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April 22, 2013
LAS VEGAS -- On grassroots basketball weekends, Sunday is championship day. At the Pangos Spring Spectacular at Bishop Gorman High School, event organizer Dinos Trigonis' Belmont Shore squad matched up with its offshoot program Earl Watson Pangos Elite. Pangos had been led all weekend by a rapidly emerging Tra Holder, but Belmont's established stars, Tyler Dorsey and Daniel Hamilton, weren't having anything to do with an upset as they claimed the Invitational Division championship.
Dorsey's big effort carries Belmont Shore to title
If there are any complaints about sophomore five-star Dorsey's game, one would be that he hasn't showed killer instinct at all times. From the Rivals.com perspective that hasn't made much sense, but his calm and even demeanor may have allowed people to read him wrong. During Sunday's championship game, the No. 8 player in the class of 2015 was all attack and played with an edge while racking up 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots before leaving the Belmont Shore win with just under three minutes to go because of cramps in his legs.
At 6-foot-4, Dorsey is a highly versatile backcourt player. He has the ball skills and floor generalship to play at the point. In that role, he's effective with ball screens because he can turn them down and shoot or he can turn the corner quickly to make plays. Off the ball, he has a quick release in catch-and-shoot situations and can be a valuable secondary ball handler.
Though he has never really been talked about as a high-level defender, Dorsey showed plenty of ability there as well. He moves his feet quickly, uses his length and quick hands and is an outstanding rebounder for a guard. Throw in the physical edge that he played with and it was a command performance.
On the recruiting front, Dorsey says he has no favorites and he's expected to take his time. The new staffs at USC and UCLA have been in contact, while Arizona, Connecticut, California, Washington and others have long been in the mix.
While Dorsey stood out, he wasn't alone in performing like an elite player for Belmont Shore. Hamilton, a junior, had it all on display throughout Sunday's games. A 6-foot-6 wing who plays his high school ball with Dorsey at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, Hamilton had a bit of a subpar junior season. Because of that he slipped to No. 28 in 2014's updated rankings, and now that looks to have been a major mistake.
A gifted offensive player who can handle the ball, shoot with range and get to the rim thanks to great quickness, Hamilton looked like a five-star prospect in Vegas. The game comes so easily for him on the offensive end that he is sometimes a victim of his own skill level. He tries to show off his game a little too much and make an easy play into a difficult one. But, at the end of the day, he gets buckets and he gets them in bunches.
Hamilton is planning an official visit to UConn on the first weekend of May and says the new staffs at USC and UCLA have offered him scholarships. Also dropping recent offers on him were Arizona State, Arizona and Colorado. His older brother, Isaac -- a 2013 McDonald's All-American -- is headed to UTEP, and Tim Floyd is trying to get Daniel to join him. Floyd was there watching every minute Hamilton played.
Breakout week for Holder
Based on his play during the winter, Holder moved into the 2014 Rivals150 and made his debut at No. 137 nationally. Next time around, the 6-foot point guard from Los Angeles (Calif.) Brentwood will be on the rise after his starring turn playing for the Earl Watson Pangos Elite over the weekend.
Strong and tough, Holder keeps low to the ground and has an explosive first step that makes him very tough to contain. He gets into the lane with regularity and can finish from different angles and through contact because of that strength.
When his team needed him to score, he did that. Look no further than his 31-point effort against the Utah Prospects during the game of the weekend. Everybody knew who was getting the ball during the semifinal battle, but there was little that could be done as he toyed with Prospects defenders and came up with the biggest play of the game, hitting a twisting and heavily contested shot in the lane as time expired.
During the finals, Holder looked worn down and didn't have his best effort as his team fell to Belmont Shore, but it was a great weekend for him. His team's benefactor, Earl Watson, is a 12-year veteran of the NBA who spent the weekend raving about Holder's work ethic and leadership, and we can see why.
On the college front, Holder mentioned that San Diego State is his most recent offer and he's starting to get hit up hard. Florida State is coming to watch this week, and he hopes to meet with the new coaches at USC and UCLA soon. Others involved include Arizona State, Oregon State, Boston College, Gonzaga and Oregon.
Chapman on the rise
We first caught four-star forward Brekkott Chapman of Roy (Utah) High last summer when he was playing with the Utah Prospects. Ranked No. 87 in the class of 2014, Chapman is back with the Prospects this year and his game is coming along nicely.
He and his team lost a heartbreaker to Pangos Elite in the semifinals, but the 6-foot-8 junior was a monster. A highly skilled power forward, Chapman has a great understanding and feel for how to adjust to the tempo. If it is a grind-it-out game and his team needs tough buckets at the hoop, he can go and get points on the interior. The southpaw showed nice glimpses of developing his right hand. In a more wide-open affair, he can help break pressure or basically have the offense run through him out of the high post because of his passing, decision making and ability to hit open 15- to 17-footers.
Chapman says he weighs only around 190 pounds, and he will need to add strength. But he seems to play a lot stronger than that and has the body type that suggests he can easily add muscle.
According to Chapman, Arizona has offered a scholarship and is coming at him the hardest. He plans to have the Wildcats for an in-home visit this week. BYU, Utah, Gonzaga, Arizona State, Colorado and San Francisco have offered.
Championship Sunday tidbits
In the Invitational Select Division of the Pangos Spring Spectacular, the hardware stayed local. The Las Vegas Prospects took out Branch West Elite to win a title. The Prospects are a scrappy and athletic group that doesn't have a lot of size, but they play with heart and can make things happen in transition.
In our eyes, 6-foot-5 small forward Justin Burks was a breakout player for them. The product of Arbor View High in Vegas has a prototypical wing's body and is a good athlete. Better than his athleticism is the stroke on his jumper. He's got a picture perfect-looking shot and can get it off in a hurry. He can be passive at times, but the three-star is on the verge of taking his game to the next level. He doesn't have any offers, but he mentioned Colorado, Washington State, Boise State and Utah as the programs showing early interest.
Teammate Shaquile Carr sits at No. 84 in the class of 2014 rankings and is one of the most athletic point guards in the class. The 6-footer says his only offer is from hometown UNLV, but Colorado, Florida State, Arizona, USC, Oklahoma, Marquette, Memphis and Tulsa are tracking his progress.
At No. 42 in the 2014 Rivals150, point guard Josh Perkins could be underrated. A 6-foot-2 floor general from Denver (Colo.) Regis Jesuit, Perkins has tremendous size, good strength and athleticism to spare.
The junior is at times a flashy ball handler who likes to toy with defenders off the dribble, and because of that he can make silly turnovers. What he always has in his back pocket, though, is ridiculous floor vision. He's arguably the best passer in the class of 2014, and his ability to set up shooters with his drive-and-kick game is second to none.
Playing for his father on the Colorado Miners, Perkins is still a mystery to most. That will change this summer when he hits events such as the Pangos All-American camp and the NBPA Top 100 camp.
Initially, Perkins thought he would end his recruitment early, but with all of the coaching changes he's not sure what he'll do. He visited New Mexico during the winter, and he's got a visit scheduled to Gonzaga the first weekend of May. Duke recently inquired, but according to Perkins the Blue Devils told him he was their fallback plan to Tyus Jones so they aren't under heavy consideration. UCLA, Baylor, USC, Creighton, Colorado and Kansas are among the many others tracking his play.
Class of 2015 four-star power forward Chimezie Metu has tools but needs seasoning. The 6-foot-8 sophomore from Lawndale (Calif.) High was good in two out of three Sunday games. He has outstanding length, he can run the floor, and he shows good touch all the way to the 3-point line. He hit a couple of nice jump hooks, he has excellent hands, and he is bouncy around the rim. At times he lets opponents get in his head and he really gets down on himself for mistakes. However, those are things that should improve with time and experience. UCLA, USC, Arizona, Florida State, Washington, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine are among the early suitors.
The development of junior power forward Joe Furstinger will be interesting to watch. A lean, 6-foot-8 kid with length, he intrigued while playing for Earl Watson Pangos Elite. While he lacks bulk, he has skill and he's a sneaky baseline rebounder who gets putbacks when you don't expect them. As a shooter, he puts pressure on defenses because he can face up comfortably to 18 feet and his motor runs high. A three-star prospect, Furstinger figures to have high-end mid-majors duking it out with lower-level Pac-12 types for his services.
Jared Stutzman of the Utah Prospects looks like a nice wing prospect. He has started to mature physically since we last saw him, and he is a smart player with toughness. The other thing that he can really do, and at a high level, is drain jumpers from the perimeter. Give the 6-foot-5 junior from Idaho Falls (Idaho) Bonneville an open look, and you are going to pay for it. San Francisco, Utah, Utah State, Boise State, Weber State, Washington State and BYU are among those who have shown interest.
So long as his grades check out, somebody needs to be jumping all over unsigned senior Jack Karapetyan from Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral Prep. A 6-foot-7 forward, he can play at either the three or the four and is skilled. He can shoot with range, he is clever around the basket, and he is good with the dribble. He plays strong, he's tough, and he seems like somebody capable of helping on the upper mid-major to lower-end high-major level sooner than later.
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