of moves, including spins, hesitation moves and quick bursts that leave his defender off-balance.

Connecticut native Walter Whyte emerged out of nowhere to be one of the better young guards in the camp. His jumper is a tad inconsistent, but the 6-foot-5 guard scored the ball at all three levels and played solid, fundamental basketball in a camp that can sometimes produce some bad basketball.

Pangos All-American Camp highlight reel (VIDEO)

(Scott Phillips/NBC Sports)
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The Pangos All-American Camp was played in Long Beach over the weekend and a number of highlight plays occurred.

You can read my takeaways from the event here, but here are the top plays, courtesy of BallisLife.

Seven takeaways from the Pangos All-American Camp

(Scott Phillips/
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LONG BEACH, Ca – The Pangos All-American Camp is one of the premier camps in the camp-loaded slate of June. The 12th annual camp, held at Cabrillo High School in Long Beach, offered another look at some top national prospects as well as some good West Coast players.

1. Stephen Zimmerman is a well-rounded big man: There have been questions surrounding Zimmerman all spring about his speed decreasing as he added weight to his 7-foot frame, but the lefty big man from Las Vegas is still the No. 4 player in the 2015 class according to and Zimmerman has a tremendous skillset.

Zimmerman’s added muscle allowed him to make plays more frequently in the post and he’s also confident as a ball-handler in the open floor. He runs really well end-to-end and can knock in jumpers from the short corner or elbow while also dropping in hooks.

Zimmerman entered the Pangos All-American Camp as the highest ranked prospect and played up to that lofty status with a good weekend.

RELATED: Pangos All-American Saturday

2. Isaiah Briscoe is an effective point guard: Isaiah Briscoe has never seen a shot he didn’t like, but the 2015 guard from Roselle, New Jersey isn’t credited as often as he should be for his passing. national analyst Eric Bossi threw out a Kyle Lowry comparison and I can see why. Briscoe is a big-bodied guard with a quick crossover that likes to get in the lane and make plays.

Although at 6-foot-3 he’s played more of a scoring guard role in the past when I’ve seen him, at Pangos he made numerous plays as a passer and got in the lane at will using a variety of good moves around the hoop. Briscoe is the No. 19 overall prospect in‘s rankings and he looks like a probable All-American in this class.

3. The Pac-12 has some strong incoming prospects: The Pangos All-American Camp had great national prospects like Briscoe and some standouts from Texas and Georgia, but the strength of the camp came in the abundance of top-flight west coast players in attendance and many of them are already committed to Pac-12 programs.

Arizona commit Tyler Dorsey is having a good spring as a scoring guard and the 6-foot-4 class of 2015 standout had plenty of good moments at Pangos this weekend, including two spirited battles with Briscoe. Dorsey was good enough to earn Camp Most Outstanding Player honors along with Briscoe and Zimmerman.

Washington commit Marquese Chriss had a really positive weekend in the open-floor setting. With all of the games being uptempo, Chriss’ run-and-jump game showed off favorably as he ran the wing for alley-oops and played above the rim with ease. He still has to develop a mid-range game and improve his defense, but Chriss has a lot of great athletic attributes heading into the Pac-12.

Chimezie Metu recently pledged to USC as a 6-foot-9 skilled class of 2015 forward and Metu also benefitted from the up-and-down games of the camp. Metu’s handle and passing ability was on display and he’s tough to stop going to the rim if he has a full head of steam. Metu’s high-flying style should fit in well in Andy Enfield’s offense at USC.

UCLA commit Lonzo Ball shows a tremendous IQ and plays with a lot of savvy for a 2016 guard. The 6-foot-5 tall point guard was great at times at Pangos and the five-star was one of the better prospects in attendance.

RELATED: Pangos All-American Camp Friday

4. San Diego State and Gonzaga closed some decent guards: Jeremy Hemsley also came off-the-board in the last few weeks as the recent San Diego State commit showed well at Pangos. Hemsley does a lot of things well as a 6-foot-4 guard. A strong athlete who can defend and make plays, Hemsley also hit some shots and looks like a strong 2015 grab for the Aztecs.

Gonzaga landed another tough and high-IQ guard in Utah native Jesse Wade. A class of 2015 prospect, Wade had some good moments playing alongside Kevin Dorsey and knocked down shots, made plays as a passer and also defended pretty well on the perimeter. At 5-foot-11, Wade is small but he plays hard and is skilled.

These two West Coast powers might not play in the Pac-12 but they are perennially in the top 25 thanks to solid prospects like these. Hemsley and Wade are two guards that start a solid foundation with a class.

5. There are still some under-recruited guards to track this summer: The Pangos All-American Camp is often a launching pad for some players nationally and this year was no exception. Although I won’t overvalue a camp setting before viewing these players more in a real halfcourt tactical basketball setting, the Pangos camp still gives a glimpse at skills and tools that players have at their disposal.

Three 2015 guards played really well at Pangos and will be watched closely in July by college programs.

Point guard Paris Austin was one of the biggest stories of the weekend as the 5-foot-11 guard from Oakland continued a strong uptick to the end of his spring. Austin knocked down shots, set up teammates and also defended on the perimeter.

Austin told that he has scholarship offers from Florida State, Tulsa, Utah State, San Jose State, Boise State, Loyola Marymount and Pacific, and Creighton, Wake Forest, Texas and Cal have recently been involved and showing interest.

Kevin Dorsey is another 5-foot-11 guard that will be tracked closely in July by college coaches. The native of Fairfax, Virginia scored off of screens, changed paces well and knocked in some jumpers from the perimeter.

Dorsey told that Creighton, Florida Gulf Coast, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ole Miss, VCU and Virginia Tech have offered but he’s been solid with Team Takeover in the Nike EYBL and is poised for a potential breakout July.

Sammy Barnes-Thompkins had a tough and productive Pangos Camp. His coaches in camp liked Barnes-Thompkins’ play and he had a toughness about him while playing a bit of both guard spots. The 6-foot-2 native of Phoenix only has a scholarship offer from San Jose State while Arizona State, Gonzaga, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wichita State show interest.

6. Some national-level wings to monitor in July: This was my first time viewing Baton Rouge, Louisiana native Brandon Sampson, but he was very impressive knocking down tough perimeter shots while getting to the rim a little bit as well. The 6-foot-5 Sampson is currently regarded as the No. 73 prospect in‘s national rankings.

Also showing well on the wing was Alpharetta, Georgia native Malik Beasley. The 6-foot-4 Beasley has a quick first step and shows quickness getting to the basket and scoring. He gets a little shot happy, but he’s a talented scorer that is itching to play in front of college coaches in July.

After showing up on Saturday, Las Vegas native Ray Smith continued his solid spring by earning co-MVP honors in the camp’s Top 30 Cream of the Crop Game and at 6-foot-7, he’s a problem on the wing because of his length, athleticism and ability to knock in shots. Smith is becoming more well-rounded on the wing and will be one to watch in July.

RELATED: Ray Smith throws down a nasty dunk in Pangos highlight reel (VIDEO)

7. Big man Steve Enoch breaks out: Memphis is one of the only schools on Norwalk, Connecticut native Steve Enoch, but that should change after a good performance a Pangos this weekend.

Enoch played well throughout the camp and could stake a claim as the camp’s second best big man behind Zimmerman. Enoch will have to show more against national competition, but at 6-foot-9, many big-time programs will be interested in him this July.

Pangos All-American Camp Saturday: Admon Gilder has an efficient day

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LONG BEACH, Ca. – Camp basketball can be sloppy and unorganized and the word “efficiency” isn’t thrown around very often.

But on Saturday at the second day of the annual Pangos All-American Camp, Dallas native Admon Gilder had a very efficient outing. The 6-foot-2 Gilder was noted for his defensive prowess this spring, but on Saturday, he had the jumper working from all three levels and didn’t waste many movements or dribbles.

Gilder is regarded as’s No. 49 player in the 2015 class and although he isn’t an elite athlete, he knows how to keep defenders honest by changing his offensive approach. Gilder attacked the rack, hit pull-up jumpers from the elbow and had some off-the-catch three-pointers. The combo guard also had a solid overall floor game and handled and passed a bit as well.

With high-level guards in limited supply in the 2015 class, Gilder will be a priority Big 12 recruit this July.

Stephen Zimmerman has a strong Saturday: As the highest rated player in the Pangos All-American Camp, all eyes are on Las Vegas native and 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman. As the No. 4 player in’s 2015 national rankings, the skilled lefty big man had a solid outing on Saturday in a big win for his “Arizona” team.

Zimmerman ran the floor hard, handled and passed in the open floor and also showed improvement as a weak side shot blocker. On the offensive side of things, Zimmerman is polished enough to use hooks and can also knock in the short corner or elbow jumper.

A no-brainer All-American, Zimmerman will hold onto his top-5 national ranking if he keeps playing like that in July.

Point guard Paris Austin continues his solid spring: It’s easy to overlook point guard Paris Austin on the grassroots circuit because he’s surrounded by high-major players playing on Dream Vision in the adidas Gauntlet.

As the floor general for Dream Vision, Austin sets up talented players like Tyler Dorsey, Chase Jeter and Ray Smith, but at the Pangos All-American Camp, Austin has made other players look better while also hunting his own offense. The 5-foot-11 native of Oakland has consistently played in attack mode and made a lot of impressive passes and drives to the bucket.

At times, Austin can still get a bit turnover prone, especially if he leaves his feet to pass, but he’s put together a solid spring heading into July and high-major programs will be tracking.

Austin told that he has scholarship offers from Florida State, Tulsa, Utah State, San Jose State, Boise State, Loyola Marymount and Pacific, and Creighton, Wake Forest, Texas and Cal have recently been involved and showing interest.