Another look at the 2007 class

Another look at the 2007 class

Arizona signed a five-man class on Wednesday that is already ranked in the top-10 by Scout.com. Let's take another look at the five young men who are the future of Wildcat basketball.

Jerryd Bayless
6-3, 185, CG
Phoenix, AZ - St. Mary's HS
The ultimate combo guard. Bayless is a nice, solid point guard but where he excels is in scoring. He's an explosive scorer who can dunk with the best of them and can stroke it from the outside. The question is if he going to become a Dwyane Wade type or a Stephon Marbury type.
What We Love: Size, strength, athleticism and competitiveness are all things that come to mind. He's also willing to play defense, something a lot of elite players shy away from.
What Needs To Improve: Bayless could stand to make better decisions in both passing and shot selection. Nothing Lute Olson and his staff can't fine tune.
2007-08 Role: Bayless was not recruited to sit on the bench.
Long Term Role: There may not be a "long term" for Bayless. He'll play right away for the Wildcats, the only question is whether he'll be play more at the one or the two.
Lute Olson Says: "Jerryd is an explosive athlete and a great scorer. From a personal standpoint, he is a great person and an outstanding student. When we recruit, we look for character, and Jerryd is just that."

Jamelle Horne
6-7, 180, SF
San Diego, CA – San Diego Senior HS
Olson could not draw up a better small forward. He's tall, explosive, long and athletic. He's got a well rounded game and has a great work ethic. He loves the game and has been hugely influential in attracting players for this class.
What We Love: He likes to pass and will battle on the boards. That already gives him a leg up for early playing time. He is a very good offensive player and is willing to work on defense.
What Needs To Improve: Horne is still developing his midrange game. His outside shot needs a little more consistency.

2007-08 Role: Horne has the ability to see the court early on. A lot of things depends on who else is still on the team when he gets here.
Lute Olson Says: "Jamelle reminds me of Richard Jefferson. He's very athletic and a great defender"

Laval Lucas-Perry
6-2, 175, CG
Flint, MI – Powers Catholic HS
A second combo-guard in the class. Perry does not have the athleticism or flashy game that Bayless has, but he's a very good basketball player. Comparisons to Gilbert Arenas and Joe Dumars have been made and he has a little of each player's skills. He's a very good scorer that takes pretty good shots and tries to get other players involved. Perry has nice strength and uses it to get into the lane.
What We Love: Lucas-Perry battles. He's a competitor that appears to thrive on competition. He does not make many mistakes and has a lot of potential.
What Needs To Improve: There are no glaring weaknesses, but every aspect of his game could get better. He just does everything well, but no one skill jumps out at you.
2007-08 Role: Lucas-Perry has a chance to break into the rotation but may have his work cut out for him. The Cats could return as many as six perimeter players, plus the addition of Bayless, Horne and Zane Johnson could make minutes tough to come by.
Lute Olson Says: "We feel that Laval is the sleeper of this class," said Olson. "He's a competitor who won't back down from anyone."

Alex Jacobson
7-0, 240, C
Santa Ana, CA – Mater Dei HS
A big, physical big man that is still refining his game. Jacobson is a bit of a project, but one with all of the tools to be a big time player. He gives the Cats the type of tall, strong inside player they have lacked since the "Tucson Skyline" days.
What We Love: He's seven-foot. Jacobson is also a player that has gotten better every time we have seen him. He went from a non-factor two years ago, to a nice role player at the start of the summer to a player who looked very confident by summer's end.
What Needs To Improve: His footwork and feel for the game need work. Both have gotten better in the last year, but he has some ways to go to be a dominant big man. His offensive game has also gotten better, but he could use a few more go-to moves.
2007-08 Role: Jacobson has a chance to play right away next year. With Kirk Walters and Ivan Radenovic both graduating, there is some potential minutes if Jacobson is ready. If he is not ready, the Cats could have the luxury of redshirting him as they will still have Jordan Hill, Mohamed Tangara, Bret Brielmaier and Fendi Onobun on the roster. Lute Olson Says: "Alex has such a great work ethic," said Olson. "He has soft hands and is very good around the basket"

Zane Johnson
6-6, 200, SF
Phoenix, AZ – Thunderbird HS
A terrific shooting wing who understands the game and is still developing. Johnson is an underrated athlete who is very coachable and is not afraid to work hard. He has good size and decent quickness. With some additional work he could become a Casey Jacobson type player.
What We Love: His shot is the best aspect of his game. He has decent quickness and is a good ball handler. His attitude is also great. Not only is he eager to learn, but here is a kid who wanted to be a Wildcat.
What Needs To Improve: He's got good athleticism, but Johnson needs to quicker. He is a great spot up shooter, but will need to learn to attack the basket better. He works hard on defense but needs to be able to defend quicker players.
2007-08 Role: Again, his minutes could depend on the roster situation. What he does have going for him is his ability to hit the outside shot. Johnson will automatically be one of the team's best shooters the day he steps on campus.
Lute Olson Says: "Zane is a great outside shooter with a lot of potential. He's a heady basketball player and his knowledge of the game will help us."

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