A promising rising sophomore summer first propelled South Carolina native Jawun Evans into the limelight. Already noted for his speed and scoring ability, high-major programs such as Clemson and Cincinnati jumped in with very early offers.
Evan's junior year brought increased attention, as he had solidified himself as a four star prospect and enjoyed a solid national ranking. That said, despite getting tabbed as the No. 5 point guard in the class, that position had been considered weak in the Class of 2015 and thus he still had something to prove.
The 2014 summer provided his true breakthrough. Evans had some outstanding moments at June's NBPA Top 100 Camp and then put on the cape and became sensational in July. He performed in sterling fashion at the Reebok Breakout Classic and, touring with the Carolina Raptors, took his game up another notch at the Under Armour Finals.
After entertaining finalists Oklahoma State, Illinois and USC this fall — and making official visits to each — Evans announced for the Cowboys.
Moving into his senior year, Evans now slots at No. 3 among point guards and, perhaps more significant from his point of view, now looms as a strong contender for the McDonald's All-American Game next spring.
Evans is a speed guy. He's at his best pushing in transition and racing past retreating defenders. Not only is he fast, he generally stays under control while maintaining maximum aggression.
|Evans loves to get the ball directly out of the net and race the other way|
That's why Evans' fullcourt scoring should translate very well to the Big 12 level. He applies a great deal of pressure without tilting out of control and losing sight of his duties as the team's primary facilitator. Given that OSU has been among the faster major conference teams the past three seasons, the fit is obvious.
His greatest improvement has occurred in the halfcourt. Evans is a high screen specialist who reads the defender's movement and cuts in the opposite direction to slice up the interior of the defense. Once there, he has become proficient with a little floater along with a solid mid-range pullup.
Evans also is a fine passer who likes to whip the ball sharply over a big man's shoulder to a teammate at the rim. He also makes some nifty kickouts to open shooters, though generally he creates of his action going forward.
His defensive potential is off the charts. Evans is slightly on the short side at 6-0, but he's so quick and aggressive — and possesses a solid frame — that he projects as a consistent disruptor.
His jump shot remains his primary area to improve. Evans can be streaky and knock down some threes, but he passes up a lot of open shots and misses some of those he does attempt badly. Straightening his release and tightening up his follow through will be key.
Meanwhile, he also has at least a slight preference to drive right rather than left. His quickness enables him to get away with that in high school, but in college defenders likely will sit on his right hand and force him left. He has proved he can do it, but he'll have to bring the right-left ratio closer to 50/50.
Otherwise, he'll simply need some time to play a more halfcourt-oriented game than he has on the travel circuit. He's so good in transition that it makes sense for him to focus on his strengths, but like most young floor generals he may need a season to pick up the intricacies of a college game that has become increasingly grinding.
Evans should bring superlative value to the Cowboys' program. His quickness and speed likely will be among the most explosive in the conference, and the ability to play a high screen game puts him ahead of the curve.
As a sophomore, he could explode into an all-conference caliber player who lifts the team to greater heights. Oklahoma State obviously will miss Marcus Smart, but his success there — power and aggression — bodes well for Evans. They're obviously different given the size and skill differential between the two, but a ball-dominant guard can succeed in Travis Ford's system.Crazy Catch Video: Hooking A Bizarre Sawfish