West Coast tournament recap


LOS ANGELES -- After covering the LeBron James Skills Academy, the next week of the July evaluation period took us to various tournaments such as the Double Pump Best of the Summer, Pangos Cream of the Crop, and the Battle at the Beach. There were a plethora of national talents such as Lonzo Ball, T.J. Leaf, Kendall Small, and Elijah Thomas that stood out, but it was players like 2016 talents Mitchell Lightfoot and JaQuori McLaughlin who gave us a glimpse of the future of West Coast hoops.

Most upside

Ernie Sears

2017, SG, 6-foot-3, 160 pounds

AAU Team: Dream Vision

When it comes to upside in the class of 2016 out west, there are few prospects that have the potential of Sears. His father played for Cal in the late 1980s and Sears appears to have the right genes to make that jump as well. This immensely gifted young guard is explosive off the bounce and has a smooth touch.

T.J. Leaf

2016, PF, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds

AAU Team: Compton Magic Elite

Leaf is a gifted power forward who has a lethal combination of skill and athleticism. He has the ability to drop in jump shots from the perimeter, deliver the nifty assist, or attack the rim utilizing his bouncy nature.

Best scorer

Markus Howard

2017, CG, 5-foot-11, 165 pounds

AAU Team: Arizona Power Black

Howard is a gifted scorer at all three levels and possesses one of the slickest crossovers in his class. The stocky combo-guard has the ability to make teammates better, but he is a pure scorer. Whether it's dropping 3-point shots or converting tough runners in the paint, he is tough to stop.

Best young backcourt

Alex Barcello

2017, PG, 6-foot-1, 165 pounds

AAU Team: Team Bayless Select

Barcello has some similarities to former Stanford standout Chris Hernandez, but Barcello is a better shooter. He is equally adept at either running the point (innate passer) or exhibiting his explosiveness in the open court to convert buckets at all three levels.

Marcus Shaver

2017, PG, 6-foot, 155 pounds

AAU Team: Team Bayless Select

Shaver is a terrific-looking point guard prospect who has solid length, a terrific burst, and the versatility to play both backcourt positions. He is a blur in the open court where he can slash his way to the rim or he can drain the pull-up jump shot -- not to mention he exhibited enough facilitating skills to warrant that point guard label.

Most versatile

Tres Tinkle

2015, WF, 6-foot-7, 215 pounds

AAU Team: Idaho Select Anthony

Tinkle may be the most college-ready player on the West Coast, which comes as no surprise considering his father (Wayne) is the new coach at Oregon State. Tinkle's game translates well to the next level due to his length, skills, and savvy. He can score in a variety of ways, but it's his passing and rebounding that make him an attractive recruit.

Best facilitator

Jermaine Haley

2016, PG, 6-foot-6, 185 pounds

AAU Team: Drive Elite

Each and every summer there is always a player or two in the Pacific Northwest that catapults onto the national scene. Haley is a lengthy point guard prospect -- Michael Carter-Williams comes to mind -- with remarkable passing skills. He needs to be more consistent with his jump shot and play more assertively while attacking the rim, but that hasn't stopped Memphis, Illinois, Oregon, Gonzaga, Washington and Washington State from recruiting this masterful facilitator.

High-major alert

Drew Eubanks

2015, PF, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds

AAU Team: Northwest Express

Eubanks showed glimpses of his impressive upside in Sacramento during the spring evaluation period -- now the Pac-12 conference (Oregon State and Washington State have offered) is getting involved. The bouncy 4-man has a great frame, good hands, agile feet, and he's a quick jumper. Once he fills out and improves his offensive game, he should be a standout at the high-major level.

Jack of all trades

Matisse Thybulle

2015, WF, 6-foot-6, 185 pounds

AAU Team: Northwest Express

Washington and Gonzaga appear to be out in front for this jack-of-all-trades wing-type. He has that prototypical Division I frame and he is explosive in transition. The most underrated aspect of his game is his passing prowess.

The future is now

JaQuori McLaughlin

2016, PG, 6-foot-3, 160 pounds

AAU Team: Team Access Black

Memphis, Boise State, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State have all offered this fast-rising point guard from the Pacific Northwest. The willowy lead guard keeps his handle low and tight when he attacks defenders and his burst is deceptive. He can knock in jump shots and create plays for his teammates. Due to his length he could be a lock-down defender going forward.

Best Motor

Mitchell Lightfoot

2016, PF, 6-foot-7, 195 pounds

AAU Team: Arizona Power Black

Despite his lean frame, Lightfoot is a warrior at both ends. He pursues the ball when it comes to protecting the rim, rebounding and finishing through contact. He needs to keep his emotions in check, but there are few out there that possess his motor.

Wing with upside

Alfred Hollins

2017, WF, 6-foot-5, 170 pounds

AAU Team: Oakland Soldiers

Ben Kone', Ira Lee, and Remy Martin get most of the attention on a loaded Oakland Soldiers team. But don't sleep on the potentially ultra-talented wing Hollins. He has that quintessential frame for the next level. He can explode in transition, and he has a feathery touch out to the stripe. Those ingredients could translate to a big-time wing going forward.

Point guard with size

Justin Moore

2016, PG, 6-foot-4, 170 pounds

AAU Team: San Diego All-Stars

Moore -- who has offers from San Diego State, USC, Utah State, San Diego, and Georgia State -- has great size for the point guard position. His vision is excellent as he can see over the defense and he plays at a good pace. He can get into the lane and utilize the floater, but his jump shot, specifically from the stripe, needs to improve.

Biggest surprises

Sam Cunliffe

2016, SG, 6-foot-5, 175 pounds

AAU Team: A Plus Black

Yet another surprise at the Best of the Summer. The lanky Cunliffe is a terrific athlete who can dunk on his defender in transition or splash jump shots from deep. His ball skills need to improve while attacking pressure, but he has Division I two-guard written all over him.

Evan Battey

2017, PF, 6-foot-6, 235 pounds

AAU Team: Dream Vision

Battey will need to keep his frame in check to utilize his unique combination of size and skill. The face-up 4-man has a terrific first step, excellent ball skills, and his passing prowess demonstrated the savvy he possesses for this game.

Stocks on the rise

Eric Rwahwire

2015, SG, 6-foot-4, 190 pounds

AAU Team: GPA Elite

The late-blooming shooting guard is getting interest from Colorado, St. Mary's, San Francisco, Oregon State, and UC Riverside. He is powerful and quick off the bounce and his passing is impressive. Overall, he is a similar player to Arizona commit Justin Simon, but Rwahwire's jump shot is better.

Josh Speidel

2015, PF, 6-foot-7, 215 pounds

AAU Team: Indiana Elite

Ohio, Evansville, Vermont, Toledo, UIC, Ball State, Northeastern, New Orleans, and North Carolina-Wilmington have all offered the multi-skilled stretch 4-man. He can splash jump shots from the perimeter or post-up and convert through contact.

Roderick Williams

2015, WF, 6-foot-5, 180 pounds

AAU Team: Team Eleate

Williams hails from the same AAU program that produced Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs) and Tony Snell (Chicago Bulls). Like those two aforementioned NBA players, Williams is a late bloomer as well. The sinewy 3-man is a freakish athlete who affects the game with his attacking style. He can pop in jump shots, but his strength is his passing and being a catalyst at both ends.