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June 6, 2006

Pangos top five performers

Some of the top talent on the West Coast and from across the country showed up for the Pangos All-American Camp in Cypress, Calif. over the weekend.

Rivals.com National Basketball Analyst Jerry Meyer was on hand to scout all the action and breaks down the top five performers he saw at the event.

Jamelle Horne, San Diego High School
Position: Small forward
Height: 6-foot-7
College choice: Arizona
Jamelle Horne is certainly no longer just a thin slasher. He has added some muscle mass and knows how to use it.

During the Pangos All American Camp, Horne was nearly unstoppable once he got inside 15 feet from the basket. Couple that with his dribble game and shooting from the outside, and you have a very difficult player to stop.

Horne is still running the floor and playing an aggressive 94-foot game with his added weight. He is tough to control on the boards and is able to defend both around the basket and on the perimeter.

The one area of his game that we would love to see him focus on is improving his ability to find open teammates while he is operating one on one with the ball.

Drew Gordon, San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty
Position: Power forward
Height: 6-foot-8
College choice: Undecided
Drew Gordon made quite a splash on the second day of the camp after missing the first day while participating in the California state track meet.

Despite being fatigued, Gordon set the tone on Sunday with his high energy play. He was a terror on the offensive boards while also being an ever present shot blocker on the other end. In the post he scored with a jump hook off quick turns to his left shoulder.

Gordon has the foot speed and athleticism to defend both on the perimeter and in the post. Offensively, he passed the ball well out of the double team, but he does have room to grow as a ball handler and shooter from the perimeter.

Chris Allen, Lawrenceville (Ga.) Meadowcreek
Position: Shooting guard
Height: 6-foot-3
College choice: Michigan State
With explosive athleticism and a great shooting touch, Chris Allen has the tools to be a big time wing scorer at the next levels.

On top of his ability to consistently hit on his catch and shoot from three, Allen is also a threat to explode to the basket and finish at the rim or get his man rocking back and forth and score off the dribble from the mid-range or deeper. Also, throw in a developing back to the basket game, and you have a player with NBA style scoring ability.

Also impressive was the way Allen handled the ball while running the point. He is developing a feel for executing the high ball screen and showed a willingness to pass up a decent shot to get a better one.

Although Allen is improving as a defender, we would still like to see him elevate his defensive play closer to the level of his offense. He certainly has the tools to be a complete player.
Click here for video of Allen in action

Howard Thompkins, Lithonia (Ga.) Weselyan
Position: Power forward
Height: 6-foot-8
College choice: Undecided
Coming off a recent two month rest from an appendectomy, Howard Thompkins started the camp off slowly but steadily picked up momentum, culminating in a 19 point performance in the all star game.

Blessed with sure hands and a soft touch, Thompkins scored from behind the arc (three three-pointers in the all star game), drove his way into the mid-range and scored off spin moves and also scored in the post with a well developed back to the basket game for a 2008 prospect.

As skilled as any post player in the camp, Thompkins busted out with the dribble after defensive rebounds and displayed an impressive ability to pass the ball on the move in the open court.

As a rebounder, he has strong hands, but he will have to improve his conditioning to take his rebounding to the level that it should be at.

James Harden, Rancho Dominguez (Calif.) Artesia
Position: Shooting guard
Height: 6-foot-5
College choice: Undecided
Few prospects have as well rounded game and thorough feel for the game as James Harden.

The lengthy wing player plays like a point forward with his ability to create off the dribble for his teammates and his ability to get rid of the ball early without over dribbling.

Not only is Harden an efficient playmaker, he is also an efficient scorer. He is fully capable of making threes off the catch and can also slash into the creases of the defense off minimal dribbles a score as well.

Defensively, he can guard multiple positions on the perimeter and can also defend in the post. Not a bulky player, Harden plays much stronger than he looks and plays with graceful strength in the lane.

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