Cali’s Best – ’12 Committment Review

Posted: April 9, 2012 by DeadBefore50 in Recruiting Analysis/Rankings
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ESPN recently released it’s updated 2012 ESPNU Top 100. A total of (8) California ballers cracked the elite list. The PAC-12 did very well in locking down multiple Cali products:

#9 Grant Jerrett – The 6’10 Power Forward has long been the cornerstone of a fantastic ’12 haul for Sean Miller and the University of Arizona. Although an imposing physical figure, Garrett’s game isn’t an overpowering one. He has has a nice jumper, and can take it out beyond the arc. The biggest concern regarding his game is a tendency to shy away from contact. Jerrett will need to add to his 220lbs if he’s going to play the inside game at the NCAA level, and beyond. On the D side, Jerrett carries a quick bounce and solid timing, and is poised to develop into an effective shot blocker. He appears to take pride in his D which should lead to early/substantial minutes in his Freshman season. With continued development Jerrett should prove a force at the D1 level.

#16 Brandon Ashley – Another nice catch for Coach Miller and the Wildcats. At 6’8 215lbs Ashley has often been a man among boys. His physical gifts are all but unquestioned and he has the athleticism, bounce, and agility to garner a 5-star ranking. Similar to Jerrett, Ashley doesn’t appear comfortable when the game gets physical and can shy away from contact. His high-level natural gifts have afforded him the opportunity to grab headlines without consistently giving max effort. If he can develop a consistent motor and a desire to improve, Ashley could be an absolute force at the 3/4. On the flip side, if Ashley is satisfied with the status quo he could go the way of recent Arizona big time recruits (Josiah Turner Nick Johnson) whom have yet to produce to the level of their hype.

# 47 Katin Reinhardt – Could prove the most interesting to follow of this year’s Cali crop. No doubt Reinhardt can score and score in bunches. He has the vision of a PG and is an effective passer. He can fall in love with the dribble and is somewhat TO prone. If he gets clear of that and focuses on taking what the D gives him as opposed to forcing his will, he could develop into a high-level SG for the Rebels. As with many score first HS Guards, Katin’s D can use some work. Has the physical tools, just needs to sharpen his focus and maximize his effort.

De-committed

#55 Robert Upshaw -This saga has yet to to unfold its final chapter. As well-documented, Upshaw committed to Kansas St. under the Frank Martin regime. Martin bolts for South Carolina and Upshaw reopens his recruitment. Georgetown appears the favorite, but we may see another twist or turn. On the court Upshaw’s game is a tale of two ends. On the Defensive side he displays strong timing, has good length, and has developed into an effective shot-blocker. On the Offensive end Upshaw is very much a work in progress. There’s little fluidity to his game and he appears to over-think each post move. His defense should garner significant early minutes and allow for his Offensive game to develop along the way. He’s known as a hard worker, so the improvement is likely.

#62 Dominic Artis – At 5’11 165lbs Artis is one of the smallest players to crack this year’s Top 100. He has long arms for his frame and serious hops so he does play a little taller, but his slight build is a potential area of concern. His outside game is good, but not great. His speed and solid on the run passing appear best suited for an uptempo offense, but he’s also shown the patience/court savvy to run the half-court set. If he’s done growing he should prove a solid D1 Point Guard and have a quality collegiate career. If he gets to 6’1 or so and can add 15-20lbs without sacrificing speed/agility he should flourish for the Ducks. Oregon averaged 72.2pts per game this season and showed some ability to light up the scoreboard. Artis should only add to that ability.

#65 Gabe York – For my money, Gabe York is the one (among this group) to watch. York’s combo of explosive bounce and legit beyond the arc range is a lethal and fairly rare combination. If the kid is 2-3 inches taller he’s a Top 5 prospect. As is he’s severely underrated at #62. Few in this class carry York’s ability to score. Areas in need of work include defensive consistency and he should be a more effective rebounder. At 6’1 170lbs there’s room for more physical development and strength. York strikes me as a potential impact player at the D1 level and should be a cornerstone of this U of A class.

#68 Xavier Johnson – The Buffs dip back into SoCal in hopes of securing another impact player (’11 Askia Booker, Price High). Johnson is 6’6 and made significant strides this season. “X” has good bounce and athleticism and is creative around the rim. Prior to this season his outside game was inconsistent at best. He know holds a decent 3pt shot, but would benefit from more work on his jumper. There’s currently a noticeable “hitch” in his stroke which delays his release. Johnson appears to have made due against HS defenders, but D1 athletes will be much better equipped to snuff this out if not corrected.

#88 Grant Verhoeven – Here’s a case of size and effort over hyper-athleticism. Verhoeven was very productive at the High School level (27.8pts and 18.3reb), but did struggle against similar sized and athletic big men. In that he’s headed to Stanford it’s safe to assume Verhoeven will play out his 4yrs in college and by his Senior year could develop into an All-Conference type performer. I don’t think he’ll ever light up a stat sheet, but come the end of the game you’ll look up and see he’s contributed more than you realized. The blue-collar high effort approach appears his option and to do so he’ll need to add to his 215lb frame so as to avoid wearing down.

Other notables : Matt Shrigley (#9 in CA – signed w/SDSU), Anthony January (#11 CA – undecided), Tyrone Wallace (#15 CA – signed w/Cal), & Skylar Spencer (#16 in CA – signed w/SDSU)

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