LV Easter Classic: 2007 prospects

Although Arizona's 2007 class is almost full, there is spot for at least one more player. Two of Arizona's verbal commitments and two of their top targets were on display at the Las Vegas Easter Classic.

What a better way to start your day than watching future Wildcat guard Jerryd Bayless play? He gave Arizona fans a bit of good news when he reaffirmed his commitment, despite rumors of other teams making another push. He went so far as to say that he has been recruiting for the Wildcats. After his game he spent a few minutes chatting up Kyle Singler.

Bayless scored 27 points and dished out eight assists in a win over Texas D-I. He put on an impressive dunking display and did a real nice job attacking the hoop. His outside shot was off as he made just 1-of-7 three point attempts.

He was by far and away the best player on the floor, which is no shocker. What was a tad interesting is that the offense flowed better, at least early on, when he was running the point. It was not that he was a great play maker, but the fact that he is much better dictating the action when the ball is in his hands.

He slid over to the two-guard spot when 2007 prospect Isaiah Thomas hit the floor. Thomas had a rough outing, making just 3-of-11 shots, missing his first five. He does get his teammates involved, dishing out no fewer than five assists. As good as Bayless was in the opener, he was even better in the Arizona Magic's second game of the day. He attempted less shots, but was more effective in an impressive comeback win over Belmont Shore.

His Arizona Magic team trailed by 18 at the half but battled back for a very entertaining win.

Bayless scored 32 points, drilling 5-7 three pointers. He also dished out six assists and played pretty tenacious defense.

Two other bits of big news emerged from the day. Kyle Singler insists that Arizona is still in his top four and unless something drastic happens, they will receive a visit. Singler has been rumored to favor UCLA and Duke, but he says that Arizona and Kansas are still in the mix and that other teams could get involved.

I still love what I see from Singler who gets taller every time I see him. He's at least 6-9 now but has the skills to be a small forward. This is a special player.

There has also been some speculation the Arizona had dropped a bit on Gary Johnson's list. Not true, at least according to Johnson himself. Johnson is listing a top-five of Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas and Duke and is saying that all five are about even for his services. He has made unofficials to Texas and Arizona, but says that he'd like to visit both schools again officially.

Both Johnson played very well in the first game of the day, but battled fouls and a touch of fatigue in his second outing. Johnson scored 19 points in a win over a taller Branch West team. Branch West had a pair of tall, athletic big men who seemed poised to pose a challenge. Despite giving up no fewer than five inches to both players, he got physical instead. 6-11 Ibrahima Thomas actually fouled out in the first half trying to handle Johnson who was playing physical and aggressive down low.

Johnson was not quite as effective in the second game of the day. He was saddled with foul trouble but had only 10 points and seven rebounds but was better late in the when his team needed him.

Alex Jacobson, the seven footer who committed to Arizona last fall, has shown some improvement. He has moved on to the SoCal All-Stars, a team loaded with D-I recruits. He may not be perfectly suited for the track meet offense that the All-Stars employ, but he showed off some nice offensive skills and was a difference maker on the defensive end, altering or blocking a number of shots in both games.

Jacobson has really improved his offensive game. He still has some work to do, especially with his footwork, but the upside is phenomenal.

We'll have a look at some of the younger prospects in a separate article.

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