DeAndre Ayton, 6-9 C San Diego (Calif.) Balboa City. Possibly the best prospect in the country for 2017, Ayton has everything you’re looking for in a prospect. Great frame, long arms, very good athlete, scores inside and out, plays hard, very good rebounder and has a feel. Assuming continued development, he should have a major impact as a freshman in college.
Troy Brown, 6-5 PG, Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial. A big point guard with very long arms, Brown has a very good feel and above average ball skills. His shot is still a work in progress and he’s a good, not great, athlete. But his skills are impressive for a young PG his size and there’s still a lot of room for growth. With continued development, he’s one of the top players in the class.
Jaylen Hands, 6-1 PG Chula Vista HS (Calif.) Mater Dei. Hands is one of the top PGs in the west for 2017. He’s got a good frame, above average athleticism and he can really score. He’s more of a scorer than distributor at this time, but he does have the ability to create for others.
Ira Lee, 6-6 PF Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon. Lee has a good body, with long arms and a solid frame. He’s an above average athlete, moves very well for a young post. He’s effective around the basket and is an above average rebounder. Ball skills are still coming, but he’s potentially one of the top posts in the west for 2017. UCLA recently offered.
Remy Martin, 5-10 PG West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade. Martin is a skilled and athletic young point guard with a scoring mentality. He’s a decent shooter, but decisions can be suspect at times. However, he’s got a fair amount of talent and it will be interesting to see how his feel progresses in the coming years.
Damari Milstead, 5-11 PG, Hayward (Calif.) Moreau. Milstead is a long and lean young prospect with nice actions and a very good feel. He’s a fairly good athlete, but just a decent shooter right now. He’s got upside, but he’s a ways away still from being a top prospect.
Charles O'Bannon,6-5 SF, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. While he’s not the explosive athlete that his father was, O’Bannon is a good athlete and he’s a very skilled scorer. He’s got deep range, but he’s not just a shooter. He can get to the basket and finish inside against size. He’s definitely got a scoring mentality, with can be a good and bad thing. Playing within a team concept, and focusing on things other than scoring, are areas where he’ll need to improve. But he’s got a chance to be among the top West Coast prospects in 2017.
Christian Popoola, 6-3 PG/SG Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. A strong, lefty combo guard, Popoola showed a pretty good feel and solid skills overall. He’s very good at attacking a defender off the dribble and pulling up for jump shots in the 15-17 foot range. He’s a pretty good, not great, athlete. But he’s one of the better guards out west in 2017.
Cody Riley, 6-6 PF, Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon. Riley is a very mature sophomore, built like a man already and very strong. But while there’s a question about where his body goes from here, he’s also uncommonly skilled for a kid his size. He’s got range to the three-point line, he handles it very well and he’s a good athlete. He’s one of the more interesting players out west in 2017. UCLA recently offered.
Ernie Sears, 6-2 SG Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany. Sears is a great-looking prospect with a long and slender body, young face, explosive athleticism and very good instincts. He’s got a good stroke, with excellent body control and the ability to get on balance when he elevates off the dribble. He’s got a chance to be an outstanding defender as well. He hasn’t received as much attention as some other 2017 kids, but he’s got a chance to be elite.
Marcus Shaver, 5-11 PG, Phoenix (Ariz.) St. Mary’s. Shaver is somewhat slight, with a slender frame and long arms. He’s got good quickness and he’s a really good shooter. He’s got very good skills overall, but the question will be how his body goes in the next few years.
Ethan Thompson, 6-2 SG Torrance (Calif.) Bishop Montgomery. The younger brother of Stephan Thompson, Ethan is also a terrific prospect. He’s a good athlete, with long arms and a good frame. He’s got a very good stroke with range to the three-point line and an advanced feel. He’s got a chance to be one of the top guards out west in 2017.
Tydus Verhoeven, 6-6 PF Manteca (Calif.) High. A good-looking young post with a great frame, Verhoeven looks like he may still be growing. He’s got long arms, big feet and very good body control/agility. His ball skills are above average for a young big and he showed a nice feel. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on in 2017.
Marvin Bagley 6-8 PF Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol. A terrific athlete with superior ball skills and an advanced approach to the game, Bagley projects as one of the elite prospects nationally in 2018. He’s got a very good body with room for growth and he can inside as well as on the perimeter. He passes well out of the post and shows a good feel. He obviously has a long way to go before college, but he’s a great-looking freshman.