There aren’t many players as versatile as 6-foot-7, Houston Victory Prep Academy South forward Jarred Vanderbilt and the five-star is trying to prove just that this summer.
“This year since we lost (De’Aaron) Fox, I had to kind of take over as point guard and point forward,” Vanderbilt said. “I’ve been handling it a lot and initiating the offense and trying to distribute the ball to my guys and make plays.”
Colleges have taken notice and are open minded when recruiting Vanderbilt.
“A lot of teams view me as a combo,” Vanderbilt said. “They want me to initiate offense, and when I get a rebound to push it and make plays for me and others. A lot of schools are recruiting me for the one, two, three.
“I try to model after Penny (Hardaway) and Lamar Odom. Those are the two guys I really look at, as far as big guys handling the ball and playmakers.”
Vanderbilt admits that schools are starting to sound alike with their recruiting pitches.
“In a way they all pretty much say the same thing about systems and how they want to use me,” he said.
“It is a matter of me feeling the most comfortable with a school and the coaching staff and guys coming in.”
As talented as Vanderbilt is, he is confident that the NBA will likely come after only one year of college.
“Most of the coaches understand that I am a potential one and done, so they are all recruiting me like that,” Vanderbilt said.
“Some schools tell me about a two or three year plan, but those aren’t the schools I am looking at.
“The goal is to get to the NBA, so if I have an outstanding freshman season and I am projected to be a top pick, I am going to enter the draft.”
Arizona is one school that has appealed to what Vanderbilt wants and he has taken notice.
“I talk to coach Miller all the time and the assistants as well,” he said. “They have a great program and they have a lot of good players coming in. They’re on me hard.”
What would Arizona and other schools need to show to land Vanderbilt?
“The system of play,” he said. “I like being in transition. A school that is going to let me play my game as far as being a point forward and being in the post and allow me to show my versatility.
“I also want a good coaching staff that is going to teach me and help me advance to the next level.”