Four-star center – and California offeree -- Chase Jeter has secrets.
The biggest knock on the 2015 big man before this summer was that he still had to grow into his body and add strength. In recent months, Jeter has added two inches of height and 20 pounds of muscle, and now stands at 6-foot-10, 215 pounds. How has he done it? You won't get that out of him.
"I save that for myself," Jeter laughs. "I don't want to give out all my secrets. My main focal point is on footwork."
For a player his size, Jeter has impressive fundamentals. This past month, Scout.com hoops recruiting analysts said of Jeter: "His progression since the high school season is notable. He's improved as a scorer and in general is much more assertive on the offensive end. He has hooks over both shoulders, nice touch around the basket and has great use of both hands around the rim. On top of his offensive out put, he also runs the floor and will contest shots inside."
Jeter isn't one to rest on his laurels. Unlike many big men who rely on size differential at the high school level, Jeter works on using what turns out to be a disadvantage to many big men's development to get even better and diversify his game.
"I get in the weight room, I go to my workout after the weight room, I work on my skills – my footwork – a lot," Jeter says. "I work in a lot of lateral quickness, because at this level, a lot of guys aren't going to be the same height as me, so I have to guard smaller players. Then, just battling inside the post with the bigger defenders and making sure they don't score."
Jeter has a good midrange jumper and rebounds well on both sides of the floor, with a high motor and lots of aggression around the basket, all of which were on full display when Bears head coach Mike Montgomery watched him in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Though he has yet to visit Cal, the Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman stud has had plenty of interaction with assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb.
"I talked to coach Gottlieb at Gorman. He showed up at Gorman a few times for some workouts, and then he speaks with my head coach for my high school team," Jeter says. "I met him there, and we've talked on the phone a few times, just building a relationship."
Ideally, Jeter says, he wants to choose a program "with great player development, great coaching, a place where I'd fit into the program and would play right away, and also the chance to win a national championship."
Jeter has his pick of the litter, with Cal, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Notre Dame, Texas, Ohio State and Michigan all showing a lot of interest.
Which schools fit his criteria?
"I'd say it's too early to tell," says Jeter. "This upcoming NCAA basketball season, I'll probably watch more college basketball more than I ever have this season, just based off of recruitment, seeing how programs play and seeing how coaches coach."
One of the programs Jeter will be paying closer attention to is Cal, which is recruiting his fellow 2015 big man – and good friend -- Ivan Rabb.
"It's a good program. I know they've had a great run in the Pac-12, but I don't know as much as I want to know," says Jeter, who gabs about recruitment with Rabb and Paris Austin whenever they get the chance. "We talk about a lot of things: Player development, what would be a good fit for guys like us, whether they run a slower offense that gets it to the big men or whether they run an offense where they get it and go. We talk about a lot of things."
With so many schools after him, Jeter doesn't think he'll have time before school starts to make any unofficial visits, but in the fall, he'll hit the road when he gets a free weekend.
Because of his quickness and versatility, Jeter says he feels comfortable in just about any system, but the offense in which he's most comfortable is exactly the type of offense Cal runs.
"I prefer to be in a slow-down set," Jeter says, "where schools get the ball to their big men."
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