ANAHEIM, Calif. -- After spending Thursday near the beach, Rivals.com moved down to Orange County for the Double Pump Best of the Summer at the American Sports Centers, just a stone's throw from the land of Mickey Mouse. Rising Canadian junior point guard Jermaine Haley intrigued while 2015 wing Matisse Thybulle continued his move onto the high-major radar and hulking big man Ted Kapita showed that his play from last weekend's LeBron James Skills Academy was no fluke.
Haley an intriguing talent
We aren't going to go calling him Michael Carter-Williams just yet. But, 6-foot-6 point guard Jermaine Haley from the class of 2016 is one intriguing prospect.
Playing with Drive Elite at Best of the Summer, Haley was able to give college coaches and evaluators a pretty good window into who he is and can be as a player.
Haley is a legitimate point guard and he runs his offense, based on Friday's play. He has tremendous quickness for his size and can lose defenders pretty easily off the dribble. At times, he is a bit passive when looking for his offense, but that is just his nature.
"I try to be a facilitator," Haley said. "I know that I can get to the rim and score if I need to, but I'm going to look to get it to my teammates first."
Bottom line, Haley is a high-major talent. The product of British Columbia in Canada will play his junior season at the Canarias Academy in the Canary Islands. He is heading there to work on getting stronger and will leave in September.
On the recruiting front, a small pack of programs have separated themselves.
"Memphis, Oregon and Gonzaga," Haley said when asked what programs were recruiting him the hardest. "Those three are on me the hardest and up there right now."
On the West Coast, there looks to be a pretty solid group of sleeper mid- to upper-end mid-major wings. Now, the trick is finding which of those guys could be sleepers at an even higher level. In that regard, Matisse Thybulle is looking more and more like a player that could be a high-major sleeper.
Playing with the Northwest Express, the 6-foot-6 wing from Seattle showed a lot of upside. He is a skilled playmaker in the open floor. He has good size and is good on the defensive end as well.
"I think that I run out on the break pretty well," said Thybulle. "For the most part, I play pretty good defense and I will hit the open shot if the defense gives it to me."
So far, Thybulle says that he has offers from Gonzaga (Mark Few was in attendance), Washington, Washington State, Tulsa, Montana and Santa Clara. More offers are likely to come, but two programs are already standing out.
"It was a couple of weeks ago that Gonzaga offered and then the U-Dub (Washington) offer was about a month ago," said Thybulle. "Right now those are the top two. I like their level of play, the competition that they face and I like their coaches a lot."
Kapita is the real deal
During the first evaluation period, rising senior big man Ted Kapita made a lot of noise at the LeBron James Skills Academy. On Friday, the 6-foot-9 big man who will play his senior season at Huntington (W.V.) Prep showed that last weekend's play was no fluke.
Make no mistake, Kapita lacks some polish and it showed as he played for the first time with Team Texas. But, when he makes plays, he makes them impressively.
There's not a better set of shoulders in the class of 2015 and Kapita is an explosive athlete. When he is fully engaged and playing with energy, his brute strength, bouncy leaping and surprising touch on medium range jumpers stand out. In that way he's similar to 2016's Edrice Adebayo or Portland Trail Blazer Thomas Robinson.
A week ago, Kapita had offers from Arkansas, Connecticut, Miami, Florida, Texas and Kansas State. As of Friday, Baylor, Memphis, UCLA and Oregon had all joined the fray by handing out scholarship offers. Kapita is starting to look like the guy with the fastest rising stock in the class of 2015.
More Friday notes
After the summer, the rankings for the class of 2016 will be expanded from a top 100 to a top 150. Justin Moore is going to be in the mix and would be under consideration for the rankings even if they weren't expanded. A 6-foot-2 point guard on the San Diego All-Stars, Moore showed some serious game off the dribble. He is lengthy, gets to the rim, hits pull-ups and has good size at 6-foot-2. He already has offers from USC, San Diego State, Utah State, San Diego and Georgia State with interest from Vanderbilt, California, Colorado, Colorado State and "most of the Pac 12".
A very nice find on Friday was sleeper wing Eric Rwahwire of GPA Elite. Rwahwire is a well-built and athletic 6-foot-4 (maybe bigger) shooting guard who can bury jumpers and create off the dribble. His team lost, but Rwahwire had his way offensively against a loaded Team Texas squad. A native of Toronto, his lone offer is from UC Riverside. He also has initial interest from Colorado, St. Mary's, San Francisco and Oregon State.
The class of 2017 has really made an impression over the past few days. On Friday, Markus Howard, a 5-foot-10 point guard on the Arizona Power Black 17U team, put on a pretty good show. He is strong, he can shoot, he has outstanding vision and best of all, he does everything at full speed without making many mistakes. His skill level is on the high end for such a young player and he has early offers from Northern Arizona and Arizona State.
More than likely, UCLA commitment Lonzo Ball from the class of 2016 is going to spark some good debates. He is big at 6-foot-5, he is skilled with the ball and he can really see the floor. Ball can also score and plays with a lot of confidence. He wasn't tested on Friday night during an elimination game, but he asserted himself as the alpha on both ends of the floor.
It was a really good night for class of 2015 big man Brodericks Jones. A very slim (but quite fluid) 6-foot-9 big man, Jones was blocking shots at a rapid clip (including four on one possession) getting on the glass and doing a fine job of scoring around the rim. The way he played opened just as many eyes as it did bring out questions of why he doesn't play like he did on Friday night on a more consistent basis. He needs strength, but with proper development, it is clear that Jones has some good tools to work with.
The more we see likely Oregon State commit (given that his dad is the coach) Tres Tinkle, the more Rivals.com likes the idea of playing him as a matchup problem four man. Tinkle has the skill to play on the perimeter offensively, but at the power forward spot he has the toughness to guard other big men and the skill to take them away from the hoop and frustrate them. His ability to draw bigs onto the floor opens things up for his teammates and gives an offense a little more flexibility because he can facilitate out of the high post with his passing and scoring.
He is neither a big name prospect or a physically big prospect, but point guard Cole Gentry of the Illinois Stars has some game. The 5-foot-10 rising senior plays fast, he knows exactly where all of his teammates are supposed to be and he is a leader. He's not afraid to attack the rim a bit and can make some deep jumpers. Programs from conferences like the Missouri Valley and MAC should be investigating his game.
Currently teammates on the Superior Athletes, four-star shooting guard Stephen Thompson and four-star point guard Kendall Small are likely to be rivals on the college level. Small is already pledged to Oregon and given that Thompson's father is an assistant at Oregon State, the odds are looking pretty good he will end up a Beaver. For a little while longer, though, they are a very good duo and both played well in a win on Friday. Small was controlling the tempo and mixing his scoring with playmaking while Thompson had the jumper rolling and made some plays putting the ball on the floor.
The Oakland Soldiers 16U team features a foursome of impressive 2017 prospects. Point guard Remy Martin is a quick driver who has impressive top-end speed. At around 5-foot-10 or 5-foot-11, he will go in traffic and grab a tough board. He is similar to 2014's Chris Chiozza. Power forward Ira Lee has a lot of buzz with West Coast high majors for good reason. He is quick off the floor, chases rebounds and finishes strong at the rim. Six-foot-four wing Alfred Hollins from San Francisco can hit the three and is a fine open floor player. Another point guard, Damari Milstead, puts a lot of pressure on defenders because he is pretty much always trying to take the ball to the rack.