LAS VEGAS - Thursday was the first full day of the Las Vegas tournaments and there were plenty of Arizona recruits in action.
Justin Simon: We saw Simon in both a win and a loss and he was solid in both efforts. In the win over the Milwaukee Rebels, Simon finished with 15 points and five assists while only turning the ball over once. The most impressive aspect of his game was that he was in control throughout despite the game itself getting a bit out of control at times.
Simon only missed four shots, two of which were from behind the arc. His jumper continues to improve and as it does, he becomes much more effective. Basically, there are not many players in the country that are better prospects than Simon right now and if he gets a consistent jumper, that fact only gets stronger.
Chase Jeter: Jeter’s shot was not falling in the second game of the day, but his entire team struggled in the loss. In the first game, Jeter looked like he was he was one of the best players in the country, finishing with 17 points and 16 rebounds. He has the ability to step out, but the majority of Jeter’s points came inside the paint and on the free-throw line.
What we really like about Jeter’s game is that he does not force a lot. He was clearly the best player on the floor, yet still remained calm and allowed the game to come to him as opposed to the common AAU big man that forces jumpers.
De’Ron Davis: Our first reaction to seeing Davis on Thursday was that he has really come a long way physically. There was a point in his development where his weight and conditioning became a legitimate worry, but he showed that he is headed in the right direction.
Davis finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds while only missing three shots. He is a prototypical center in that he gets the majority of his points on the block and it is extremely difficult for the opposition to guard him with one man because of his strength. Davis and Cage are battling to be the top post prospect in the west for 2016, but you likely can’t go wrong with either.
M.J. Cage: We could watch Cage play numerous games per day because he just does things the right way. He went up against 7-foot-3 Jean Marc Koumadje and didn’t flinch. It did take him some time to get used to the height and he struggled with his jumper, but Cage was clearly the better player in the second half.
Cage has the potential to become a dominant shot blocker and that is an intriguing aspect of his game because he is not overly athletic. He just knows when to go up and has great instincts, especially for a player his age.
Solomon Young: Young is not a very refined player, but you have to love his energy and effort. In fact, you can attribute much of his production to that effort, which he needs considering he is a bit undersized.
Young may not be there yet as far as being good enough to play at Arizona goes, but if he continues to progress with his fundamentals and develops his offensive game, he will become even more of an intriguing player. Young is certainly a guy to keep an eye on for the next few years.
Cody Riley: Riley didn’t do anything that we have not seen him do before, which is not a bad thing. Physically, he can probably play in college right now and it is hard to believe that he is a member of the 2017 class.
With his size and physicality, Riley sometimes surprised with his moves off the dribble. In one sequence, he went one on two on a break and split the defenders with a big dribble, leading to an easy layup.
At that point, numerous coaches smiled and it was obvious that Riley had impressed them. You wonder about where he is going physically, but Riley is always going to remain one of the best players in the class.
Marcus Shaver: You can certainly make a case that Shaver is the best player in the state for 2017. He ran the point effectively, but also knew when to pull up and shoot when his team needed him the most.
Shaver could have been more aggressive and nobody would have blamed him, but he played within the offense and pushed the tempo with success. Our only previous viewing was when he struggled at Pangos, but he definitely looked better on Thursday going up against players his own age.
Alex Barcello: Barcello is a scorer, plain and simple. Whether it is getting into the lane or pulling up off the dribble, he found ways to get the ball in the hoops and that is obviously something that coaches love.
We need to watch him more, but Barcello has enough qualities that make him intriguing and we can certainly see the coaching staff keeping a close eye on him.
Jalen Hill: We have heard that Hill is one of the better prospects in the west, but he did not get a lot of touches when we saw him on Thursday. When he did get touches, Hill made the right decision and you can see the room for growth and why coaches are so high on him early in his career.
This is a player that you are probably going to hear more about, especially since he has a good frame that can put on weight and help him become more of a true post. Hill had success on the glass and blocked a few shots, two skills that are only going to improve as he gets older and stronger.