The day started with drills and 3-on-3 games, which gave a different look to the players. Players were freer to improvise and try to get on the scoreboard. Fundamentals are still stressed, but the more open court let some guys shine. After lunch it was time for team action and the best chance to evaluate players.
The two players who committed to Arizona had nice games. Jawann McClellan shot better today and is proving that he is worthy of being a Wildcat. He has been more aggressive and the shot was more consistent today, which makes him an even more dangerous scorer.
Even better news is that Nic Wise is gaining more confidence. He isn’t shooting much, but he is moving better without the ball and is good at running the offense. What impresses onlookers the most is his ball-handling ability and very quick hands. You’d like to see him as more of an offensive threat, but he told us today that he is just trying to get the older, more experienced players involved.
There may be a lack of true big men, but athletic power forwards seem to be in abundance. The Wildcats are in the market for frontcourt players, and luckily several of the best are interested.
Rudy Gay continues to impress. He’s a true inside/outside player who may be better suited to the wing. He does remind us a bit of Marvin Williams. At this time he’s more comfortable on the wing, but he’s more than capable of scoring in the paint. Gay’s list is extensive and it could be awhile before he whittles it down.
Brian Johnson is a stud. The big man was shaken up a bit during 3-on-3 play, but rebounded and played strong during the mid-day team session. He’s strong, yet agile and looks comfortable in the paint. If he indeed does favor North Carolina, UNC would have a monster class adding him to Williams and JamesOn Curry. A lot of coaches were watching him play, so expect a lot of teams, including the Cats, to make a final push.
Another guy we love is Darnell Jackson. The big, powerful player from Midwest City, Oklahoma has great moves and is quite the athlete. Arizona is in the mix, but one drawback is that he may have to wait until the spring signing period due to academics. He also likes Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico State and the home state Sooners.
Davis Nwankwo goes to Georgetown Prep in College Park, Maryland, but may spurn the Hoyas for the West Coast. His coach is a former John Thompson point guard and his teammate Roy Hibbert, who has committed to the Hoyas, wants him to join him but it looks like Stanford and Arizona could be his top two. His coach, Dwayne Bryant, says that those two schools will likely edge out his alma mater and UConn.
Maarty Leunen is more of a three than a four, but he can and will likely play both. Leunen does not jump out at you, but the more you watch him the more you appreciate all the little things he does. He’s got a nice stroke and hustles. He likes Arizona, but we hear it may be tough to pry him away from the Pacific Northwest. If he does stay close to home, expect Gonzaga, Oregon or Oregon State to snap him up. California is not out of the picture either.
A lot of people are starting to watch Magnum Rolle, the big man from the Bahamas. At 6-11 he’s a remarkable athlete. He's paired on the same team with Nwankwo, so the Wildcat coaches got to see him work. Only time will tell if Rolle is in the picture.
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