Jasper gaining attention

While there are still plenty of players who will emerge over the next few months, it is pretty clear that Derrick Jasper is one of the top juniors on the West Coast.<br>

A versatile kid who can play either the wing or point guard positions, Derrick Jasper is already hearing from plenty of schools.

“USC, UCLA, Kansas, Cal and a lot of Pac-10 schools are interested right now,” Jasper told Phog.net. “USC and Cal are the only ones to offer so far that I know of. I’m pretty wide open.”

It isn’t mind blowing athleticism -- although Jasper is plenty athletic -- or obscene scoring numbers that make the Paso Robles (CA) High such an intriguing prospect. What makes him so appealing is the fact that he is a fundamentally sound player who has a tremendous feel for the game and can do a variety of things.

If you need him to go out and get you points, Jasper can do that. He scores off of jumpers, off of drives to the hoop and has a nice mid-range game. Because of his size, he can defend several positions and he also chips in by distributing the ball and grabbing rebounds.

“I really like to get out and run and get easy baskets,” says Jasper. “I like shooting the open three when it’s there and getting my teammates easy looks in transition.”

You can see evidence of Jasper’s all-around game in his stats, the six-foot-five inch combo guard is averaging 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists a game. Still, he’s working to improve his shooting stroke -- which he admits is a bit unorthodox -- and become stronger with the basketball.

According to Jasper, Kansas assistant coach Kurtis Townsend has been monitoring his progress.

“Kansas is coming at me pretty hard and I like them a lot, it’s Coach Townsend doing the recruiting,” said Jasper. “He came out to my school before but didn’t get to see me play because it was the wrong day. I’m not sure when he’s coming out again. He talks to my coach a lot though.”

As far as Jasper is concerned, he isn’t too worried about when schools are coming out to see him. He’s focused on his junior season and improving Paso Robles 14-3 record. There will be more time to focus on recruiting once his season is over.

Of course, Jasper is also looking forward to one last tour on the club circuit. His summer team, EBO Sports, is easily one of the most talented in the country and playing on a team with guys like Robin and Brook Lopez, Tre’Von Willis, and Quincy Pondexter just to name a few means that there will be a big bullseye on he and his teammates.

Jasper kind of likes having that target on his back.

“People are going to be coming at us and we’re going to be playing in a lot of tournaments,” said Jasper. “I like that and I think we’ll handle it well, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: The Wildcats are one of those Pac-10 teams that are pursuing Jasper, but they may still be evaluating how he fits into this class. Jasper is a combo guard who may looks like he could be a pretty darn good college point guard. Right now the Cats have a point guard in the class and if they decide to pursue a big wing and a post player, Jasper may no be in the plans, no matter how talented he is.

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