Las Vegas: Day Four Notebook (Gershon)

Dejounte Murray

LAS VEGAS - Watching prospects from the Northwest has been a priority this July, and thankfully a handful of young players have emerged. Dejounte Murray has proven himself as one of the top wing prospects out west in 2015.

Washington on talented Northwest duo early

During high school basketball season, it's tough to get up to the Northwest to check out the emerging talent in the region, which means watching those prospects in July is always a must.

Thankfully, Washington's basketball coaches were amongst the staffs who made our jobs a little earlier by providing a little bit of a blueprint for must-watch prospects, offering scholarships to a couple young A-Plus 16U recruits in 2015 shooting guard Dejounte Murray and 2016 point guard Isiah Brown.

Murray is a long and wiry wing with a natural scoring ability, while Brown is a score-first point guard who can really finish with contact. Both kids are amongst the best at their positions out west in their respective classes and Washington made smart moves offering them early.

"I grew up rooting for Washington," said Murray. "I just like the program and all the players that went through it and the coaching staffs. I was happy when they offered me."

"Washington is home," added Brown. "I would love to stay home and I love coach (Lorenzo) Romar. He's somebody who I really look up to as a great coach and person.

"They were the first school to recruit me and that says something to me. I love the campus, I love the team and the idea of staying home and playing in my city is attractive."

Portland post duo protects rim

There's a very long list of big men out west in the 2015 class that aren't no-brainer high major players at this point, but give them a year of development and they absolutely could be.

Count ICP Portland 17U's Greyson Smallwood and 16U's Isaiah Robinson in that category.

Smallwood is pretty much a pogo stick. He's very skinny but the 6-foot-9 center gets off his feet in a hurry and is a threat to block everything in the post due to his size and athleticism.

Robinson, whose father Cliff played in the NBA for several years, isn't quite the athlete that Smallwood is, but he has impeccable timing on defense and is a terrific shot blocker because of it.

Neither of these two Portland area 2015 recruits can be considered locks to end up as high major targets, but they're on the serious watch list for the next year.

Let's see where they can take their games between now and next July.

More notes from Saturday in Las Vegas:

  • Cal Supreme 16U's 2016 point guard Devearl Ramsey is all strength and speed for a young player at his position, but he's really done a better job of becoming a distributor, something he did a good job of on Saturday afternoon.

  • An undersized center, 2016 Cal Supreme 16U's Roy Hemsley is a beast with a physical style of play. He has soft hands, finishes in the paint, rebounds and can hit a jumper from the elbow.

  • Michael Cage, a 2016 center from Cal Supreme 16U, has put on muscle since the end of his freshman season and added to his offensive repertoire. His right-handed hook was falling from several feet out on Saturday.

  • Alex Copeland, a 2015 point guard on Cal Supreme 16U, has always been good at getting to the basket, but the rising junior looks more comfortable with his jumper these days as well.

  • Pangos Elite's 2015 combo guard New Williams spends a lot of time off the ball so he isn't going to score a ton of points, but the elite athlete has played hard, defended, knocked down the open shot and made some impressive passes.

  • Joe Furstinger, a 2014 post from Pangos Elite, has quietly had a strong summer. He still has a lot of strength to gain, but plays hard, rebounds, defends and can hit open shot.

  • Keep an eye on 2015 A-Plus 16U forward Jordan Kitchen. He doesn't get a lot done right now, but he has a terrific frame with very long arms. If he can play harder and add some more skill, his stock will really move up.


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