Las Vegas Tournament Evaluations: Part I was in attendance for the first full day of the Las Vegas tournaments. Read on for evaluations of Payton Dastrup, Marcus Lee, and many more.

LAS VEGAS - WildcatAuthority.vom was in attendance for the first full day of the Las vegas tournaments. Read on for evaluations of numerous Arizona prospects.


Aaron Gordon: Gordon is still fighting through injury and twisted his ankle on Thursday, but it really did not matter, as he was still the best player on the court. Gordon looks like much more of a small forward than he did the last time we saw him and it seems that his transition to the three is almost complete.

We would like to see him become a better shooter, but Gordon is so talented and works hard enough to the point that it would not be surprising to see him improve in that area. On Thursday, he seemed to be more athletic and just more gifted than his opponents and had a few plays in which he handled the point successfully.

Jabari Bird: If Gordon was the best player on the court on Thursday, Bird was not far behind. When his mid-range game is falling, it really opens up everything else for him. We have seen Bird play better than he did on Thursday, but that does not mean he disappointed.

Bird is able to get in the lane and opponents have to respect that ability. When they respect it too much, he is able to create his own shot and get open. Bird is primarily a scorer and while there is room for improvement in other areas, his ceiling is high.

Marcus Lee: Lee is the type of player that you can evaluate once you have seen him a few times. He is strong defensively and has a nice ability to block shots. However, that defensive ability takes a hit when he is forced to defend the post.

In addition, Lee leaves a little something to be desired in the post offensively and both cases are because he just is not strong enough right now. If you figure that Lee is going to enter a weight program, get stronger, and keep improving, then his ceiling is high. At this point, his defense is his biggest strength, but the right fit will lead to him being a successful college player.


Namon Wright: Wright has struggled a bit the last few times we have seen him, but he deserves credit for how far he has come. A year ago, Wright was not much of an Arizona prospect, but he now has the chance to be a legitimate Pac-12 player and one in which Arizona has plenty of interest in.

Wright's Dream Vision squad is struggling and while that is the case for him individually as well, he has shown an ability to be a solid defender with a relatively reliable mid-range game. We definitely need to see more of Wright in the upcoming days, but there has to be a reason why so many schools have jumped into his recruitment.

Payton Dastrup: There is absolutely no denying Dastrup's skill, as there are not too many other big men that are better shooters. However, he has to get tougher and stronger if he wants to succeed at the next level.

Jahlil Okafor is one of the best centers in the country and he was very successful against Dastrup because he seemed to be so much stronger than him. On the bright side, Dastrup realized this and, when on offense, took Okafor outside and drained a couple of jumpers.

Offensively, Dastrup has very good potential and if he can improve in other facets of his game, he is one of the better players in the class.

Jahlil Okafor: Every time we see Okafor, we always come out of it thinking that he is one of the best players in the country regardless of class and Thursday's performance did nothing to change that. Okafor was his normal aggressive self on the block, but was extremely impressive on the perimeter as well.

On a few plays, Okafor was able to take his man off the dribble and spin once he got into the lane in order to score. Players with his size and strength just should not be able to do that and, at this point, Okafor is a future top ten NBA Draft pick in the making.

Stanley Johnson: There really is not a lot to write about Johnson in this one. Normally, he is very willing to do interviews and while Johnson was his normal classy self after the game, he was so disappointed with his performance that he passed on all interviews. Johnson is better than he played on Thursday and we expect him to bounce back in a big way.


Aaron Holiday: The brother of Jrue and Justin, it would not be a surprise if Aaron wound up the best. He has put on good weight and gotten considerably stronger from last year, which has done nothing but help his game.

Holiday showed a strong ability to get to the basket and is already fundamentally sound, as he hit a fade away jumper a few times. Holiday is raw in some areas but, with continued improvement, he will be one of the best in the west for his class.

Max Hazzard: Hazzard is probably a consistent jumper away from having many more offers. He scored 14 points, eight of which were consecutive. In addition, he was the best defender on the court and absolutely harassed the opposing guards.

Hazzard is beyond the point of simply being intriguing because he definitely looked like a legitimate prospect. We are curious to see how he continues to progress because we believe that Hazzard's ceiling is extremely high.

Austin Conway: Forget the fact that Conway is barely pushing 5-foot-8 because he is talented. Conway's speed is among the best we have seen in any class and his ability to get the ball from baseline to baseline is very impressive. Conway has a good feel for the game and is a player to keep a close eye on in terms of recruiting attention.

Sedrick Barefield: Barefield seems to have a different type of game every time we see him and we don't mean that in a bad way. On Thursday, Barefield was more of a shooter and hit numerous shots from behind the arc.

The problem with this is that he is probably at his best when he is getting into the lane and creating space. Barefield is not there yet, but he has room for growth and enough skill that will help him continue to mature as a player and see his recruitment increase.


DeRon Davis: It is hard to write about such a young player, but there are numerous reasons why Colorado, Indiana, and Arkansas have offered. Davis is well-built physically and demanded a double team in the post.

One of the best aspects of the way he played was that he knew what he was and never forced it, establishing position in the post almost every time down court. The double frustrated Davis a bit, but he showed enough to impress us.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories