Beach's Bits: Las Vegas Notebook, Part 2

Dawgman.com's Head of Hoops Aaron Beach was in Sin City this past weekend, trying to make sense of the madness that is the biggest AAU week of the year. He saw a lot of Washington commits, he said a lot of Washington prospects, he saw a lot of in-state talent. 

In part two, Beach breaks down who the Huskies are looking at when talking about finishing out their 2017 class, as well as looking ahead to 2018 and beyond. Washington has offered all of these prospects. 

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Washington Prospects

2017

Daejon Davis 6’3" G Seattle Rotary

http://www.scout.com/player/194306-daejon-davis

The hometown favorite continues to hold court as the Seattle area's top point guard prospect.  Davis does just about everything well, capable of making a significant impact regardless of whether he’s playing on or off the ball. He’s an elite athlete and a blur in the open floor where he puts his excellent vision and passing ability to use.  He’s got a slick handle and has developed into a high level slasher who gets to the rim with ease where he’s a show-stopping finisher. Davis’s motor is excellent, and he is just  as capable on the defensive end as he is on offense. He is an exceptional rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. If there’s a wrinkle in Davis's game, it’s his three-point stroke which tends to be inconsistent. His shot mechanics are solid.

Mamoudou Diarra 6’9" F Gateway (MO)

http://www.scout.com/player/210688-mamoudou-diarra

The bouncy forward from Mali by way of Saint Louis, Diarra was one of the more intriguing players we watched.  Checking in at 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Diarra immediately stands out as an elite shot blocker and rebounder with lockdown defensive potential.  Though slightly built, he plays with a ton of physicality and aggressiveness, boxing out with as much energy as most players put into their dunks. When he did touch the ball, we saw flashes of something special, showing good ball handling skills and precision passing skills which are unusual for a player with his size. His shot mechanics were solid though he failed to connect from outside, and he possesses speed on the fast break, throwing down a couple of emphatic dunks in the game we watched. 

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2018

Kevin Porter Jr. 6’5" SG Seattle Rotary

http://www.scout.com/player/201729-kevin-porter 

The Rainier Beach star has seen his stock soar this summer. Checking in at a muscular 6-foot-5 there are few guards that can match up physically with the athletic wing. That’s partly due to the work he’s done to transform his body over the last 12 months. It doesn’t hurt that his athleticism has taken a step forward as well. Porter is a fierce penetrator, attacking the basket with maximum aggressiveness and often finishing with emphatic, posterizing slam dunks. He’s also an excellent shooter, gaining separation with a nasty crossover with range stretching well beyond the three-point line. Despite his athleticism, he doesn’t get much lift on his shot, though it hasn’t affected him thus far. He’s also a sturdy, energetic defender. Porter is the top prospect in the superbly talented Seattle 2018 recruiting class.

J'Raan Brooks 6’8" F Dream Vision 16U (CA)

http://www.scout.com/player/197000-j-raan-brooks

The 6-foot-8 southern California transplant has really improved offensively since the end of the high school season. Brooks is a rare true post player, possessing excellent footwork, quickness and a rough and tumble physicality that allows him to get his shot off against bigger defenders.  He’s got a nice touch around the cup with his back to the basket and shows a nifty array of moves from either block using both hands. He’s got great timing as a shot blocker and rebounder and is a quick leaper with a good vertical jump.  He’s agile, and gets down the floor quickly on defense where he holds his own against taller opponents. He can also step out and hit the occasional mid-range jumper, and is a solid ball handler for such a post-oriented player. In an era where playing with your back to the basket has become a lost art, Brooks is bringing it back.

Nic Lynch 6’9" C Friends of Hoop

http://www.scout.com/player/201829-nic-lynch

The grandson of former Washington standout Jack Lynch, the hulking Seattle Prep center looks like he’d be more at home wrestling on the WWE circuit than playing basketball, but he definitely puts his powerful frame to work for him. He’s got massive, broad shoulders and eats up a lot of space in the paint. He’s got excellent footwork and good end to end speed, though he’s not especially quick and plays mostly below the rim. He’s surprisingly skilled with the ball however, with soft hands, good vision and solid instincts and good touch over the right shoulder. He can also step out and hit a mid range jumper, and gets to the free throw line a lot. He needs to work on finishing through contact however.  Not surprisingly, he maintains a significant post presence defensively as well. Bottom line, players of Lynch’s size are rare, and there’s an awful lot to like about the big man from Prep.

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2019

Noah Williams 6’5" PG Seattle Rotary 16U

http://www.scout.com/player/210685-noah-williams

The baby-faced point guard from O’Dea has generated a ton of buzz with his suave high-level court play and impressive scoring ability. At 6-foot-5 and still growing, Williams towers over most of his peers in the back court. Offensively, he’s quite versatile, with a quality pull-up jumper with range that extends out beyond the three-point arc. He’s also a quality athlete, with long arms and a slender build, boasting tremendous long term upside defensively. Commitment to the weight room will be key to his long term future as he’s still learning to play with maximum effort consistently. Quibbles aside, Williams has as much long term upside as any player in the Northwest and will be considered one of the top point guard prospects in the country when it’s all said and done. 

P.J. Fuller 6’4" G Seattle Rotary

http://www.scout.com/player/201830-p-j-fuller

Fuller is the region's flashiest young star in a stacked 2019 recruiting class. The 6-foot-4 combo guard - who is expected to transfer to Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School - is long and explosive, a highlight reel-worthy play waiting to happen. His quickness and unpredictability make him a nightmare to defend. The lanky youngster gets into the paint with ease and shows great vision and creativity with the ball. He’s also an excellent shooter with deep range. As a distributor, Fuller shows potential as well, especially in transition where he sets up teammates for easy buckets. He uses his high revving motor to manufacture opportunities on the defensive end and he has the potential to develop into a lockdown defender in time. 

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Beach's Bits: Las Vegas Notebook, Part One


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