Beach’s Bits: NW Premier Summer Showcase

BELLEVUE - The beginning of the summer recruiting period means an annual gathering of the best northwest players at Bellevue College. Despite the absence of two of the region’s most talented AAU squads - Seattle Rotary (who hosted their own tournament at Mt. Rainier High School) and Tacoma based Northwest Panthers - the region is clearly brimming with talent at all levels.

That talent should continue to pay dividends for college programs region-wide for years to come.

Here are some of the stand-out performers from the weekend.

Mike Henn - 6’7” PF Friends of Hoop Lavine. Henn might be the most improved player in the region since the end of the high school season thanks to a lot of work in the weight room. He's dropped significant weight and his mobility and vertical have improved considerably as a result. Good footwork, soft hands and a broad body continue to mark him as a force in the paint offensively, but he is knocking down three pointers with consistency as well. He's a good athlete, very physical and a solid leaper with momentum, though he plays mostly below the rim. His strength and instincts help him get to a lot of rebounds for put-backs. He's also quite skilled as a passer, particularly out of the high post. Most of his interest has come from mid-majors thus far, but his physical transformation is starting to attract high major attention.

Alphonzo Anderson - 6’6” F Seattle Rotary. The muscular forward has come along way over the last six months to define his identity as a player, and there's a lot to like. He's very effective in the paint - combining strength and wit with good agility - and is an enthusiastic, above the rim finisher. He's also become a threat from behind the arc, though he doesn't over-rely on it. He plays consistently with energy and is a good defender. Though a tad undersized, Anderson possesses the strength and length to defend taller posts, yet is quick enough laterally to defend smaller players on the perimeter. He's drawn offers at the mid major level, but Pac-12 schools are watching.

Jalen McDaniels - 6’8” F Seattle Rotary. McDaniels has about as much long-term upside physically as any local player in 2016, though it may take some time to fully tap the potential from his willowy frame. He's a transition-oriented player and thrives on the break, where he possesses above average ball-handling skills and finishes in highlight fashion. He's very quick despite his lanky frame, and gets down the floor in a hurry. Offensively, he's a bit on the raw side, and more of a wing than a true post. He shoots a solid mid-range pull-up, but is an average three-point shooter. Defensively, he plays with energy and has high upside thanks to his length and quick's. McDaniels is starting to pile up offers from the likes of Nebraska, Boise State, Rice, San Diego and Utah State, but Pac-12 schools such as WSU, Oregon State and even Washington are paying closer attention.

Tony Miller - 6’6” F Seattle Rotary. Three-point shooters are at a premium, and Miller can put up points in a hurry from beyond the arc. He's more than just a shooter though, and can put the ball on the floor from the wing and attack the basket. He's very active and consistently plays hard, earning plenty of hustle points thanks to his efforts. He's not the quickest of players, but his mobility has improved after shaking off a leg injury last summer. Physically, he possesses a sturdy, muscular frame with good length and huge hands. He's a high IQ player and quality passer when he's got the ball. He's also a committed defender. At the college level he projects as a mid-major face-up four-man with potential to move to the wing if mobility continues to improve.

Terrell Brown - 6’0” PG Seattle Rotary. At times Brown gets overlooked thanks to Rotary's crowded backcourt but Brown is one of the better point guards in the region for 2016. He's quick, with excellent handle and is a precision passer with good feel, seeing the floor well. A prototypical "glue guy" he's scrappy and plays with great energy on both ends of the floor. He's a shifty penetrator, with excellent body control who finishes consistently at the hoop. Is drawing interest at the mid-major level.

Gavin Long - 6’4” SF Friends of Hoop. Long is a newcomer to Friends of Hoop's top squad, but the Wenatchee, WA native made quite an impression over the weekend. He's a ruggedly built 6-foot-4 small forward/wing who goes all out at both ends of the court. Athletically speaking, he's a surprising leaper, and flushed several emphatic, two handed put-back dunks during the two games I observed. He's shoots a quality mid-range pull-up and is an accurate passer during penetration. He shines around the basket at both ends thanks to his relentless motor, and appears to take great pride defensively. He'll no doubt be a topic of conversation of mid-majors over the next couple of weeks.

Jashon Agosto - 5'10” PG Seattle Rotary. The good news for Jashon is that he appears to have added a couple of needed inches since school ball ended. Otherwise, he remains the same athletic, high energy, playmaker that put him on the map in the first place. There's little he doesn't do well. He's a superb ball handler and passer, unselfish, and is a tough match up on the perimeter where he's a constant threat to drive. He's also a polished shooter from deep. His quickness makes him tough to contain while he's knifing through the paint, and he's a creative finisher through contact. He shines defensively, thanks to his combination of athleticism and tenacity. He's drawing national interest at the mid-major level.

Travis Yenor - 6’8” F Boise Hoop Dreams. The Boise Hoop Dreams team showcased the talents of several D1 prospects over the weekend. Yenor is a slender, energetic forward who flashed some eye-popping hops with several impressive dunks. The long-limbed forward gets down the floor in a hurry and is very active in the paint battling for rebounds, but also flashed a pretty three-point stroke to accompany quality footwork and soft hands in the paint. He projects as a face-up four at the mid-major level.

Kolby Lee - 6’9” C Boise Hoop Dreams. Lee is a hard working, thickly-built post prospect who showed off some soft hands and polished post moves with his back to the basket. More impressive however, was his effort, showing a willingness to dive for loose balls despite his girth. He occupies a lot of space and gets good position down low, rebounding effectively and playing energetic defense. He's got a lot of work to do on his body, though he's not anchored to the floor like most players with his body type. Improved fitness will have a profound effect on what is already a very nice package.

Rylan Bergersen - 6’5” G Boise Hoop Dreams. The Boise Hoop Dreams players play with an edge, and Bergersen was the poster child for it. He echoes many of the traits of his father, former pro Roberto Bergersen, but more athletic. He's a fearless penetrator, and a superb finisher at all angles thanks to impressive body control, constantly on the attack, yet keeping defenders honest with a steady three-point stroke. He's a capable ball handler with good instincts and a high IQ, and adept at keeping defenders off balance. He is equally effective in the paint where he out-works opponents with his motor and length for rebounds and loose balls.

NOTE: The Seattle Rotary players mentioned above played in their own tournament, The Seattle Summer Showcase. Top Stories