College coaches use the July evaluation periods to sure up evaluations and to be seen by their top targets. But they also use it to get a jumpstart on underclassmen.
A handful of coaches were doing just that on Thursday afternoon in a back gym at the NY2LA Summer Jam with 6-foot-9 rising sophomore Nobal Days.
Days, a long, lanky forward, showed some impressive tools, as he raced end to end, flashed a good set of hands and even knocked down a mid-range jump shot.
“Personally I think I’ve been playing good, but there’s a lot of areas I need to improve on,” Days told Scout. “Like the offensive side. I got to be able to finish the easy things around the bucket.”
How would Days describe his game when he’s at his best?
“Passing, finding the open man, good defense and I’m trying to knock down the mid-range shot,” he said. “Get more physical in the paint and drawing contact and just defensive mainly and facilitating.”
“Now I’m trying to not be a two dimensional player, but 3-D,” he added. “Inside, outside and three-point line.”
“I’ve been offered by Marquette, DePaul and Illinois,” he said. “I’ve visited all three of those schools.”
Marquette is the closest to home and he said he’s a frequent visitor for games.
“Marquette is like right in my backyard,” he said. “It’s like a 30 minute drive. I know the coaches and we always go to games so it’s right at home.”
With Illinois, Days said he was impressed with John Groce and his outlook on development and school.
“I like their coach,” Days said.” He seems like he’s really into developing players. He seemed like he was really about the players and he was also talking about school. He used to be a teacher. He was no holds barred on school. If you aren’t doing anything in school you aren’t playing.”
DePaul's Dave Leitao stood out to Days when he was on their campus. It was his approach and involvement that he took notice of.
“It seemed like their coach was really on their players,” Days said. “He’s not just a coach that lets their assistant do everything and he runs the show. He’s hands on and I liked that about their program.”
There's still a ways to go in Days' recruitment, but it's evident he's an early priority for schools in the Midwest.