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June 1, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Because it is not sponsored or operated by one of the shoe companies, the Pangos All-American Camp at Long Beach's Cabrillo High is a must stop. The lack of shoe affiliation allows players who might not play against each other on the tournament circuit to go head-to-head. The most anticipated matchup of the night was a tussle between the No. 2 player in the class of 2014, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Denver's Josh Perkins. Perkins and Mudiay didn't disappoint, and others played well on opening night.
Mudiay, Perkins show strengths
an There were a lot of eyes watching the matchup between Mudiay and Perkins. Whenever you get the No. 2 player in the country going head-to-head with the No. 42 player, it will draw a crowd. Perkins is on the rise and Mudiay has been a little up and down during the spring, so people wanted to see if Mudiay would assert himself.
What people got was Mudiay asserting himself and Perkins showing why his stock has been climbing. A native of Denver who will spend his senior season at Huntington (W.V.) Prep, the 6-foot-2 Perkins got out of the gates quickly. He is a stunning passer, sometimes so stunning that his teammates fumble the ball because they are surprised he saw them open. Perkins is also a flashy dribbler, and when he starts knocking down pull-up 3s like he did early, he is tough to stop. Essentially, he is a crowd pleaser.
Playing with some travel legs early after a late flight, Mudiay wasn't aggressive. He was outstanding on defense, making it tough for Perkins to drive by him. He didn't play poorly, just somewhat passively. In the second half, the 6-foot-4 five-star from Dallas (Texas) Prime Prep showed what he's capable of. Mudiay became relentless in his attack of the paint and used his superior strength and first step to finish at the rim.
On the recruiting front, Perkins stopped by UCLA earlier Friday and said he and his father had a good meeting with Steve Alford. Perkins will tour USC while in town, and he plans to visit Gonzaga next week. He mentioned Syracuse, Connecticut and Kentucky as programs that have made recent calls.
Mudiay said he may take some visits this summer. But as of yet he has set no dates and hasn't decided which schools to visit. His recruitment is one that will take time, and he said it is still the same 10 schools that he cut it down to a few months ago: Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, N.C. State, Oklahoma State, SMU, St. John's and Texas.
More notes from Friday night action at Pangos
It isn't like there is much debate about it, but Daniel Hamilton continues to make it an easy decision to elevate him to five-star status in the next rankings update. The UConn-bound wing is highly skilled as a passer, shooter and shot creator via the dribble. Basically, he makes things look easy. His shot betrayed him a little after a hot start, but he was outstanding on the glass and as a playmaker for others.
A product of San Diego (Calif.) Army and Navy, Devin Watson is listed at 5-foot-10. He is slight of build. But the three-star is a dangerous offensive player and a proficient pull-up jump shooter. Oregon State and UTEP are among those who have made recent offers.
Big man Omar Sherman from Texas played well. He is 6-foot-8 and strong, and he is a good finisher and rebounder in tight quarters.
2015 wing Damon Wilson from Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict turned heads on Friday night. He's a solid 6-foot-4, and he can make plays off the dribble. He's careless with the ball at times, but he can knock down shots from deep and he is a pretty good athlete.
When 2015 rankings get updated, Carlton Bragg is going to be in the running for a fifth star. The 6-foot-9 forward can run, he is quick around the rim, and he can bury a spot-up jumper from 15 to 17 feet. He's a little slender and lacks strength, but once he matures physically he should become more explosive than he already is.
If he hadn't already done so, Terry Larrier has solidified his spot in the next Rivals150 for the class of 2014. Larrier has high-level athleticism and is putting together some legitimate wing skills. Because he's got 6-foot-7 size, he can play some as a stretch four and his versatility will be welcome in college.
Five-star Rashad Vaughn is simply the most complete shooting guard prospect in the class of 2014. He has outstanding size at 6-foot-5, he is an explosive athlete, and he can stroke the 3-ball when he is taking smart shots. He rebounds strongly and is much quicker to the rim than he is given credit for. There's nothing new on his recruitment, but it sounds like he could be coming out with a more defined list of favorites/finalists in the near future.