Hands improving quickly

Jaylen Hands has established himself as one of 2017's elite prospects. Here's the latest on his game and recruitment.

Over the course of the last year, Jaylen Hands has emerged on the national scene in a big way.

The 6-foot-2, 155-pound 2017 point guard from Chula Vista (Calif.) Mater Dei is a tremendous prospect that is improving quickly, yet has nothing but upside.

Hands recently participated in the Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp, earning the following evaluation from Scout.com:

Hands entered the camp already considered an elite prospect and only solidified that status. He's grown a couple inches recently and has become an explosive athlete with elite body control.

Hands has excellent quickness in the open court and can slow down or speed up at the drop of a dime. His shiftiness and ball handling ability combined with his athleticism make slowing him down very difficult at this level.

Hands has also improved his ability to create his own shot and knocked down several jumpers from midrange and three, many of which were fading away.

Moving forward, he'll have to find a better balance in determining when to create for others and when to look for his own shot, but he has a long time to figure it out and it's hard to be overly tough for any kid being shoot-first in a camp environment. He's one of the top point guard prospects nationally, regardless of class.

Maybe most impressive about Hands’ performance was the fact that he hasn’t been on the court much over the last several months.

“I haven’t played in a while so I’m kind of rusty,” Hands said. “During the July [Evaluation] Period I broke my foot so I’m just now coming back.”

Assessing his own game, Hands listed a long list of strengths along with some areas he’s going to need to improve at.

“I’m really athletic, I get up and down the court really fast, I have a nice jumper, I get my teammates involved, I have length, height, I defend and create a lot,” he said. “I need to get stronger and I can turn it up defensively.”

Schools which have come by to see Hands during the fall Recruiting Period have been California, Stanford, San Diego State, UCLA and Arizona.

SDSU, USC, Memphis, San Diego, Cal and UCLA have all offered Hands, with two of those schools being programs he rooted for growing up.

“When I was younger I always liked UCLA and SDSU,” Hands said. “I like the way UCLA plays; they’re up and down. I also like the school in general. I like L.A. and I like the West Coast.

“I live in San Diego so San Diego State is the school. Their games are so much fun.”

Hands is in no rush to make a decision – “I want to take my time,” he said - and will closely look at the schools involved to figure out the best fit.

“I would prefer to stay out west but I’m open to anything,” he said. “I just want the best situation for me. I want the right fit; something I’m comfortable for me. I want the perfect situation.”

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