Chance Comanche: Junior Primer

Big men often need time to develop, and Comanche has improved significantly from year to year. Based on his current No. 27 ranking, he could end up one of the most underrated players in the nation.

Chance Comanche always was tall, so you knew he'd draw some attention early even if he wasn't productive. During his freshmen campaign at Los Angeles (Calif.) Playa Del Ray, Comanche stood out as a lanky and weak, yet mobile big man. He had experienced a recent growth spurt and obviously was in the process of growing into his body.

And, truthfully, that process remains ongoing. Comanche remains somewhat gawky and that certainly affects his game, yet his evolution is easily apparent.

He's a hot commodity now among college coaches, but that certainly wasn't the case in the beginning. When colleague Josh Gershon first interviewed him during Comanche's freshman season, the big man had yet to receive any recruiting attention at all. By the conclusion of his sophomore year, however, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, USC, Florida State and DePaul had entered the race — yet no one had offered.

From an offer standpoint, that's a fairly slow timetable for a mobile center. He did acquire four offers by late July: USC, Arizona, Colorado and Oregon. That list expanded by fall to include Gonzaga, Florida State, Arizona State, Connecticut and Washington. A full-bore, high-major recruitment was on.

Now at View Park Prep, Comanche's game easily warrants the interest. Though still somewhat awkward moving through the lane and after taking contact, he has very long arms and plays like he's even taller than 6-11. He also boasts quick reactions, enabling him to scoop up offensive rebounds and quickly drop (or dunk) them in the hoop.

He's also a potential weapon on defense for the same reason. He uses his reach to swat shots opponents expect to proceed toward the rim without issue, and he runs the court well enough to contribute in a fullcourt setting. In terms of halfcourt offense, he's making strides.

He hits some short, facing jump shots but clearly must enhance his post game considerably to maximize his potential. He also must gain significant strength, but that's to be expected and should occur naturally with physical maturity.

He recently visited California for the Bears' upset of Arizona and doesn't appear in a hurry to make a decision. His mother was a big-time hoopster herself and is lending him assistance through the process. Comanche is a national talent who, with more development this spring and summer, could ascend that much further in national esteem.

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