UA Invitational: Day 3 Notebook

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Why did Dominique Collier pick Colorado? Who is emerging in Las Vegas? What schools are pursing 6-foot-2 guard Riley LaChance? Plus a wing from the Houston Defenders is stepping up.

Collier sees rise of Buffs

If you asked Dominique Collier as a freshman where he would be attending college, he probably wouldn't have answered with Colorado.

Even though the 6-foot-1, 160-pound Denver East 2014 point guard grew up nearby the Boulder campus, three years ago Colorado wasn't necessarily a school known for its basketball tradition.

"It wasn't really a place I seriously looked at as a freshman," Collier said. "I just didn't know how good they were going to be."

Things have changed quickly, as Tad Boyle has established Colorado as one of the better programs out west and definitely one of the top up and comers nationally.

"The past couple of years they have definitely been on the rise and now they're doing really well," Collier said. "Coach Boyle has done a great job of getting them good players and putting out a good team every year."

While the rise of Colorado's program was important for Collier ultimately going with the Buffs, so was his relationship with the CU coaches.

"I just liked the coaches there better than any other school," said Collier. "I also really liked the style of play and the way I fit in."

Smith emerges from Las Vegas

At almost every position out west in 2015, you have a pretty close to unanimous decision for who is the best prospect as of today.

Point guard is debatable, as Marcus LoVett is easily the best player, but there's hope that Aaron Holiday – a combo still learning the position - could end up the guy down the road.

Shooting guard easily belongs to Tyler Dorsey, while Ivan Rabb is a no-brainer at power forward, as is Stephen Zimmerman at center.

But what about small forward? Cameron Walker is definitely talented and as of today is probably the best player. However, the question of who has the highest upside is different, and that's where Walker has competition.

Los Angeles Windward small forward Roman Davis is an athlete who keeps getting better and Las Vegas Desert Pines' Nate Grimes has always been a player with upside. Another guy with a very high ceiling comes from Las Vegas High School in Ray Smith.

A 6-foot-6, 175-pound small forward, Smith's size, length and athleticism all help make him an exciting prospect. His attitude and approach to the game certainly don't hurt, either.

"I just want to win," Smith said. "I'll do what I have to do to win. I'm always ready to go mentally and physically. I just want to win games. I'll do whatever I can for that to happen."

Shooter on the rise

Riley LaChance is beginning to build his reputation as one of the better shooters in the 2014 class.

At the UA Invitational this past weekend, LaChance, a 6-foot-2 guard out of Brookfield (Wisc.) Central, showed off his consistent jump shot. He has a quick trigger and deep range.

While hitting three's is certainly LaChance's strong suit, he's also capable of making shots on the move and off the dribble. He has a high IQ and is a good passer as well.

LaChance currently has a host of mid-major schools tracking him and holds scholarship offers from Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Drake, South Dakota, South Dakota State, North Dakota State, UC-Davis, Yale and Rice.

Williams has big weekend for Defenders

Last year Andrew and Aaron Harrison were the focal points of the Houston Defenders travel team.

This year the Houston Defenders have a much more balanced attacked. While 6-foot-6 2014 wing Joe Burton is the biggest name on the team, 2015 wing Jamaal Williams is starting to make a name for himself.

At the UA Invitational, Williams played an aggressive brand of ball and attacked the basket every opportunity he had.

"I can get into the lane and create for my teammates and I shoot when I'm open," Williams told Scout.com.

His slashing ability and athleticism have led to offers from Sam Houston State and SMU.

"It's going pretty well," he said of his recruitment. "It's picking up more now that we are traveling more."

Williams also cited interest from Texas A&M and South Alabama.

*Evan Daniels and Josh Gershon contributed to this notebook.


Scout Hoops Top Stories