Think of Jeff Varem as a stronger, taller version of A.J. Moye. He's only 6'5, but he still led Vincennes in rebounding the past two years. Varem likes to play out on the wing, but he is equally comfortable with his back to the basket in the post.
Varem and Vincennes teammate Carl Landry visited Indiana this February, but Varem lost interest in Indiana after IU signed Patrick Ewing, Jr. Ewing and Moye will battle for minutes at small forward, and Indiana returns a plethora of guards, so Varem believes he will not get the playing time he seeks.
"Basically I just want to play where they'll let me play basketball and the coach will have confidence in me," Varem said. "I know what I can do out there to contribute to the team."
Varem has visits planned for Villanova, Wyoming, Washington State and Oregon, but there are many other schools interested. Coach Sparks believes Varem has become a complete player since joining his program.
"He's improved a lot. He can guard the one, two, three or four, and he can play the four, three, two, one. He's very versatile and can do it all out there on the court."
Varem also believes he has improved and is ready to make an immediate impact next season.
"I think I've improved a lot. Last year I came out of high school without playing my junior or senior year. I was a little rusty. This year I've really been able to work on my game."
With a 225 pound frame, Varem can overpower opposing small forwards when penetrating inside. His strength is one of his biggest assets as a player, but also has an effective 3-point shot. Sparks says Varem is at his best "when he's out in the open court," where he can utilize his strength, quickness and ability to get to the basket.
Varem does have some areas of his game he needs to work on. He needs to improve his pull up jumpers and shooting off of curls and screens if he wants to be a special player next season.
Update on recruit Jeff Varem
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