Dawgman.com’s Aaron Beach has the lowdown on the top in-state players for the next three classes.
Up first? The loaded 2017 class.
Jaylen Nowell 6’5” 2017 SG Seattle Rotary Style. It’s easy to dismiss the talents of Jaylen Nowell because he’s been so good for so long. Little has changed with Nowell over the last 12 months or so, and that’s a good thing because he possesses few holes in his game. Physically-speaking, he’s lean 6-foot-5, with an athletic frame and ideal size for a college two guard. His mid-range jump-shot continues be a strength, and his three-point stroke continues to improve. He’s a quality athlete, versatile with the ball in his hands who shows good vision and excellent passing skills. He’s a high-level finisher in transition. Nowell is also one of the more polished defenders you’ll see at this stage in his development. He is being recruited by most of the Pac-12, with hometown Washington long considered the leader in his recruitment. Arizona is making a pretty big push of late, however.
Daejon Davis 6’3” 2017 PG Seattle Rotary Style. The explosive Seattle point guard emerged as one of the top pg prospects on the West Coast last summer, and his development shows no sign of slowing. Davis is an elite leaper and finisher, and an exceptional rebounder, particularly on the offensive end. He’s quick and agile in transition with good vision and excellent passing skills. He’s a quality three-point shooter, though inconsistent at times, and his quick feet and non-stop motor suggest immense defensive upside. His chemistry with Nowell is quite evident on the floor, seemingly aware of each other’s position on the floor at all times. Davis recently reopened his recruitment after originally committing to Washington and lists interest from several Pac-12 programs.
Corey Kispert 6’7” 2017 SG FOH LaVine. Kispert has quietly emerged as one of the top prospects on the West Coast. Once pigeonholed as just a shooter thanks to his rock steady three-point stroke, Kispert has become a much more versatile offensive threat. He’s grown another inch and continues to add muscle to his powerful frame. That combination of size, athleticism and aggressiveness has helped him become more lethal in attacking the hoop, though he needs to continue to improve as a finisher. He’s an all-around powerhouse: a force on the glass, energetic defensively with a high IQ and ball handling and passing abilities. There’s an argument to be made that he’s the top overall college prospect in the region. He’s being recruited by Virginia, Stanford, and Washington but is believed to be favoring Gonzaga.
Roberto Gittens 6’5” 2017 W Northwest Panthers Team Bradley. The high flyer from Tacoma’s Foss High School is one of the top pure athletes in the Northwest. He’s powerfully built and physically mature, with a long wingspan that allows him to plow through the paint where he often finishes with a thundering flourish. He also possesses a big-time three-point stroke which he hits consistently. He can be careless with the ball at times, but possesses some ball-handling skills and moves well in transition. He’s a bull in the paint, putting his powerful frame to good use on the glass. Gittens has mid-to-high major interest from several Northwest programs.
Collin Welp 6’8” 2017 C EBC Elite. The son of former UW legend Christian Welp continues to improve. He’s highly skilled in the paint, with a high-level feel and myriad moves and counters and a soft touch using either hand. He’s got excellent instincts reading the floor and is a high-level passer. He’s not limited to the paint, however, distributing the ball effectively from the high post or stepping out and connecting on mid-range jumpers. He uses his body to eat space, though he needs considerable work in the weight room, and is an effective rebounder despite lacking high-level athleticism. Welp recently received his first high-major offer from Washington State and also lists offers from Montana, Seattle University, Columbia and American.
Aaron Nettles 5’11” 2017 PG EBC Elite. Nettles is a sneaky-good floor general who runs the point with a ton of poise and a rock solid dribble under pressure. He’s a high IQ precision passer, nimble with a quick first step attacking the hoop. He also boasts an excellent three-point stroke which he knocks down with consistency. Nettles committed to Cameron Dollar and Seattle University last summer.
TJ Mickelson 6’0” 2017 PG ECBA Pioneers. The agile prospect is one of the top point guard prospects in his class, He possesses excellent vision and precision passing skills to accompany high-level ball-handling skills, racking up assists with ease. As a scorer, he can be tough to say in front of, using his excellent quicks to knife through the lane where he’s a quality finisher. Mickelson also an excellent three-point shooter, who is drawing interest at the high-major level from Washington State, Utah, Oregon State, St. Mary’s and BYU.
David Jenkins 6’0” 2017 SG. Northwest Panthers Team Bradley. One of the top scorers in the South Sound, Jenkins puts up baskets in a hurry, capable of getting white-hot from behind the three-point arc. He’s undersized for a two-guard, but makes up for his lack of stature with grit and fearlessness. He lacks a point guard’s instincts and is purely a scorer at this point, which is limiting due to his size, but his scoring prowess is not to be dismissed. Jenkins has offers from several mid-majors including Boise State, Montana, San Diego, Portland State and St Mary’s with developing interest at the high-major level.
Trevon Ary-Turner 6’3” PG 2017 Issaquah. Ary-Turner is a flashy, well-built point guard with good quickness and plenty of end-to-end speed. He’s fun to watch, with slick ball skills and is a snappy passer while also possessing a solid three-point stroke. He’s a good athlete. Occasionally, Ary-Turner is a careless decision maker, but he still shows a lot of poise and polish as a ball handler. Ary-Turner has offers from Boise State, Seattle University, Utah State and Montana.
Terrell Brown 6’1 2017 PG. Seattle Rotary Style. Brown is a speedy point guard prospect with high-level quickness and a nose for the basket. He’s an unselfish, high IQ passer and a slippery penetrator with excellent ball handling skills. As a scorer, he does most of his damage attacking in transition, and shoots at a decent clip from behind the arc. Defensively, he’s a polished, hard-nosed pest, taking great pride in his defensive identity. Brown is currently receiving recruiting attention at the mid-major level.
Scott Blakney 6’8” F 2017 FOH LaVine. Blakney has done considerable work on his body over the last year, boasting a solid, well-built frame. He immediately stands out defensively as an active shot-blocker with good instincts and long arms, while getting in good position as a rebounder. He’s got some skill with his back to the basket, with a nice spin move on the right block, though average athleticism limits him primarily to playing beneath the rim. He’s got potential at the mid-major level.
Khalil Shabazz 5’11” 2017 PG Seattle Rotary. The speedy Seattle point guard is a high energy defensive stopper with excellent quickness who plays with a lot of heart. He’s an aggressive, crafty penetrator and an unselfish passer with good vision and instincts and high-level ball handling skills. He’s on the small side and just an average shooter, but he plays with a lot of grit and toughness with the potential to make an impact at the mid-major level.
Clayton Stultz 6’9” 2017 PF. FOH Team Harris. The lanky Mt. Tahoma post is an intriguing prospect. Stultz has a long, lean frame with good body control who patrols the paint aggressively and finishes hard above the rim. His long arms help him block a lot of shots, and he plays hard, consistently putting a lot of effort into the defensive end. Offensively, he has a nice touch, keeping his hands high around the basket. He gets pushed around a bit and needs to pack on some muscle, but his size and aggressiveness mark him as a player worth keeping an eye on, with potential at the mid-major level.
Cameron Cranston 6’6” 2017 NW Panthers Team Bradley. Cranston is a high IQ, perimeter-oriented forward from Union who possesses a big time stroke, is deadly off the catch-and-pull, and can also pull up off the dribble thanks to a quick release. He’s just an average athlete but a solid ball handler and smart passer. He’s smooth in the paint despite his perimeter orientation and a hard worker on the glass. He has interest from Northwest mid-majors, including Boise State.
Rayvaughn Bolton 6’2” CG 2017 FOH LaVine. The heady guard from Kent is a confident, sure-handed point guard with solid quickness and high-level feel. He’s confident with the ball in his hands and a clever passer, changing speeds when penetrating or shooting a solid three point ball. He’s flown under the radar thus far but has good potential at the mid-major level.
Luke Lovelady 6’7” W 2017. Another under-the-radar Northwest recruit who attends New Life Christian Academy, Lovelady is a high-level shooter with decent quickness and excellent feel for the game. Though he’s on the skinny side, Lovelady is crafty with the ball in his hands and can get to the rim. He is a smart passer and decision maker. He’s earned the attention from multiple West Coast mid-majors, including Pepperdine.