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June 3, 2013

All-American Camp draws bevy of Cal targets

Many of the nation's top basketball prospects attended Pangos' annual, invitation-only All-American Camp this past weekend in Long Beach, and GoldenBearReport was there to give you a full rundown.

Of the 118 campers present at the 3-day event, 2014-pledge Ahmaad Rorie was one of just a handful having already declared his college intentions.

Appropriately, Rorie was placed on Counselor A.J. Diggs' Team Cal -- each squad was assigned a Pac-12 or ACC name -- but the Tacoma guard was also given the dubious honor of sharing the backcourt with Stanley Johnson. Johnson, the 5-Star recruit out of Mater Dei, both insisted on bringing the ball up the court and hoisting the vast majority of his team's shots. Though Rorie never complained, others within the camp quietly expressed frustration at Johnson's me-first play.

Rorie will get another chance to assert his presence at the NBA Top-100 camp in Charlottesville, Virginia taking place June 12-16.

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Big Man targets Thomas Welsh and Idrissa Diallo had two very different weekends.

While Welsh was impressing with his improved mobility, shot blocking, and soft touch around the rim, Diallo attempted to shake off the rust in his first action back from a two-month hiatus due to elbow issues.

And though Diallo showed flashes of his trademark athleticism, it was clearly Welsh who enjoyed the better weekend, turning heads with his ability to get up and down. On Sunday, he was rewarded with a spot in the Cream of the Crop game featuring the camp's top 30 performers.

Welsh told GBR he plans to visit Berkeley the weekend of June 15th. Cal remains high on his list, but expect the rest of the Pac-12 -- particularly Stanford and Arizona -- to ramp-up its effort. Loyola-teammate Tre Mason recently accepted a Preferred Walk-On spot alongside Jacob Hazzard with the Wildcats, and current Loyola point guard, Parker Jackson-Cartwright ('14), is similarly headed to the desert.

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Cal targets Brekkott Chapman ('14), Cameron Walker ('15), and Alex Illikainen ('15) all had their moments, but the track meet-style of play was probably best suited to the athletic Chapman and his willingness to force the issue.

Still, there was plenty to like about Walker and Illikainen.

The former remains one of his class's most fluid scorers and defenders, while Illikainen -- despite being two years away from graduation -- had one of the camp's more muscular physiques.

Walker and his father told GBR they'll likely visit Berkeley within the next 2-3 weeks, and Illikainen said he hopes to visit campus in July while out west for a tournament in Las Vegas.

Interesting side note on Illikainen: the Minnesota 4-Star has three sisters, all of whom are college hockey players. "They think they're tougher than me," joked Illikainen, "but they're not."

Chapman, too, likes the Bears, but wants to get to know the staff better before making the trip from Utah.

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Lawndale forward Chimezie Metu was spectacular one moment and maddening the next, frequently going for the flashy play when the ordinary would do. Yet the 2015 is oozing with upside, and at 6-8, has the explosion and handling ability to play multiple positions.

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Elijah Thomas was his usual dominating force but the odds the Dallas 5-Star heads to Berkeley are growing increasingly long. He continues to hold Cal Associate Head Coach Travis DeCuire in high regard, but with no visit planned and an offer sheet well over 30, it's hard to imagine the Bears netting Thomas.

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Although Joe Furstinger was in attendance, a source told GBR the Santa Margarita forward shouldn't expect the Bears to come knocking down his door anytime soon. He's a nice player, said the source, but he needs to get better if he's going to earn an offer.


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