Colorado certainly produces its share of talent, but most states located away from either coast suffer from a lack of grassroots publicity. Those states thus can produce sleepers simply because their players haven’t received sufficient exposure, and Colorado is no exception.
Jaizec Lottie stands as one such player. Though he didn’t play a starring role at camp during my viewings, the slight 5-11 point guard impressed with his quickness and passing ability. He’s already highly adept at drive and dish and drive and kick, as he loves to drive into the paint and hit an open teammate.
Meanwhile, Lottie also had some success attacking the rim and either scoring or drawing a foul. He made a couple long jump shots during my viewings as well, though he didn’t attempt many. He’ll need to get stronger for college but, just a rising junior, proved he belonged at a national event.
”I’m pretty well known in Colorado, but one thing me and my mentor Chauncey Billups talk about is how basketball there is different from some other places,” Lottie said. “Camp really opened my eyes. When I first got here I was kind of worried if I could play with these guys, but after the first game I knew I could play with them.”
Lottie will need to gain significant strength and continue to mature physically — ideally, he’d grow another inch or two and gain some leaping ability — and his youth suggests either or both of those things could occur. As it is, he’s likely to increasing his recruiting profile substantially over the next year, and clearly having a resource such as Billups (whom Lottie says he speaks to frequently) will facilitate the process.
Already, he holds some early college interest, including from schools such as Colorado, Portland and Air Force, and he has picked up an offer.
”I recently got an offer from Air Force,” Lottie said. “I’m definitely open to people outside the region, too.”