Kameron Chatman: Evaluation

Many coaches insist that their wings rebound bigger than their position, and Kameron Chatman certainly does that.

Introduction

We first watched Chatman as a rising sophomore, when he stood only 6-3. At that time the Portland native already demonstrated athleticism and skill, and his skinny frame suggested he hadn't yet finished growing. His father, Canaan, is a big guy as well and thus foreshadowed a height explosion that eventually would carry Kameron to 6-7.

Even before he achieved his current size, however, Chatman already had accrued major college interest. His lanky body became even more of a weapon has got taller, but along the way it was his scoring talent and high workrate that drew offers from Washington, Washington State, Arizona State, California, Oregon and Oregon State.

He transferred from Portland (Ore.) Jefferson to Long Beach (Calif.) Poly late during his sophomore campaign. By then, it was the clear his progress would vault him toward the top of the 2014 class.

As he grew his projected position changed, or at least shifted. Previously a pure swingman, Chatman began to be viewed as a wing forward with some combo forward tendencies. At 6-7 and with long arms, he has the height and reach to play some inside, though still he holds the skill to reside on the perimeter.

He impressed on the 2012 travel circuit with ICP Elite, and in particular at the Hampton EYBL event he showcased admirable all-around talent.

But transfer rules rendered him ineligible to compete as a junior for Poly, removing him temporarily from the radar. He therefore entered this past spring as a highly intriguing darkhorse for McDonald's All-American honors, and he began his ascent immediately.

On the recruiting front, in April he cut his list to eight: Arizona, Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Connecticut, USC, Louisville and Michigan.

Chatman's summer proved a success. He shot the ball better than he had in the past and appears to be growing into his body. Heading into the late summer he noted that the Wildcats, Ducks, Trojans, Huskies and Wolverines constituted his most fervent admirers.

Assets

Without a doubt, Chatman benefits handsomely from outstanding height and length. The Class of 2014 is loaded with jumbo wings, and Chatman stands out as jumbo even compared with his tall peers. He's not only long, he plays big because he doesn't mind contact and has a knack for using his knees, hips and elbows to clear space.

His rebounding stands out clearly. Chatman is a conscientious boards-man on both ends, and he's especially dangerous on the offensive glass because he's a talented finisher with quickness and touch. With time, he may be able to develop an interior post game that makes him even more dimensional.

On the outside, he's a slick passer with excellent court vision who understands how to predict defensive movements. Both on the interior and at range, he alertly hits cutters and spots open teammates on the block.

His jump shot can be hit or miss, but the southpaw wields a very high-arching shot that's difficult to block. He's comfortable shooting from the baseline, something of a rarity in the modern era, and he possesses ample range to 17 feet.

He knocks in some threes as well, and the respect he commands there enables him to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. Though not a guard-level handler, he dribbles plenty fine for a three and is a tremendous dribbler if you view him more as a combo forward.

Chatman's versatility extends to defense. He's a good helpside shotblocker and has the feet and reach to intercept passes and head the other way.

Deficits

Although a good athlete, Chatman is by no means overwhelming in terms of explosiveness. He can be driven past defensively when matched against elite slashers, and stronger forwards can bully him out of the way inside. For college, one immediate question is how long he'll need to fully catch up physically to such a dramatic late growth spurt.

That late height also has set his timeframe back in terms of developing a clear offensive agenda, as he's more opportunistic now than someone who creates his own chances on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, his jumper can be erratic. There doesn't appear to be a severe problem with his mechanics, however, and thus he should develop greater consistency with natural improvement.

Outlook

Chatman may open his career as a highly regarded utility player, rather than someone who's ready to step in and become a first or second scoring option. He's still seeking a polished offensive identity, but while he's cultivating his scoring attack he'll nevertheless contribute in myriad other aspects.

He doesn't strike us as a likely one-and-done collegian for that reason. That said, as he solidifies his wing skill he'll be tall (or at least long) for his ultimate professional position. Along with good skill, work ethic and intelligence, that could carry his career very far.


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