Sometimes, it's unclear whether a player is a late bloomer or whether he simply doesn't play in a heavily covered region. For Brekkott Chapman, chances are he'd have emerged earlier than last fall had he arisen from a grassroots hotbed.
But the net effect was identical. Chapman didn't carry much reputation even in the West until his junior season. When colleague Greg Hicks first wrote about him in November, 2012, he had toiled in obscurity prior to that point.
But he impressed during the 2012-13 season and mostly performed well (though inconsistently) that spring, particularly at the Jayhawk Invitational. By early summer, he'd drawn serious interest from UCLA, Arizona, BYU, Colorado, Utah, Arizona State, Utah State and others.
He attended the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June and proved that he could hold his own versus the national elite, even if he wasn't a true standout in that venue. But he had established himself a Pac-12 level prospect and picked up offers from the Utes, Cougars, Bruins and others.
Chapman didn't have much interest in dragging out his recruitment. He chose to remain closer to home and within the Pac-12, committing to Utah in late July. The Utes were ecstatic to claim a player of that caliber, and he stated that his relationship with Larry Krystkowiak had been pivotal.
The prototypically modern forward possess face-up ability, and Chapman meets that standard with ease. He's a skilled handler and passer for a 6-8 player, and he also shoots deftly to the three-point stripe. Away from the basket, he poses significant matchup difficulties for most opponents in his size range.
Though not a high flyer, he's fairly fluid athletically and definitely changes ends well enough to succeed in transition. Utah has preferred a very, very slow tempo during Krystkowiak's time on campus thus far, but even so Chapman will help the Utes score some occasional easy buckets.
Meanwhile, his exposure to national competition has enabled him to develop coping mechanisms versus the elite. He seems to understand and play to his strengths, and while he still must progress and address his weaknesses, that points to a solid understanding of basketball generally and, specifically, his own talents.
Mostly, scouts point to a lack of muscle and physical aggression. Chapman doesn't rebound as well as he should, and he sometimes allows himself to get pushed to the perimeter full-time. He must become a true hybrid forward, not a hybrid forward masquerading as a wing. Getting stronger definitely should help alleviate some of that problem.
Chapman also doesn't possess great lateral quickness and thus slots for a power forward role defensively. Again, strength and aggression concerns factor into play, and to evolve into a complete player he must address those deficiencies.
There's nothing particularly dynamic about Chapman, as he does many things comfortably without being exceptional. He handles, passes and shoots like a solid wing, and as a bonus he brings 6-8 height to the equation.
Clearly, he suffers from some limitations, too, but his greatest needs for improvement can be addressed. He possesses the athletic talent and working skills to become a multi-year starter for a program attempting to establish a foothold in the conference.