2006 Profile: Derrick Jasper

The 2006 class looks to be a pretty strong class, especially on the West Coast. The Wildcats have already offered a number of West Coast players and are evaluating a bunch more. One of the more intriguing players is Derrick Jasper of Northern California.

Derrick Jasper burst upon the scene this summer and has quickly emerged as one of the best perimeter players in the 2006 class. He's a tremendous athlete who has a lot of position flexibility.

He was a known commodity before the summer started, but really established himself at the Adidas Camp in Atlanta. As well as he played over the summer, Jasper was not thrilled with his overall performance..

"I think I started slow, but I'm trying to get better," Jasper confessed.

Jasper has a very good stroke and can shoot from the outside. He has great floor sense and rarely presses.

"He's a deceptive athlete, with good hops and strength," said West Coast recruiting analyst Greg Hicks. "He needs to work on his ability to create his own shot, but he's among the top wings in the west for 2006." The biggest question is where will he play in college. Most see the 6-4 players as a shooting guard, but Jasper has loftier aspirations.

"I want to be like Jason Kid, a big point guard," Jasper said.

His AAU coach Lerohn Dodson also feels Jaspers' future will be in handling the ball.

"He's actually a pure point guard," Dodson said. "I think he's definitely going to be a point guard at the next level."

Jasper plays on one of the best AAU teams in the nation. The EBO/EA Sports squad has the likes of Quincy Pondexter, Travon Willis and the Brooks twins, among other top prospects. Jasper's summer was a bit awkward at the beginning as he was trying to get used to his teammates on the loaded EBO squad.

"He's trying to get used to playing with guys who you can pass the ball to and they can do something with it," Dodson said.

Jasper loved playing with the team that should be among the best in the nation next year.

"It's fun, these guys can all jump and stuff," Jasper said. "They are so athletic. My high school team is not like that."

"The future looks very bright we have one to-be senior, other than that they are all freshman, sophomores and juniors," Dodson said of EBO. "We're extremely happy and I think we have guys who are going to be big time."

As of now Dodson's stock is very high and it should only get higher. Despite all the hype, Jasper knows there are aspects of his game that he needs to improve.

"I need to improve my ball handling, I need to be more strong with the ball. I need to create better off the dribble."

A ton of top programs are starting to take notice, but Jasper is still in the early stages of trying to make any type of decision.

Whoever gets Jasper is going to get a special player.

"Derrick is a great kid, very coachable," Dodson said. "His strengths, he's a 4.0, so the kid's very smart. He understands the game of basketball. He's real eager to learn. He wants to get better every practice, every game. He has tremendous upside. He's a very quiet kid, we need to try and make him a little more vocal, to be more of a floor general, to talk more out on the court."

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: The Wildcat coaches love Jasper. Coaches were out to see him all summer long. With his ability to play either guard spot, he could be the perfect compliment to Nic Wise. Another plus is the fact that EBO teammate Pondexter is very interested in the Wildcats. Expect the Cats to go hard after Jasper.

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