Beach's Bits - Rose City Showcase

PORTLAND - The Rose City Showcase is the last major Northwest AAU tournament before the start of the summer recruiting period in mid-July. Though some of the top Northwest AAU programs were noticeably absent, they were replaced by teams from Oregon, California, Nevada and Canada. There are guards galore in the region, but few bigs. Here were some of the standouts from Friday and Saturday's games.


Dejounte Murray 6-5 SG, NWXpress - In his first action since committing to Washington, Murray brought his usual flair to Portland Friday night. He set up defenders with his unpredictable crossover and exceptional quickness, attacking the basket from multiple angles. He threw down a monster baseline jam Saturday that lit up social media, punctuating his exceptional athleticism. He's also effective at creating space with bouncy lateral quickness and connecting consistently with a mid-range, pull-up jumper. He's effective around the basket, using his 6-foot-9 wingspan and excellent instincts to nab rebounds despite his lack of girth. In terms of areas of improvement, he's got a lot of work to do in the weight room, and his three-point stroke remains inconsistent. Regardless, he's an exceptional talent, and it won't be surprising to see a steady rise in Murray's national rankings continue this summer.

Tres Tinkle 6-7 F, Anthony Davis Select (ID) - I came away impressed after my first look at Tinkle. He's a well rounded, scrappy 6—foot-7 forward who can score in a host of ways. He's a lefty and a creative finisher around the basket, with excellent footwork. His body control is top notch as well, helping him slip past interior defenders for buckets. He also shoots a nice three-point ball. His ball-handling skills looked average and will need to improve before he's ready to face down Pac-12 defenders on the wing, but overall he's the kind of player a new coach can build a team around long-term. He'll try to do just that for his father, newly-minted Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle.

Jeremy Hemsley 6-3 G, Superior Athletics - Hemsley immediately impressed with his high energy. He's a solid athlete and at his best flashing down the court in transition, where he fearlessly attacks the paint and finishes strong at the cup. He plays with effort, diving off the court in one game to save an errant pass. He was also the first player on the floor chasing loose balls on multiple occasions. San Diego State is getting a winner in Hemsley.

Kendall Small 6-0 PG, Superior Athletics - Small has committed to Oregon, and the Ducks have found their point guard of the future with the SoCal point man. Small is speedy in the open court, sure handed and confident with the ball. He possesses great quickness. Though Small is what his name suggests, he effectively bulldozes through the paint and finishes strong at the basket with either hand. He also connected on a couple of impressive pull-up transition three-pointers Friday evening.

Taylor Browne 6-2 G, DRIVE - Browne is a tough, wide bodied combo guard from British Columbia. He's a solid athlete with good quickness who uses his strength to ping pong through the paint. It's inside where he initiates and finishes well through contact. He shoots a good looking jumper and has a quick release. Browne is physically mature with limited athletic upside, but could come in and be an immediate factor at the mid-major level in the right setting. He currently holds an offer from Montana State.

Stephen Thompson 6-3, Superior Athletics - Thompson was the most impressive of Superior Athletics trio of top-100 guards Friday night, scoring in a multitude of ways. He's confident on the floor and is smooth athlete. At one point he connected on consecutive three-pointers, then dove the lane for a pretty runner in transition. Thompson has offers from several Pac-12 programs, as well as Gonzaga and Harvard.

Bollo Gnashore 6-11 C, Simply Fundamental - Bollo is a recent arrival to the US from Africa and will attend Trinity International next fall. He's a bit on the raw side but he showed flashes of skill. Bollo hustles and he gets up and down the floor quickly. He's got broad shoulders and a decent frame. In limited offensive looks Gnashore hit a spinning right hander, and though he mishandled a couple of balls his hands looked decent. He attempted a lefty hook which spun off the rim and his shooting form looked solid on a missed 15-foot baseline jumper. He's an active rebounder, defender and shot-blocker and definitely has potential. Unfortunately, as a new arrival to the states he's ineligible to play this summer.

Jermaine Haley 6-7 G, DRIVE - The top prospect from British Columbia continues to improve and it's no surprise his recruitment has expanded dramatically this spring. With great size, Haley is extremely versatile, capable of playing anywhere from the 1-3. He's a flashy, high level passer with excellent ball skills and above average athleticism. He's smooth with the ball in his hand and a creative penetrator, though he sometimes shies from contact. Running the point for DRIVE, Haley is at a significant advantage due to his height and he sees the floor well. His decision-making can be erratic, and he needs to continue to get tougher attacking the basket, but he has improved considerably as a finisher. Jermaine may not be done growing either, and a couple more inches could vault him into an elite recruiting conversation. With a growing list of offers that includes Gonzaga, Oregon, Memphis, Utah, Arizona State, Wake Forest and Washington State, as well as interest from Arizona and UW, Haley could play any of the guard or wing positions at the high major level, depending on the system.

Payton Pritchard - 6-1 PG, Team Fast - No player in the Northwest has done more for his stock this spring than Pritchard, who has exploded onto the national recruiting scene thanks to his spectacular skills and jaw dropping passes. He's nimble and quick and an elite ball handler. He whipped a no-look, three-quarter court pass to a streaking teammate for an easy basket, than did the same thing, only left handed, moments later. He maintains a low dribble, and uses his fabulous crossover to set up his step-back three with just a sliver of space. He's an unusual prospect, lacking high level athleticism, but is so polished and mature that his lack of size and explosiveness are non-issues. Pritchard's offer list grows daily, and includes Indiana, UCLA, Butler, Oklahoma, Villanova, Oregon and Washington.

Jaylen Nowell 6-4 G, Rotary - Seattle's next big thing will be considered one of the top guards in the West before his high school career ends. Nowell is an exceptional talent - an energetic, hard charging, high motor player with skills to match. He's long, athletic and mature beyond his years. Nowell is an athletic penetrator, dashing his way through the paint where he finishes with ease and possesses an explosive first step. He relies on a pull-up, mid-range fadeaway jumper outside the paint, which he hits consistently. His three-point shot is a work in progress at this point, however. Jaylen uses his length and athleticism well as a motivated defender and rebounder. Nowell has an offer from Washington and interest from Arizona, Cal and Colorado.

Jalen King 6-7 F Rotary - There aren't many potential high-major bigs in the Pacific Northwest these days, but Jalen King may buck that trend. He's a long-armed, narrow framed forward who possesses good athleticism and solid instincts around the basket. He's got good hands, a soft touch near the hoop, is an instinctive shot-blocker, and has the potential to be a high level rebounder, nabbing two-handed boards at the top of his bounce. King's court demeanor needs improvement but he's one of the better college prospects in the Northwest for 2017.

Daejon Davis 6-3 G, Rotary - Seattle Rotary's younger squads are stacked, and Davis is one of their best. He has good size and possesses high level athleticism, thriving in transition where he's a threat to dunk in traffic or dish to a streaking teammate. He's an intense competitor and a hard worker, battling for rebounds and loose balls, and is a disruptive, energetic defender. He's an above average ballhandler and passer, but is purely a slasher offensively at this point, rarely attempting shots from outside. Overall, Davis has high major tools.

Londrell Hamilton 5-10 PG, Team Brandon Roy - Hamilton is a jet of a point guard with exceptional lateral quickness and stellar ball skills. He's a dynamic, flashy passer who sees the floor extremely well. Though undersized, Hamilton is a deadly penetrator and finisher who is a nightmare to stay in front of due to his quicks and ankle-breaking crossover. He's being watched several mid-high majors across the region. Top Stories