Grassroots Update: Team LaVine 17U

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Washington

Posted On: 06/27/18 8:00 AM

Team Lavine had a bit of a rough patch in the spring on the competitive adidas Gauntlet, but experience was gained going into the month of July. Head coach Tayon Ary-Turner likes how his roster shapes up for the rest of the summer, especially as one of the stars of the 16U team will be playing up to help bolster the frontcourt.

Here’s a breakdown of the roster and how they have performed this far:

Elijah Pepper (2019 Selah HS) – Pepper has been the main man for Team Lavine so far on the circuit, averaging over 19 points and 5.6 rebounds in adidas Gauntlet play. A very competitive and tough combo guard, he’s shot the ball well (almost 40 percent from three) but has shown the ability to score at all three levels. He’s been tough on defense with his high motor and work ethic. Pepper has established himself as a Division I player with several mid-major offers and some Pac-12 schools have started watching.

Tyler Patterson (2020 Mount Si HS) – Patterson has been a knockdown shooter for the team and has excelled off the catch and shoot. After a bit of a slow start, he turned it on especially in Atlanta and with his height and length, he’s been able to make an impact defensively. A rising junior he’s already started getting Division I offers – the first from UC Santa Barbara – and interest from Big Sky, Big West, and West Coast Conference schools.

Jabe Mullins (2020 Mount Si HS) – Mullins is what Turner describes as a do-it-all guy. He led the team in assists in Gauntlet play and is one of those players that helps make those around him better. Defensively he has gotten the job done on the perimeter as well. Mullins has already received a couple of offers from Eastern Washington and Montana and is getting interest from other Big Sky and Big West schools.

Yousef Elkugia (2019 Eastlake HS) – Elkugia has been playing the stretch four for Team Lavine but has guard skills since that’s where he plays for Eastlake. Despite the fact he’s young for his grade (for which he may reclassify to 2020) he’s well-built and athletic, and definitely one of the stronger kids on the team. He’s excelled with his one-dribble pullup offensively. Elkugia has picked up early offers from Montana and Air Force and others are watching.

Bijon Sidhu (2019 Mount Si HS) – Sidhu is a strong, tough guard at 6-foot-4 and has been the team’s best perimeter defender and top rebounder from the backcourt. He has helped out at all three perimeter positions and has been solid in the mid-range offensively. Sidhu may also be looking at reclassifying to be a member of the class of 2020.

Liam Pijpker (2018 Issaquah HS) – Pijpker at 6-foot-6 has been playing at the stretch four as a pick and pop guy. He has hit his outside shots but has also done a good job at driving and finishing around the rim. A physical player, he has done the job defensively with toughness. Division II schools have shown interest.

Mitchell Saxen (2020 Ingraham HS) – After dominating at the 16U level, Saxen will be playing up with the 17U team full-time in July. At 6-foot-9, he has been what Ary-Turner describes as a “monster”, especially defensively as he’s averaged about five blocks a game. He’s tough around the basket and has been a double-double machine. Early Division I offers from the likes of Pepperdine, Portland, Montana, and Seattle U have already come through and when it’s all said and done, Ary-Turner believes that Saxen will be a major conference recruit as schools such as Washington, Washington State, Stanford, and Kansas have called.

Ary-Turner notes that one or two players may be added to the roster in July as two notable Class of 2018 players from Oregon are considering attending Elite Prep in the fall. Also, one member of the Class of 2018 who did play for Team Lavine in the spring, Freddy Brown III, has committed to Montana.