Recruiting Bites: Dorsey and Etienne face off in Bellevue

Jeff Gross

Two future Huskies went head to head at this past weekend's Northwest Premier Summer Showcase at Bellevue College.

On June 23rd, Donaven Dorsey and Tristan Etienne both made unofficial visits to Washington and attended the inaugural Husky Alumni Game. Eleven days later, Etienne, a 6-foot-10 forward prospect from Abbotsford, British Columbia made a commitment to Washington on the fourth of July. Five days after Etienne's commitment, Dorsey, a 6-foot-7 forward from Lacey, Washington also made a commitment to the Huskies. All of a sudden, three days later, the two were playing against each other a few miles away at Bellevue College, only a few miles away from their future home at Montlake.

I was lucky enough to see the pair's teams play each other and what follows is a scouting report based on the few games I saw them both play in over the weekend.

Tristan Etienne, 6-foot-10, W.J. Mouat Sac Secondary (Abbotsford, British Columbia)

Etienne's general play over the weekend suggested he will be a project at the next level. This is not a knock on Etienne, but his mobility, consistency and strength all need improvement before he can have an impact in the Pac-12. In terms of skills, he is great around the basket and can finish hook shots on both sides. At times he struggled to put the ball in the basket from close range, but usually followed his shot, grabbed the rebound and finished a second-chance bucket.

Athletically, he's not an explosive player – he's more Tim Duncan than Kevin Garnett. Naturally, coaches would like players who can get up and down the court fast, but sometimes coaches make the trade off in order to obtain more size. Etienne can't get from end to the other end of the floor as fast as former Huskies Aziz N'Diaye and Spencer Hawes.

So what exactly does he bring to the table? Etienne is an elite shot-blocker. One of the best at the skill at the high school level right now. If he didn't end up with the block, opposing players and offenses had to adjust their shots around Etienne's long arms and huge frame. On offense, he showed above-average ball-handling for a 6-foot-10 forward. His favorite move was a spin dribble into a layup finish on either side of the basket. Once he starts to put on muscle, he'll be a complete force on the defensive end. As for his rebounding ability, he grabbed everything he was supposed to grab, but sometimes was out-muscled by smaller and stronger forwards.

Donaven Dorsey, 6-foot-7, Timberline HS (Lacey, Washington)

Dorsey is the real deal and might end up being a steal for Washington. Gonzaga was in a hot pursuit of the wing recruit, but luckily, for Husky fans, Dorsey made his commitment before visiting the other school in Spokane. The first thing you'll notice about Dorsey is his long arms and somewhat lanky build. When he wants, he is able to put the ball on the floor and penetrate the paint for an easy bucket or a foul call. However, he also has the ability to shoot it from mid-range and from beyond the arc.

Unlike former guard Scott Suggs or current guard C.J. Wilcox, Dorsey is much more apt at creating his own shot. Additionally, his athleticism makes him a terror for opponents in transition; several highlight dunks caught the attention of the wealth of coaches watching from courtside. Defensively, he showed the ability to defend both guard positions and the wing with his wing-span making it difficult for opposing offenses to run smoothly. He also had a few highlight blocks that wowed the crowd over the weekend.

The recruiting trail

  • As I chronicled in this article from last week, the Huskies are hard after 2014 F Zylan Cheatham. Despite his daughter's wedding taking place this past weekend, Romar made the trip all the way to South Carolina to watch Cheatham and his California Supreme team participate at Peach Jam. Romar was back in Seattle on Friday to see Etienne and Dorsey play.
  • Washington is also still in pursuit of 2014 F Evan Fitzner. Sources told me a UW assistant was in Southern California last week to see Fitzner play at the Double Pump Summer Tip-Off in Anaheim. ESPN recruiting expert Joel Francisco recently labeled Fitzner as a long and skilled forward.
  • 2014 F Josh Martin impressed at the Reebok Breakout Classic in Philadelphia last week. Martin's performance earned him two new offers from California and Cal Poly per his twitter account. Alex Schartz from Northstar Basketball tweeted, "Josh Martin can flat out play. Great job of driving baseline, using the rim as protection and finishing on the other side."
  • UW targets 2015 G Dejounte Murray and 2016 G Isiah Brown started their week in Long Beach for the Pangos Fullcourt Press All-West camp and then traveled north to San Francisco to play with their APlus AAU team. According to Scout.com's Josh Gershon, UW assistant coach T.J. Otzelberger was watching the pair. Gershon tweeted, "UW here watching 2016 PG Isiah Brown. Talented kid. Plays hard, scores from all 3 levels, good passer, quick first step. Really playing well"
  • Two more names to file in your 2015 watch list are guards Kendall Small and Jeremy Hemsley. Washington was watching both last week.

Bonus Bites

Some other quick hits from other prospects I saw over the weekend:

  • 2014 G Tramaine Isabell Jr., 6-foot-1, Lakeside (Seattle, WA)- The future Cougar is the real deal and challenges for the top player in the state of Washington with both Dorsey and Rainier Beach forward Shaqquan Aaron. The point guard is an absolute treat to watch on offense. He's the best point guard in the area at driving and finishing in the paint since Peyton Siva was at Franklin. His pump fakes, spins, euro-steps and explosive bursts of speed made him unstoppable at times. His fearlessness did manifest itself in bad shot-selection, too much dribbling and unwarranted turnovers – these are things he'll need to work on before suiting up in the crimson and grey.
  • 2014 G Silas Melson, 6-foot-2, Jefferson (Portland, OR)- Melson is a treat to watch. The future Gonzaga Bulldog is the ultimate distributor. He never failed to find an open teammate on the perimeter or when he was knifing through the lane. The pretty jump shot doesn't hurt either – Mark Few is getting a good player.
  • 2014 G Naim Ladd, 5-foot-9, Rainier Beach HS (Seattle, WA)- I don't know if Ladd will end up playing division one basketball, but he could be a steal for a place like Western Washington or Seattle Pacific. Ladd has gotten better each and every time I've seen him play. He's an efficient scorer that doesn't turn the ball over. He'll never take a bad shot and if given an inch of space, he'll always make his defender pay. Though his size makes him a defensive liability, he is as tough as nails.
  • 2014 G Jadon Cohee, 6-foot-4, Walnut Grove Secondary (Langley, British Columbia)- Cohee played floor general for Etienne's team Drive Elite the entire weekend. Along with great size at the point guard position, Cohee showed off solid ball-handling skills and great alertness and heady play. He needs work on finishing in the paint, but had a decent jump-shot with three-point range. He's a perfect fit for the WCC. Portland, Portland St. and Seattle U have all offered.
  • 2014 G Ar'Mond Davis, 6-foot-4, Foss HS (Tacoma, WA)- Davis is an athletic and smooth two-guard. His size and athleticism will gain him division-one looks. He showed a nice jumper off the bounce but could show more assertiveness at driving to the basket.
  • 2014 G Jason Todd, 6-foot-6, Jackson HS (Mill Creek, WA)- If Todd isn't scoring, he'll be doing something else, whether it be finding a wide open teammate for a shot, crashing the offensive boards or guarding the opposition's best player. And then when he can score, he is a treat to watch. Along with the ability to shoot it from deep, Todd also showed the ability create his own shot and finish at the rim with both hands. He's the shooting guard version of Jon Brockman. Several WCC schools have shown interest including Gonzaga and Santa Clara – Washington St., Oregon St. and Utah are also keeping tabs on Todd.
  • 2014 F Kameron Chatman, 6-foot-7, Long Beach Poly HS (Portland, OR)- Without a doubt, Chatman was the best player in the gym the entire weekend. Chatman could have tried to take over games if he wanted to, but he let the game come to him and efficiently led his team to victories. He can run the floor and finish with an emphatic dunk in transition, but also pull-up and hit the mid-range and three-point jumper. He's also great at drawing contact in drives to the basket to get to the free-throw line. As expected, he did draw double-teams, but he was always able to patiently find his teammates for an open shot. Michigan, UConn, Arizona and UCLA are all trying to woo Chatman.
  • 2014 F Eugene Artison, 6-foot-8, Franklin HS (Seattle, WA)- Artison has a high ceiling. His long arms swatted away and altered shots while simultaneously causing havoc on the opposing team's offense. While there are questions on his athleticism and limited offensive skillset, he can finish in transition and convert on shots in the paint. He'll have to add a more consistent mid-range jumpshot and some more strength to continue to gain interest from colleges. Seattle U and Fresno St. have offered.
  • 2014 F Elijah Foster, 6-foot-8, Rainier Beach HS (Seattle, WA)- Foster added a nice 15-footer jump shot to his game which will supplement his already fundamental offensive set of moves in the post. Though injured in the game I saw, Foster used his body and was able to grab several rebounds. Seattle U has offered.
  • 2015 F Greyson Smallwood, 6-foot-10, Jefferson HS (Portland, Oregon)- Smallwood already has the size requirement down, but he'll need to show a little more assertiveness on both ends of the court to gain some more college interest.

Email basketball recruiting tips to kcacabelos@gmail.com.

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