Beach’s Bits: NW Summer Showcase, Pt. 2

BELLEVUE - Despite the absence of some of the region’s best players, this year’s Northwest Premier Summer Showcase was oozing college prospects at all levels this past weekend at Bellevue College and in high school gyms all over the eastside. The depth of talent in the region is quite something and a far cry from just a year ago when there were few college prospects in attendance at all.

There are guards galore, from elite on down, and even a surprising amount of post prospects, especially at the mid major level.

Part One of Beach’s Bits focused on all the different narratives that came out of the Northwest Premier Summer Showcase. Part Two focuses on individual player analysis, starting with the 2015 recruiting class.
Player Notes:

Matisse Thybulle 6-6 Eastside Catholic (WA) NWXpress. Matisse had an inconsistent weekend, struggling Friday night but playing well during the early session Saturday. He elevated for a tip dunk Friday afternoon that looked like he paused in mid-air before throwing it down emphatically, showcasing his pogo stick legs. With the ball in his hands, he looked to take it to the rack more aggressively than I'd previously seen, though he still needs to look for his shot more. He's a decent three point shooter, but it's not his strength. Actual physical strength isn't his strength either. He needs to hit the weight room hard before he can be effective on a D1 court. That said, he's all potential at this point and his upside is high. Thybulle holds offers from Washington, Washington State, University of Portland, Tulsa, and Santa Clara.

Drew Eubanks 6-9 Reynolds (OR) NWXpress. Eubanks has improved considerably since the spring. He's more aggressive in the paint, powering through contact for rebounds and put-backs. He's got decent bounce for a player his size, and finished with powerful two-handed dunks on a couple of occasions. He's reasonably agile as well, using his slender-but-athletic frame. Eubanks has offers from Washington State and the University of Portland.

Robert Franks 6-8 Evergreen (WA) NW Panthers Team Bradley. Franks is a wide-bodied forward who is all legs. He's surprisingly versatile for a player of his physical dimensions, handling the ball and lumbering through the paint where he finishes well with either hand. He lacks quickness and spends too much time on the perimeter for a player lacking great mobility, but he's got an intriguing skill set that could pay off with better conditioning. Franks holds offers from Portland State and the University of Portland and interest from Washington State, Gonzaga, Oregon State, Colorado, Auburn and Cal Poly

Hank Hollingsworth 6-11 Chelan (WA) APlus. At nearly 7 feet tall, Hollingsworth definitely stands out in a crowd. His footwork is slowly improving, though he's not the most mobile of players. He shoots a nice lefty hook and his hands are decent. He gets pushed around in the paint. Hollingsworth is a solid rebounder, and an active shot-blocker and has mid major attention, which is probably about right.

Kyle Foreman 6-1 Bellevue (WA) Emerald City Basketball Academy. The fiery redhead was one of the bigger revelations of the tournament. He's got great quickness and handle at the point guard position, with excellent court vision and instincts, whipping cross court passes through traffic with ease. He pushes the ball up the floor at every opportunity and will be best suited for up-tempo programs. His shot was inconsistent during the tournament, but he is generally regarded as a fine outside shooter. He's also a clever penetrator, effective driving the lane and dishing to open teammates or finishing at the cup. Foreman has the attention of several regional mid and high majors.

Matthew Neufeld 6-10 Victoria (BC) DRIVE Elite. Physically speaking, Neufield is a dynamite post prospect with a lanky but muscular frame and good mobility. He's a motivated, physical post player with good hands and is also an energetic rebounder who doesn't shy from contact. He also steps out and shoots a quality 15-17 foot jumper. Neufeld has offers from Washington State, Seattle University, Santa Clara and the University of Portland.

Jared Samuelson 6-7 Billings (MT) Idaho Select Anthony Davis. Samuelson is a beefy forward who bulls his way to the basket and is a strong finisher at the cup with either hand. He's an aggressive defender and shot blocker who uses his wide body to gain position on the blocks. He's got good instincts and made some nice passes. His ball handling skills are solid, allowing him to slash from the wing through the paint despite limited athleticism. Samuelson holds offers from Denver, Montana, Montana State and the University of Portland.

Gunther Klimes 6-6 Bellevue (WA) Emerald City Basketball Academy. This powerfully built small forward is a jack of all trades who plays with a lot of energy. In the paint Klimes is a battler as he utilizes his great motor and powerful body to crash the boards and rip the ball from unprepared opponents. He shoots a solid three point ball and handles the ball reasonably well. He's a pretty good leaper and finished with a couple of powerful dunks. Klimes recently picked up a offer from Army.

Stefan Gonzalez 6-1 Highland (ID) Idaho Select Anthony Davis. Gonzalez is a high energy point guard from Pocatello. He relies on the three pointer for much of his offense, effective off the catch and shoot. He's got decent quickness and finds creative ways to finish in the lane despite not being a great leaper. Gonzalez has offers from Idaho State and Eastern Washington.

Jauquin Bennett-Boire 6-2 Surrey (BC) DRIVE Elite. Bennett-Boire is a bowling ball of a player who has a broad, muscular frame. He uses his big body to bully his way to the cup, where he's a creative finisher. He has a solid three point stroke which he hits consistently. He's a decent athlete with good quicks despite his girth and though his physical upside is limited long-term, his style of play suits his physical attributes well. Bennett-Boire has interest from Seattle University, University of Portland, Idaho and Columbia.

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