LAS VEGAS - Bracket play started on Saturday and there were a few Arizona prospects eliminated while others advance to the final day of the tournaments.
Justin Simon: In a win over the Atlanta Celtics, Simon played one of the best games we have seen from him. Twice he hit step back three-pointers and as we have said before, when his shot is falling, he is nearly unstoppable.
One sequence, Simon made a step back three, then proceeded to block a shot, and finished the play with a layup through three players. It was the most impressive sequence we saw this weekend and highlights what Simon can do.
Chase Jeter: As well as Simon played, Jeter probably played as poorly. He was shut down for the majority of the game, but did get a dunk of a lob from Simon that wound up being the winning play.
We do have to give credit to Jeter for never changing his demeanor despite facing the best defensive performance he has seen all week. That mindset allowed him to get the game-winning hoop and is just one of the reasons why he is so highly regarded.
Stephen Zimmerman: There really is not a lot to say about Zimmerman’s performance because he did not play much when we saw him. The Soldiers completely dominated the opposition and he only played about a half.
When he was in the game, Zimmerman dominated the glass and he was so much better than the other team that he seemed somewhat bored at times and settled for jumpers that he didn’t really need to. Still, Zimmerman has had a strong week and fatigue has seemingly not affected him much.
M.J. Cage: Another day, another impressive performance from Cage. We don’t know if he is just getting a feel for each game, but he has been significantly better in the second half of every game we have seen him in.
Cage just makes things look so easy and when Mater Dei needed a bucket, it made sure to find Cage in the post, where he scored more often than not. He struggled with his jump shot some, but we believe it will eventually become a significant part of his game, making him even more dangerous.
Cody Riley: Once again, Riley pushed around his size and controlled the glass and paint in general, though he did hit a three-pointer or two.
Riley also impressed us with his passing ability, including one play where he was able to draw a defender in and then pass it around the defender’s back to a streaking teammate for a basket. We have questions about how much of a ceiling Riley has, but he’s darn good where he is at now..
Marcus Shaver: Shaver had his team’s offense rolling, as it scored over 100 points in a win. Whether it was finding an open teammate or being aggressive to the hoop, Shaver continually made the right decisions.
At this point, Shaver’s biggest issue is his strength. However, he still looks like a baby and you can tell that he still has plenty of growing to do. Figuring he improves and his growth process continues, Shaver has a real chance to be good enough for Arizona to take him.
Alex Barcello: When we saw Barcello earlier in the week, we described him as a scorer and nothing has changed in that regard. He is a very good shooter, but he also knows when to use that shot to open up the lane.
We do wonder how much growing Barcello has left because he looks physically mature, but he is a smart player and a good scorer with a bright future ahead of him.
Markus Howard: You can ask three different people who the three best guards are in Arizona for 2017 and get different answers, but Howard as a very strong case. His range is unreal and while he sometimes forces it, Howard is truly capable of hitting from three or four feet behind the line.
He is not just a shooter though, as he gets in the lane and has an effective floater with that uses significantly. In addition, Howard showed the ability to guard, especially when the game got close at the end.