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June 4, 2013

Pangos All-American: What we learned

MORE: Vaughn closes strong at Pangos

Having completed year No. 11 of operation, the Pangos All-American camp is firmly entrenched as a must stop on the grassroots/scouting circuit. The 2013 edition proved to be one of the best as kids generally played hard, performed up to expectations and came through with strong showings. There was plenty to learn, and here's a look at what we learned about five-star Stanley Johnson, among others.

Johnson needs to be ranked in the top 10 in 2014

When somebody is ranked as high as No. 12 nationally, it is hard to call him underrated. But that's exactly what Johnson is. The 6-foot-6 wing from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei deserves a boost in the rankings, and he's a lock to move into at least the national top 10 during the next update to the 2014 Rivals150.

Physical, tough, skilled and motivated to win, Johnson delivered a dominant effort from the beginning to the end of camp. He made jump shots, he pounded the glass, and he was a terror going to the rim. You always want to see the baddest guy on the block establish himself as the baddest guy on the block, and that is what Johnson has done.

Over the years, people have questioned whether he can be a wing. They've questioned if he is athletic enough, too. Each step of the way he's answered any question that somebody might have about his game, and there's no reason to think he won't continue to do so. Johnson is an established winner and worker, and he will make one of his final eight of Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA and USC very happy it landed him.

Mudiay is getting back on track

When you are the second-ranked player in the country, as Emmanuel Mudiay is, you will get judged by a different standard. It comes with the territory of a ranking that high. Because of what the 6-foot-4 point guard from Dallas (Texas) Prime Prep has proven he can do in the past, much is expected from him.

More than likely, the five-star prospect would be the first to admit that his game wasn't at the level it can be during the earlier parts of the spring. Sure, he's gotten to the rim, but he struggled with his jumper in Nike's EYBL and didn't seem to play with the confidence he has in the past.

At Pangos, it looked like Mudiay was getting things headed back in the direction he wants them to be going. Yes, there were times when he looked hesitant to shoot open jumpers. But as the weekend wore on he became more and more comfortable with letting open shots fly and the results got better as his confidence grew.

Mudiay is being mentored and trained by NBA point guard Maurice Williams, and it should have a positive effect on his game. He will learn the intricacies of using screens and how to pace himself (something he's already outstanding with). After his performance in Long Beach, Mudiay looks to be back on top of his game and to have momentum as he prepares for the NBPA Top 100 camp.

Larrier will make a splash in new rankings

A few weeks ago, we included Terry Larrier on a list of 15 class of 2014 prospects who were making a play for the Rivals150. At Pangos, the 6-foot-7 small forward punched his ticket and locked up a spot in the rankings.

Now the question is how high the native of the Bronx, N.Y., who is going to Malvern (Pa.) Phelps School will enter in the rankings.

Let's look at what Larrier can do. He has tremendous size for the wing, he is a good shooter off the catch and off the dribble, and he has the athleticism and length to finish at the rim. Although he has proven that he is a true small forward, Larrier gives a coach flexibility with his lineups because he is big enough to play as a stretch four man if a team wants to play small and fast or to spread the floor.

While he needs to add strength and improve upon his consistency, there is no doubt that Larrier is deserving of entering the rankings as at least a strong four-star. Things can change, but for now we'll ballpark him as a guy with the potential to make his rankings debut in at least the top 50 range. Florida, Miami, VCU, St. John's, Rutgers, Texas and West Virginia are a few of the schools that have shown interest, and he can play for any of them.

Perkins is legit

Players who rank in the top 50 nationally aren't exactly in the position of having to prove themselves. But the truth of the matter is that heading into the Pangos camp there were questions about No. 42 Josh Perkins.

The Denver native, who will spend his senior year at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, is coming off an outstanding junior season, and he played well during the spring. However, he had not been seen by many national scouts, and everybody -- Rivals.com included -- was curious to see how he would do when tested by the competition at Pangos.

Given that he had a matchup with the nation's top point guard (Mudiay) and pretty much played him to a draw on Friday night, Perkins has passed the test. His strong play continued through the weekend, and he solidified himself as one of the top playmakers in the country.

Perkins is an outstanding passer with incredible floor vision. He sees plays and alleys that most don't and generally delivers the ball on target. His style is flashy and crowd pleasing, but there is plenty of substance to it and he can also score. At about 6-foot-2, he has good size and is making a push for the national top 25.



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