Junior Spotlight: Devon Evertsen

Moon Valley High School in Phoenix just might hold the key to solving Arizona's "big wing" problems. In 1998, the Wildcats signed Richard Jefferson out of Moon Valley and now have eyes on another Rocket athlete: 6-7 Devon Evertsen.

One of Arizona's primary goals in this recruiting season is to find itself one or two of the nation's finest "big wings". The kind of players that have the wingspan of a Richard Jefferson, the size of a Richard Jefferson, the athleticism of a Richard Jefferson and the defensive ability of...well, of a Richard Jefferson.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, they may have found one of those types of players and he's just up the road in Phoenix. Oh, and he's great friends with Richard Jefferson. The Valley's Devon (Dev-in, not Dev-on) Evertsen.

"Rich and I are good friends," Evertsen said of the former Wildcat star. "He is always telling me that I should go to Arizona because that's where I'd fit in the best. One thing he also said is not to go to UCLA because those guys are so 'cocky'."

Evertsen is the leading scorer for Moon Valley High School where, surprise, Richard Jefferson starred as a high schooler. Not only that, but Evertsen is also among the top scorers in the state of Arizona as well.

The junior is still growing and still filling out his frame but is already a good size for a potential college wing man. He stands six-feet-seven-inches, weighs over 190-pounds and says working on gaining more strength is one of his biggest goals.

Cat Tracks had the pleasure of watching Evertsen play live at Moon Valley against rival Sunnyslope High School and came away with some interesting conclusions about the future of the ultra-athletic junior forward.

For starters, the comparisons to Jefferson in terms of athleticism are fair. Jefferson might be a little bit more powerful and more explosive but Evertsen is equally as exciting potentially. Devon can also stroke the three and although he took some forced shots against Sunnyslope's aggressive defense, it was very clear that he can create his own shot whenever he wants it and free space for himself as well without any problems.

He didn't shoot a high percentage when we watched him but he got to the foul line several times and has the kind of form and touch that leads one to believe that he is capable of being an above average shooter with time.

The one thing that stood out about Devon Evertsen is the one thing that he needs to work on most: developing a dominant personality while on the court.

The opinion here is that Evertsen can be as good as he wants to be. The problem is that I don't think he knows how good he can be. He looks to get his teammates involved (which is fine) but sometimes he does so when he should probably just say, "all right, get out of my way because I'm scoring and ain't nobody stopping me."

Mike Bibby had that mentality, Richard Jefferson had that mentality and Channing Frye had it in high school as well. Those are the three "big name" propsects to come out of Arizona and play at the D-I level. Interestingly enough, all three signed on with the Wildcats and have blossomed into superstars (Bibby), Lottery picks in the NBA (Bibby and Jefferson) and dominant college freshmen (Bibby and Frye).

Evertsen says he likes what Arizona has done with guys like the aforementioned trio.

"I think Arizona is my ideal school," he said. "It's close to home, they have great coaches who develop players for the next level and I like the style (of basketball) they play."

Other than Arizona, Evertsen lists Kansas, USC and Iowa State among his other suitors. He likes the way Kansas plays and likes Roy Williams as a coach. But to him the most important thing when making a decision was going someplace where his team has a chance at playing in the Final Four and competing for the National Championship each year.

There's little doubt that for next three or four years, Arizona will be among the five or six top contenders for Final Four berths and beyond. Getting Evertsen would only serve to compliment an already spectacular lineup.

However, Evertsen is still only a junior and has even said himself that he has things he needs to work on. One is getting stronger, which he will no doubt do--he has the body type to pack on extra muscle--and the other is becoming that dominant player that colleges look for in prospective recruits.

Devon Evertsen can be as good as he wants to be. He just has to want to.


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