Everyday he’s Hufflin’

The biggest surprise at last weekend’s Phenom 150 may have been Jay Huff, a stringbean 6-10 big man with striking perimeter skill and excellent long-range potential.

One look at Jay Huff’s body and you think, redshirt. Without question, the 6-10, 180-pound power forward may need several years before he’s able to hold his own physically versus college opponents. He’s very skinny even by skinny high school standards, and for that reason he’s all the more tantalizing as a prospect.

So it’s the certainty of time, rather than uncertainty of skill development, that Huff must adhere to before he’s ready to make his ultimate ascent.

The junior already does one thing that’s highly prized for college: Bury three-pointers. Huff wields a picture perfect jump shot featuring a sharp snap of his wrist, easy release and true, indisputable range to 25 feet. He frequently pulls up past the distance opponents are willing to contest his shot, because they don’t believe they need to.

That’s what makes Huff unique and a potentially great fit for programs that like to bring their big men to the perimeter.

He also possesses a sound instinctive feel for the game, including court awareness and interior touch passes at just the right moment. Albeit not quick or explosive — the hope is that he’ll gain athleticism as he becomes stronger — he also displays excellent timing for blocking shots.

Huff understands what he is and that he isn’t, and heading into his junior year at Durham (N.C.) Voyager, he’s planning to tie up loose ends.

”Shooting is definitely one of my signatures,” Huff said, “but I need to work on posting up, too.”

So far, he claims an offer from Wofford, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, East Carolina, UNC-Asheville, Winthrop and James Madison, to which he has made an unofficial visit. But that list took shape prior to the fall, as he’s now erupting within his home state and will draw a lot of curious onlookers this season.

It will require the right system to accommodate his style, but given a solid fit and time to develop, Huff could become an outstanding four — or five — year contributor.

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