July 19, 2013 by Ryan MacDougall
Reporting from Redondo Beach–Elite high school basketball players competed at the Battle at the Beach AAU tournament on Thursday at Redondo Beach High School. Several USC targets stood out.
Top Performer: 2014 PG Jordan McLaughlin Although he only played one game, McLaughlin stood out among the rest at Redondo Beach High School on Thursday. He carried his AAU team, Prodigy Elite, on his back in order to beat the highly-ranked Compton Magic. He was particularly talented at blowing past his defender and getting the rim to draw fouls. He had great touch and finished with body contact. McLaughlin also displayed a smooth stroke with several spot-up threes. He was a pesky defender who created steals and transition opportunities. Although he was sloppy in transition at times, he showed exceptional ball handling, and was nifty in using his ball handling to create better shot opportunities. If he was bigger, he would have the chance to be a top-10 recruit.
Runner-Up: 2014 PG Robert Cartwright Cartwright played exceptionally well and would have been top performer had it not been for McLaughlin’s monster game. This kid plays with extreme intensity and controlled emotion. Cartwright is extremely intelligent and displays his high basketball IQ on the court. Cartwright was deceptively athletic with great ball skills and passing ability. He demonstrated a solid pull-up jumper and the ability to move suddenly and change speeds off the dribble in order to create scoring opportunities.
Other notable USC targets:
2014 PF/C Payton Dastrup Solid but not flashy big man who has a good mobility and a decent midrange jump shot. He was able rebound and score with contact in the paint but needs to develop post moves like most young bigs. He is technically a 2016 recruit because he is taking 2 years off for his Mormon mission.
2014 C Thomas Welsh Welsh is similar to Dastrup in that he is a solid but not flashy. He is less mobile than Dastrup but demonstrated a more established low-post game at this time. His shot has improved immensely and he has established a nice turnaround jumper from the block.
2014 SF Isaiah Bailey Bailey is a long-armed athletic forward that was able to get to the rim easily when there were lane openings in transition or off screens. He also rebounded well for his size and was able to finish put back with contact. He tends to settle too much for pull up shots and needs to create more moves of the dribble.
2015 PG/SG Aaron Holiday Holiday, brother of former Bruin and current New Orleans Pelican point guard Jrue Holiday, proved he is an exceptional scorer who is great at attacking the rim but can be reckless and force the issue at times.
2015 SG Rex Pflueger Pflueger showed excellent shooting ability with great range. He is another one of those players with an extremely high basketball IQ who shows great composure and seems to always make the smart play. He also is a very gifted passer who is able to create opportunities for his teammates. He is the younger brother of USC’s Devon Pflueger.
2015 SF/PF Bennie Boatwright Boatwright has a lot of potential. He has extreme length, decent handles and an impressive shooting stroke. In order to produce in the future, Boatwright will need to improve his strength and motor along with creating more moves off the dribble in order to increase his scoring versatility.
2015 SF Cameron Walker Walker showed he is a versatile scorer who is particularly good at attacking the basket. He has great ball skills and passing ability with good instincts. He needs add strength and continue to improve his jump shot in order to reach his full potential.
2016 PG Devearl Ramsey Ramsey is extremely fast with excellent handles and was able great at penetrating the defense and creating offense for himself and his teammates. Although he was able to penetrate and create, he struggled to finish at the rim due mostly to his small size. He also demonstrated pesky defense with active hands and decent pull up jumper out to 3 point range. He could be an elite prospect in the future if he grows a little more. Ramsey is one of three 2016 recruits that has an offer from USC.