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Pangos Camp: Stars Finish Strong!

It was refreshing to see the 2021 Pangos All-American Camp close strong with tight games, including an overtime finish in the Cream of the Crop Top 30 Game. Many of the camp’s stars had big all-star games and lesser knowns who we hadn’t evaluated in person made lasting impressions.

RELATED: Duren Leads Power-Packed Pangos Camp

In a three-day camp setting, sometimes players get a bit worn out by the last day, or the pecking order is establish and they don’t feel so comfortable on their camp team. When physical abilities are fairly even among campers, mental and physical endurance takes over and becomes a separator

At the 2021 edition of the Pangos All-American Camp, it was refreshing to see the campers stay focused and all three camp games on the last session Tuesday morning all went down to the wire. In one of the matchups, 6-foot-4 2022 Collin Chandler of Farmington (Utah) hit a deep range 3-pointer from the left wing to give his North Carolina team a 56-53 victory over the Jalen Duren-led Duke team.

In that game, there weren’t many 3-point shots, but Chandler hit two of them and then had nine points (including one 3-pointer) in the Cream of the Crop Top 30 all-star game reserved for the camp’s best performers. Chandler also converted two of the most acrobatic lay-ups of the entire event in that all-star game and showed why he should be rated much higher than he currently is by the leading national recruiting services. Most recruiting gurus feel he’ll eventually make a commitment to Utah.

On the opposite court in that first morning game, there were 3-point shots raining down from all over, and most of them were knocked down by 6-foot-7 2022 Alex Karaban of New Hampton School (Hampton, N.H.). He was stroking on Saturday night and had a big game on Sunday morning, knocking down seven 3-pointers (in 9 attempts) en route to a 31-point, 7-rebound, 4-assist performance for his Virginia club versus Florida State. Ironically, Karaban dished off to teammate Roddy Gayle Jr., a 6-foot-5 2022 prospect from Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) for a 3-pointer that gave Virginia a 86-83 sudden death overtime win.

Another knock ’em down shooter who upped his stock at the camp was 6-foot-5 2022 Oziyah Sellers of Southern California Academy (Valencia, Calif.). Sellers is a terrific spot up shooter, but has improved in putting it on the deck for pull-ups or creating for others. Even though he missed the first night of camp, he quickly made up for it with his long range shooting exhibition. Sellers, who is an above average athlete, averaged 24.7 ppg in three games and is now high on the board across most Pac-12 programs.

There were players who used one of the two all-star games to leave a lasting impression or atone for moments of struggle in the camp games. One of those players was 6-foot-7 2022 Jordan Walsh of Faith Family Academy (Cedar Hill, Texas). His perimeter shooting wasn’t on point during camp games, but he was active and had one of the best noses for the ball on the offensive glass among all campers. Walsh settled down as the camp wore on and closed strong, hitting 3-of-4 3-pointers and finishing with 15 points for the wining Red team (130-99 over the Blue team).

Turning in a MVP performance for the Red team was 6-foot-11 Baye Fall of Lutheran (Denver, Col.), who gets our nod as the top 2023 prospect in attendance. In our eyes, he’s right there with 6-foot-3 guard DJ Wagner of Camden (Camden, N.J.), who wasn’t in attendance, as the top national prospect among juniors-to-be. Fall doesn’t take bad shots, he is a NBA-level shot-blocker with good instinct, has a quality motor and is unselfish in nature. He scored a game-high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds. His relentlessness and nose for the ball separates him from any underclass post prospect in the nation.

Not too far behind Fall and Wagner in the 2023 rankings is fast-rising Javonte Taylor of Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.). He copped MVP honors for the Blue team with 15 points. Taylor has a deep tool box and just needs to work on his consistency from deep and working the offensive glass 100 percent of the time to reach his full potential.

Taylor’s Blue team was hurt by top 10 camp performers Adem Bona of Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) and Grady Dick of Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Air, Kan.) needing to take care of travel priorities before the end of the game.

Six-foot-9 2022 Ernest Udeh of FAB 50 ranked Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) was one of the final selections to the top all-star game and made terrific use of the opportunity, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals for the winning Red club. Since the conclusion of camp, he’s been offered by George Washington and Stanford has shown an increased interest for this fine student-athlete.

Of course, many players could have been picked for either all-star game and the one who solidified his selection in the Top 60 game the most was 6-foot-5 2022 Jevin Sullivan of North Polk (Alleman, Iowa). He was one of the camp’s best corner shooters and he knocked down a couple of 3-pointers in the first half of the Top 60 game, which fittingly came down to the wire. Sullivan tied the game at 87-87 on a contested offensive putback at the regulation buzzer.

After Blue club teammate Austin Nunez of Wagner (San Antonio, Texas) attempted to win the game with a 3-pointer, it was another offensive rebound putback, this one by 6-foot-7 2022 Jaylen Thompson of Southern California Academy (Valencia, Calif.), that gave the Blue team a 89-87 sudden death victory. We say it was only fitting because Thompson might have been the most deserving player left off the Top 30 roster. The scoring wing ended up with a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds.

The player that got the most mileage out of his Top 60 all-star game selection was 6-foot-9 2022 Dillon Mitchell of Bishop McLaughin (Spring Hill, Fla.). The athletic lefty reminds us of former Michigan St. standout and 2000 NCAA champ Morris Peterson with his ability as a scoring slasher and with his activity level. He was named Blue team most valuable player with 14 points and six rebounds.

The Red team MVP was nimble 6-foot-10 2022 Reed Bailey of Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.). His versatility was on display when scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field to go along with five rebounds.

Amongst the players who didn’t get picked for the Top 60 game and were most impactful included 6-foot-3 2022 Avery Brown of Northfield Mt. Herman (Gill, Mass.), 6-foot-6 2023 Scotty Middleton of Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.), 6-foot-7 2022 Jasen Green of Millard North (Omaha, Neb.), 6-foot-1 2024 Elliot Cadeau of Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) and 6-foot-6 2022 Justyn Fernandez of Virginia Episcopal (Lynchburg, Va.).

Brown was the best on-ball defender we evaluated. Middleton, who came to the camp the second day, is oozing with potential and upside. Versatility is the name of his game. Green was solid and showed the ability to knock down shots with a solid face up game. Cadeau is one of the best sophomores-to-be (2024) in the country and has a polished floor game. Fernandez can really chase the ball and attack the rim or set it up for teammates. He also plays under control and is hardly ever sped up.

Cadeau is a candidate for 2020-21 National Freshman of the Year honors, as is Fall among sophomores and Duren among juniors. Look for the announce of the national underclass players of the year next week.

Pangos Camp All-Time MOPs

2020: Jalen Duren, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-10 C
2019 (co): Cade Cunningham, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-7 G
2019 (co): Evan Mobley, Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) 7-0 C
2018: Charles Bassey, Aspire Academy (Louisville, Ky.) 6-10 C
2017 (co): Cole Anthony, Archbishop Malloy (Queens, N.Y.) 6-2 PG
2017 (co): Charles Bassey, St. Anthony (San Antonio, Texas) 6-10 C
2016 (co): Trevon Duval, API (Dallas) 6-2 PG
2016 (co): Michael Porter Jr., Father Tolten (Columbia, Mo.) 6-9 SF
2015 (co): Rawle Alkins, Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 6-5 SG
2015 (co): Mustapha Heron, Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.) 6-5 SG
2014 (tri): Isaiah Briscoe, Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 6-3 PG
2014 (tri): Tyler Dorsey, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 6-5 SG
2014 (tri): Stephen Zimmerman, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 7-0 PF
2013: Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 6-7 SF
2012: Cliff Alexander, Currie (Chicago) 6-9 PF
2011: Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 6-6 WF
2010: Myck Kabongo, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-2 PG
2009: Harrison Barnes, Ames (Ames, Iowa) 6-7 WF
2008: John Wall, Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) 6-3 PG
2007: Brandon Jennings, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-1 PG
2006: James Harden, Artesia (Lakewood, Calif.) 6-5 SG
2005: Davon Jefferson, Lynwood (Calif.) 6-8 WF
2004: CJ Miles, Skyline (Dallas) 6-6 WF
2003: Robert Swift, Bakersfield (Calif.) 7-0 C

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at ronnie@ballislife.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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