SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Sunday was the first day of the Nike Basketball Academy that was open to the media and we had the opportunity to see numerous Arizona prospects in action.
Ira Lee: Lee did not get a lot of touches on Sunday, but did pretty well when he did. He had one impressive move in which he took the ball baseline and had a spinning jumper. The shot actually missed, but it was a nice move and the fluidity of it was impressive.
Lee isn’t going to jump off the charts when you see him, but he is still one of the best prospects in the west for his class. It will be interesting watching where he goes from here, but our guess is that he keeps improving based on his skill set and work ethic.
D.J. Harvey: Defense isn’t common in these types of events, so it is difficult to blame Harvey for basically not playing any on Sunday. However, his offense is what sets him apart anyway and he displayed that a bit.
On one play, Harvey took a big dribble to create separation and hit a shot from about a foot behind the arc, There was absolutely nothing the defender could have done and you could tell that it was a shot Harvey is confident in taking.
In addition, Harvey was able to score in the paint and he is extremely versatile offensively, which is what makes him a highly regarded prospect.
Mohamed Bamba: We wish posts got the ball more in these types of events because it seems when they finally do get the ball, they want to do something with it and it takes them out of their comfort zone.
For some reason Bamba’s teammates did not give him the ball as much as he deserved, so he took a few ill-advised outside shots that aren’t his strength.
We did see him block numerous shots and grab some rebound as well, which isn’t surprising when you consider his length is insane. Nothing we saw on Sunday would lead us to believe he isn’t one of the top ten prospects in his class.
Jarred Vanderbilt: We didn’t see a more impressive prospect on Sunday. At 6-foot-8, the most impressive aspect of Vanderbilt’s game may be how well he handles the ball. The forward has no issues with grabbing a rebound and starting a break or simply bringing the ball up court.
Vanderbilt is a very good passer for a player his size and he is extremely creative once he gets in the air. There were numerous instances in which he got caught in the lane, but found a way to get the bucket.
P.J. Washington: Although he is somewhat undersized, Washington is always playing hard and aggressive. He went right at the player guarding him and found himself getting in the lane not because of any move he made, but simply because he was trying harder than the opponent.
He looks comfortable hitting mid-range jumpshots and around the basket, but displayed more of an effort game on Sunday.