Rothbart showed the same skills while on his recruiting visit over the weekend. In fact he was even more impressive playing against more experienced players. Of the three big men who have been here since the school year started, Rothbart was the most aggressive on the offensive end. Going up against the smaller Matt Brasse Rothbart was able to get off his outside shot and was very effective on the inside.
Although Rothbart lives in Northern California he's a native of Yugoslavia and his game is very reminiscent of European big men. Rothbart is very comfortable on the outside. In fact, his first few shots of the pick-up sessions were all from behind the arc. Rothbart has a nice stroke, but needs a little work on consistency. He can hit the three, but doesn't always get enough leg into his shot and tends to come up short. He's much better from about 15 feet in. He was uncanny with the midrange jumper, knocking it down from various sports around the court.
The most surprising aspect of his game is his ability to put the ball on the floor. The lanky seven-footer looks a bit awkward going to the rack, but does it very effectively. He has good body control and keeps a low center of gravity as he slashes. He showed that he can finish at the rim as well as pull up and hit the short jumper.
Rothbart does not seem to thrive on contact, but did an admirable job mixing it up on the inside. He was especially impressive on the defensive glass, where he uses his height and length to gather in the ball. Just as impressive as the actual rebound is what he does after grabbing it. Rothbart has the presence of mind to know where the outlet pass is and does a very good job passing the ball upcourt.
Rothbart may not have the upside of Nwankwo or Tangara, but appears to be ahead of them, at least offensively, at this point. He is a more polished scorer and is not afraid to shoot or go to the rack. The comparison to the other two recruits' pick-up performances may not be entirely fair as both Nwankwo and Tangara had to go up against bigger players like Kirk Walters and Isaiah Fox. Rothbart matched up with the shorter Brasse, but had no trouble guarding the combo-forward on the outside.
Rothbart's mother Nada accompanied her son on the visit and got a chance to watch a bit of her son in action. She seemed pleased with his play and her past comments might suggest that she likes the idea of Robert playing in Tucson.
"I'd love to hear Robert say ‘This is it. This is where I want to be. I want to help Coach Olson get to where he wants to go and I want to be a part of it,'" Nada Rothbart said prior to the visit.
Cat Tracks will catch up with the Rothbarts Sunday evening to see how well the visit went.
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