Evaluations: Maric, Hairston

The War On The Shore last weekend allowed us to see Nebraska's signee Aleks Maric for the first time. It also gave us a chance to watch J.R. Hairston of Fork Union and see how his game has improved. We use shot charts in this feature to take you inside the game.

Last week folks in Lincoln might not have recognized the name when Aleks Maric's national letter of intent came over the fax machine. To some, it might have looked like any other letter of intent but after seeing Maric last weekend, his letter could be different.

Maric is 6-9 and goes about 255. The Burlington (NJ) Life Center standout hails from Australia and hasn't been in the States but a month. Still, he picked up the game quickly and displayed the kind of skills that make him a high-major recruit.

Originally listed at 6-11, Maric probably isn't that tall. However, he's all of 6-9 and he's got game. You'll notice from his shot chart that he tends to get a lot of work done inside. In another game he took a little free throw line extended jumper that looked fine but he's primarily going to be an inside guy at the start of his college career.

In the paint Maric battles. He's strong and skilled enough to get good work done. Maric has a half hook and is a legit presence inside. He's going to be a very good player early in his career for the Huskers.

J.R. Hairston came to the Fork Union program via Mount Ulla (NC) West Rowan High. The 6-7 combo forward was part of a few state championship seasons at the school.

Needing some academic help, he headed to Fork Union and while we can't speak to his grades, we know he's an improved player. Hairston, though not at all strong, is a fine athlete with leaping ability and bounce to his game.

He's one of those "live body" type of players who will chase down his own rebounds, gets on the glass and finds a way to be around the basketball. He'll be a mid-major school's dream but likely will find himself hooked up with a high-major program in the spring.

Hairston is a testament to hustle. What he lacks in strength, he makes up for with determination. It would appear that he understands his strengths well. For example, he scrapped his long range forays from jumpers more of the mid-range variety. Though not a great shooter, that's more his range. When he missed, he was getting on the glass.

Inside, his thin legs have some spring to them. He's not afraid to get in the mix and rebound. He's got some big feet but he's probably not getting any bigger and hasn't put on much weight the past few seasons. Regardless, he's a good prospect because of the energy he brings to the table.

He's already visited Auburn and is hearing from Mississippi, St. Joseph's, South Carolina and South Florida.

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