Between 2005 - 2009 the region consistently produced some of the top talent in the country, with the 2005 class producing 4 of the top 30 players nationally, but the region fell off a cliff in 2010.
With the start of the summer viewing period just days away, the region is again bursting with college level players of all types, from elite players to Division III - especially in the backcourt.
This list isn't comprehensive. Over the last couple of months, I've seen most of the top AAU programs in the area, but the list keeps growing. The recently formed NWXpress contains some of Seattle's best, including Dejounte Murray
. The Friends of Hoop roster lacks flash but boasts sneaky good talent. Seattle Rotary, Aplus, Tacoma's Northwest Panthers and even Ellensburg's Subway Selects claim multiple mid-to high major prospects. That's just for starters.
This isn't a ranking of the top players in the area. This is a ranking of the top-20 college prospects in the state of Washington - There is a difference. On Tuesday we started with 20-16, Wednesday we tackled the next five. Thursday we move into the top ten - 10 to 6.
10) Trey Airy-Turner 2017 6-1 G, Issaquah/Excel
. Airy-Turner is a speedy combo guard with good size and electric ball handling skills. He's poised for a such a young player, he brims with confidence. Offensively, he spends much of his time hanging around the perimeter waiting to show off his quick trigger and smooth jumper. He shoots a gorgeous mid-range pull up and gets a lot of first step burst, which, when coupled with his stellar handle, make him a nightmare to stay in front of. He can get a bit too flashy at times, but he's got high major written all over him. Airy-Turner holds an offer from Washington.
9) Steven Beo 2016 6-3 PG, Richland/Subway Selects 16U
. Beo is a quality combo guard prospect from Richland, who draws comparisons to former Utah Jazz
great Jeff Hornacek. While having outstanding three point range, Beo also runs the point with confidence and poise, possessing high level handle and passing skills. He's a fierce competitor, nasty defender and mixes it up in the paint for rebounds. Beo has a svelte, defined body but lacks high level athleticism despite good quicks. Beo holds a standing offer from Washington and interest from Gonzaga
8) Matisse Thybulle 2015 6-6 Wing/Forward, Eastside Catholic/NWXpress
. Thybulle is a hybrid forward, still defining his long term position. Physically speaking, his upside is immense. Blessed with a long wingspan and fantastic bounce, Thybulle is an outstanding two-footed leaper which, when coupled with his great length, makes him very effective in the paint when nabbing rebounds for easy two-handed dunks and put-backs. His college future is on the wing where he shows great promise, particularly as a defensive stopper. He thrives in transition, handles the ball well on the break, and is an explosive finisher. He recently scored an offer from Washington, and also has scholarship offers from Washington State
and Portland, among others.
7) JaQuori McLaughlin 2016 6-3 PG, Peninsula/Team Access
. McLaughlin is a talented, athletic point guard who quietly committed to Oregon State
early on during his high school career, recently reopening his recruitment after Craig Robinson
was fired. He's a tremendous shooter with a quick trigger, and possesses excellent handles and good quickness, particular for a player of his length. Though he lacks great strength, McLaughlin is a nimble, yet physical, penetrator and creative finisher at the cup. He uses a quality crossover to create separation to set up his polished jumper. McLaughlin recently earned offers from Washington and Memphis
as well as Washington State, Boise State
and Oregon State has renewed their interest.
6) David Crisp 2015 6-0 SG, Rainier Beach/NW Panthers
. Crisp is a high-motor, three point marksman from Tacoma. He's a superbly confident gunslinger with swagger to burn and a hair trigger who recently led the NBPA Top 100 camp in three-point shooting. Crisp is a speedy, high level athlete who uses his solidly built frame to draw contact and finish in traffic. He can be inconsistent at times and is unpredictable as a penetrator going to the basket. Crisp is undersized for a two-guard, but can put up buckets in a hurry when he's dialed in from outside. Crisp has committed to Washington, and is on track to attend Brewster Academy in New Hampshire first before enrolling at Washington for the 2015 season.
State of Washington Top-20: 15-11
State of Washington Top-20: 20-16
After a five year talent dip in the prep ranks, the region’s reputation as a hotbed of college hoop talent is about to be restored. It's no secret that the Puget Sound has been in a bit of a slump in terms of generating legitimate high major basketball talent.