Beach's Bits: NPSS Recap

BELLEVUE - The top basketball talent in the Northwest was on display at the Northwest Premier Summer Showcase at Bellevue College, as standout prospects like Kameron Chatman, Donovan Dorsey, Silas Melson and Tristan Etienne showcased their impressive abilities in front of college coaches from across the West.

Tristan Etienne, 6-9 Center, Drive Elite (Committed to UW)

The recent UW commit is an impressive, fundamentally sound post player with an excellent motor and tremendous defensive instincts. Though he lacks high level athleticism, he demonstrated a nice array of post moves and finishes well with both hands. He's an above average passer and ball handler, and was effective in the high post though his mid range jump shot didn't fall. Despite not playing above the rim, the Abbotsford, British Columbia native finishes well through contact and possesses a soft touch around the hoop. He's got a lot of work to do in the weight room, but Etienne is a quality, under-the-radar pickup for the Huskies.

Mindy Minhas, 6-5 Forward, Drive Elite
Though a bit undersized for a forward, Minhas is a tough-as-nails player with a non-stop motor and a knack for making things happen anytime he's near the ball. He's solidly built, rugged and has a decent touch around the hoop. He's an average athlete, but makes up for it with scrappiness and hustle. He can step out and hit an occasional three pointer. Minhas is an energetic, physical defender and would be an excellent pick up at the mid-major level for a team in need of a "glue guy."

Jaden Cohee, 6-4 combo guard, Drive Elite
Cohee was one of the standout performers at the Premier Showcase over the weekend. He's thickly built yet surprisingly nimble, with broad shoulders. He makes his living bullying his way to the hoop where he finishes strong. He shot the ball well from beyond the three point arc. His jumper, along with his physicality, made him a tough match up defensively. He's got interest from several mid-to-high majors in the Northwest who are following his development closely.

Donaven Dorsey, 6-6 combo guard, Team Access (Committed to UW)
Dorsey didn't shoot the ball especially well in the three games I watched him play over the weekend, but otherwise the under-the-radar Timberline High School star continues to mature rapidly. The biggest improvement is his athleticism, and more importantly his willingness to use it. He's a big physical guard that makes his living using his killer crossover to set up dribble penetration. He threw down several eye-popping dunks over the weekend and needs just a step or two to elevate and slam it home. Washington's newest commit will continue to find new ways to impact the game as his confidence grows.

Jason Todd, 6-5 forward, Friends of Hoop
Shaking off the rust after an injury in the state finals relegated him to the sidelines the last three or four months, Todd is a tough one to project because he's a bit of a tweener. He's got a great motor and clearly enjoys mixing it up physically, but his skills are more oriented to the front court, which is a problem at his height. He possesses a cut, muscular body which he uses to overwhelm opponents in the paint. Unfortunately he won't get away with that at the college level and he needs to adapt to the perimeter to have a college future. His handle and shooting appear to have improved a bit, but his lack of a great first step and average lateral quickness limit his ceiling. Several mid-major programs are monitoring him closely.

Kameron Chatman, 6-7 guard/forward, ICP
The Northwest's top recruit is really coming into his own now. He's grown into his skis for feet and his footwork and overall quickness have measurably improved over the past year. As a point guard, his floor vision is fantastic and he handles the ball extremely well for a player his size. He's a dynamite passer: he is at his best weaving through the lane where he has a multitude of effective weapons to choose from. His pull up jumper has a high release and is tough to block, but his developing post moves were just as impressive. He's an inconsistent shooter from beyond the three point stripe, but his rainbow should improve with more reps. Chatman is one of the elite west coast prospects for 2014.

Silas Melson, 6-3 guard, ICP (Committed to Gonzaga)
Melson should mesh perfectly with Gonzaga's system, closely mirroring players like Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell, and Blake Stepp. He's not flashy, just effective. He can get white hot from behind the three point line, though he struggled this weekend. He is a sneaky good athlete who rarely makes mistakes. Like Bell, Melson is a player with few holes in his game, and is already a high level defender. His advanced game and polish should help him become a fixture in the rotation early on in his career in Spokane.

Arkadiy Mkrtychyan, 6-7 forward, ICP
"Ark" as he is known (probably because nobody can pronounce his full name) is one of the more intriguing 2014 Northwest prospects. He's an above average athlete with a tenacious attitude when he attacks the paint. He possesses a mature, sculpted frame, and though he's a bit of a tweener at the 3/4 spot, his versatility make him an attractive prospect at both ends of the floor. He possesses a solid three point stroke, good ball skills and can finish strong with either hand. He's also got a decent array of post moves. Another high-major prospect in Portland's superb 2014 class.

Isaiah Wright, 6-2, point guard, Boise Hoop Dreams The state of Idaho isn't known for producing high level basketball talent, but Wright definitely bucks that trend. He's a rock solid floor general with good overall quickness, excellent passing and ball handling skills. Though lacking high level athleticism, Wright is a superb leader with great vision and keen court awareness. He's tough to stop when penetrating and can get up and down the floor in a hurry. He possesses a solid three point stroke though his shot wasn't falling this weekend. He'll be a dynamite pick up at the mid-major level.

Bryden Boehning, 6-10 center, Montana Attack Boehning is a physical 6-foot-10 post with a solid body and a decent array of post moves. He was a motivated rebounder, a physical presence and a willing banger in the paint. An average athlete, he stepped out and hit a couple of mid-range jump shots during my brief viewing. With the limited amount of bigs available on the West Coast for 2014, he should have no trouble finding a home at the mid-major level.

Gavin DeJong, 6-7 forward, Montana Attack DeJong is a muscular forward with broad shoulders and a good motor. An above average athlete, he was very active in the paint hunting for rebounds and put backs and has a nice secondary bounce. He also hit a good looking turnaround jump shot and was effective putting the ball on the floor and penetrating the paint.

Adrian Davis, 6-0 point guard, RSB
The Federal Point guard has long been on the Pacific Northwest radar. He's a fundamentally sound point guard with good speed and quickness. He's an active penetrator, though not a great finisher. He's also a quality passer and possesses good ball handling skills and a decent jumper. Despite his muscular frame, he's pretty much maxed out physically and has limited long term upside as a result. He could be an asset at the mid-major level, however.
Grayson Smallwood, 6-10 forward, ICP

After watching Smallwood develop over the past three years, the best word to describe him is "pogo stick," because that's exactly what he is. He's waifish, ridiculously bouncy and long. Sporting a flat top that adds an additional three or four inches, his offensive game is mostly limited to camping in the paint and looking for put-back dunks which he flushes with ease. He's not a great defender, but he's so long and bouncy it's almost impossible for him to not alter or block anything near him. His frame isn't built to add bulk, but strength training will do wonders for him. Despite the one-dimensional nature of his play, he's going to be a factor at the high-major level due to his fantastic physical tools. Top Stories