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April 28, 2013
Competition picks up on Day 2 at Pangos
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The second day at the Pangos Sweet 16 at Cabrillo High brought to the table a lot of the same things as the first. The humidity level in the gym was off the charts, but the basketball was good enough to make media members and college coaches alike hang around for the action.
Despite splitting two games on the day, a pair of Compton Magic Select teammates in Cameron Walker and Rex Pflueger were two of the top players on Saturday.
Walker, the four-star, 2015 prospect, had every move in his arsenal on display. He was hitting outside jumpers, shedding defenders with silky drives to the hoop and finishing in transition. He also nearly blew the roof off the gym with a two-footed, one-handed dunk attempt from well outside the key. The only thing that kept Waker from that dunk was getting raked across the arm.
Pflueger, also a 2015 recruit, looked to be 100 percent healthy after battling an ankle injury a few weeks ago. The 6-foot-5 wing had his 3-point shot dialed in from the opening tip on Friday and it carried over to Saturday. His stroke looked extra smooth, and he hit nothing but the bottom from deep on multiple occasions. Pflueger has said he needs to work on his ball handling in order to play a position that suits him well at the next level, and he showed off some of the hard work he's been putting in. Pflueger was effective when crashing the defensive glass and pushing the ball up in transition.
Hutchison making strides
After Chandler Hutchison seemed to be just another face in the crowd in Team Eastbay's loss on Friday, the 6-foot-5 wing by way of Mission Viejo rebounded on Saturday in a big way. Hutchison led the Perry Webster-coached Eastbay-ers to two victories and was getting a lot of looks from college coaches, like Arizona State's Herb Sendek, during the process.
Hutchison didn't shy away from the ball, welcomed and finished through contact and threw down a couple of authoritative dunks. I'm not too sure what Webster said to Hutchison between Friday and Saturday, but he looked like a completely different player. The class of 2014 prospect went back to his strengths - attacking the basket and pouring in buckets with some of the best mid-range-game around.
They can Ball
QJZ Elite is easily the most exciting team in the tournament, and Saturday offered another reason as to why that is. Lonzo Ball is clearly one of the best 2016 prospects around. He can shoot it from anywhere, run the point effectively and has great court vision. His younger brother, Li Angelo, is a 2017 prospect who hasn't met a shot he doesn't like. Li Angelo is an unconscious 3-point shooter who can fill it up in a hurry.
But, there was no doubt about who was the story of the day on Saturday. QJZ lists a player, Mello Ball, as graduating from high school in 2019 on its roster. That was a typo, right? Wrong. The youngest of the Ball brothers is in sixth grade, but he went ahead and surpassed his age in points with 13 in an upset win over Compton Magic Select. Mello was hitting three's, floaters and free throws while everyone in the gym tried to pick their jaws up off the hardwood. It's unclear if you can consider Mello Ball a "prospect" or a "recruit," but he had Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar shaking his head in disbelief.
More 2016 potential
Dikembe Martin of Compton Magic 2016 had himself a very nice day on Saturday. The 6-foot, class of 2016 point guard does a nice job of running the youngest of the Compton Magic teams. Martin already has a good frame and a game to match. He is a good ball handler, plays with a cool demeanor and is lethal with his mid-range game.
Martin struggled going left, however, and feels like he needs to shore that part of his game up to become a top-tier point guard. It's still very early in the recruiting process for Martin, but he said he has received some interest from Arizona and Gonzaga among other schools.
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst
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