As always this list and series may miss a player here or there but we’ll do our best to cover any guys who need to be added or subtracted. If you have any questions about these or other prospects, let us know on the message board.
THE NEXT FOUR PERIMETER PROSPECTS
Damion James, 6-8 WF, Nacogdoches (TX) High- Physically gifted and offensive minded, James is always going to find ways to score the basketball. Some close to him have already indicated that making a direct jump to the NBA is his ultimate goal, but that is still a ways off at this point.
When James is at his best he uses his size, relative strength and quickness around the hoop to establish himself with a few easy scores around the basket. From there he works his way out on the floor making mid-range jumpers and taking defenders off of the dribble and mixing in an occasional three. However, James forgets about his ability to score inside at times and turns into nothing more than a jump shooter who takes a lot of shots to get his points. He’s a good rebounder and finishes transition opportunities with zest but he has to become a better ball-handler and decision maker when the game isn’t a track meet.
Derrick Jasper, 6-5 WG/PG, Paso Robles (CA) High- An intriguing prospect because of his size and ability to play either position in the backcourt. Jasper will get several chances to prove he isn’t just one of the top perimeter players on the West Coast, but in the entire country.
A good shooter -- even if it is a somewhat unorthodox stroke -- who has a very good feel for the game Jasper is probably going to spend more time at the two in college. He’s an underrated athlete because he isn’t into showboating but he can struggle to move his feet defensively against smaller and quicker guards. He can run a team and make good decisions and will certainly see some minutes at the point, but his ability to create mid-range jumpers and enter the ball to the post from a wing position make him an attractive player and natural fit at the two. For the most part he’s fundamentally sound, plays hard and simply lets his game do his talking.
Isaac Miles, 6-2 PG/WG, Mission (KS) Bishop Miege- As early as seventh grade, Miles name was already pretty well known in Kansas City basketball circles. After a couple of solid years, Miles has started to come into his own as a junior and is starting to show that he is capable of playing at the high major level.
Most important for Miles has been the opportunity to run the point for extended periods of time. He’s always been a guy who could get to the basket and use his strength to finish around bigger kids, but he’s making much better decisions now and has an improved feel for the game. He’s a good jump shooter and knows how to create space for his shot. He’s still got some work to do before becoming a full time PG and has to learn to use his strength to get a little more physical on defense.
Quincy Pondexter, 6-6 WF, Fresno (CA) San Joaquin Memorial- In all likelihood, the slender forward’s best playing days are still ahead of him and much of his allure is based on potential. He’s long, shoots well, can get to the basket and is an extremely intelligent kid on and off the court.
The biggest question right now is whether or not he can add some strength and learn to play well consistently. The numbers aren’t especially important because Pondexter plays on a high school team that features Stanford bound twins 6-11 Robin and Brook Lopez and this summer his EBO -- which includes Jasper and the Lopez twins -- summer team will be the deepest squad on the circuit. What people want to see is him put forth the consistently quality effort he’s capable of. He’s at his best in the open court but is developing his handle. What could really separate him from the pack is learning to use his quickness and length to become a force on the defensive end as well.
Editor's note: Rather than just having a focus of "who is leaning where", this series of articles by Phog.net Recruiting Analyst Eric Bossi is designed to help KU fans familiarize themselves with the talent the KU coaches are evaluating for the Jayhawks' 2006 basketball recruiting class. You may wish to bookmark these stories for future reference.
Previous editions of "Focusing on 2006":