Scouting Report: David & Travis Wear

Inside Carolina's Eric Bossi reviews his notes from the road and compiles an in-depth scouting report on 2009 Tar Heel signees David and Travis Wear ...

    David Wear, Travis Wear
    6-10, 230
    Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
    Class of 2009

    The first time I was able to watch David and Travis was in the summer of 2006 at the Nike All-America Camp. Only rising sophomores at the time, the Wears entered the camp highly touted by West Coast scouts and coaches and they each did a good job of holding their own at the elite camp despite playing against players one and two years older despite their physically immature bodies. At the time I wrote of David, "Slender young big man is already in possession of a highly skilled offensive game that will only grow as it is complimented by physical maturity." As for Travis, at the time I saw him as the more versatile of the two and even thought that he might one day develop into a wing player, "The twin of David, Travis appears to be more comfortable facing the hoop and putting the ball on the floor and pulling up for jumpers. He could eventually play on the wing depending on how his body matures."

    It seems that more and more these days scouts, coaches, fans and television analysts spend a lot of time bemoaning the lack of skill and fundamentally sound play with today's young players. This absolutely does not apply to the Wear brothers. Thanks to their development in one of the nation's premier high school programs at Mater Dei and the work that their father Dave (a former Division I college basketball player himself) has put in with them since an early age, both David and Travis are quite sound in their fundamentals. They shoot with proper form, they throw excellent passes and they are comfortable scoring in a variety of ways.

    Looking individually, David appears to be a little stronger on the low block. He's comfortable scoring over each shoulder and has developed a short jump hook that he can convert with either hand all around the basket and has very good low post footwork for a high school player. He has bulked up considerably over the years and has progressed to the point that he has a near college ready body and strength. Not one to put the ball on the floor all that much, he can however face-up and shoot comfortably to 17 feet and is an excellent free throw shooter.

    Just like his brother, it's obvious that Travis has also done some hard work in the weight room in an effort to prepare himself physically for college. Highly skilled facing the hoop, he is a terrific passer out of the high post, can put the ball on the floor to create space for jumpers and has range that extends to the three point line even though he's become more and more judicious about firing up jumpers from deep. Like his brother, Travis also has good hands.

    For a while, many scouts criticized both David and Travis for what was perceived to be a lack of effort in rebounding. Over the years added strength has allowed them to become more aggressive on the glass and while it would be unfair to characterize their rebounding as a "weakness," there are few college bound seniors who couldn't stand to improve their work on the glass. Still, they have each improved considerably as positional rebounders, in turning and finding an opponent to put their backside on and block out once the ball leaves a shooter's hand.

    Perhaps the biggest concern right now is that both players tend to rely more on their skill and play a more finesse game that will have to be tweaked some in college. Playing in the ACC, it will be important that both David and Travis focus on finishing stronger around the rim. Neither is likely to ever be considered an above the rim player, but that doesn't mean they can't finish stronger. Defenders will be much quicker to the ball so it will be important that they each do a better job of using off hands and the rim to shield defenders from the ball while finishing with power lay-ups and dunks when possible.

    Finally, as they've added strength it appears that each has lost a little bit of flexibility and become a little stiff in areas, particularly the hips. A person's body is going to do what it is going to do and there is little control in that regard. However, it will be important that they continue to work on their flexibility and lateral quickness.

    College projection:
    There was a time when it appeared that Travis would play some on the wing in college while David would be more of a face-up four man. Without a doubt, each will spend plenty of time facing the basket in college but at this point it's not likely that we'll see Travis playing the three spot. However, it's a pretty safe bet that Travis will spend considerable time facing the hoop as a four man while chipping in from time to time at the five. He's going to be a player that has to be accounted for trailing the offense and knocking down 17 foot jumpers as the ball is reversed if an initial post entry pass isn't available.

    As for David, given his strength and polished low post game it's likely that he will play at both the center and power forward slots. His ability to set up comfortably on either the right or left side of the hoop is a huge asset and he'll likely be asked to sprint the floor and set up shop in hopes of getting the ball to him for easy baskets. Because of his skill level and ability to shoot and pass from the high post, it's also likely that he'll play some four and be able to share the floor with his brother at times during their four years in Chapel Hill.

    Currently, ranks Travis as the No. 41 prospect in the country while David is at the No. 42 spot. My personal rankings currently have David checking in at No. 38 while Travis is at No. 42. It would be my expectation that both remain in the same general range but I could see David perhaps putting a little distance between himself and his brother because of his low post game and slightly more physical play.

    Final Thoughts:
    While many opportunities are afforded to today's elite high school prospects, there's a lot of other stuff that comes along with the privileges of traveling the country and playing in elite level events. In particular, it seems that the Wear twins have had to deal with a pretty vocal group that has sought to run down their skills or question their ability to play on the college level despite the fact that they have won state championships and signed scholarships to play basketball at North Carolina.

    Remarkably, the duo has always remained above the fray and has refused (at least outwardly, on the floor and in interviews) to let the naysayers bring them down. Their grace in dealing with going up and down the rankings and having some not so nice things written about them as developing teenagers has been beyond impressive to this evaluator/writer.

    That maturity should serve them well when they arrive in Chapel Hill. There are going to be no shortage of other qualified post players in the Tar Heel rotation and they are each going to have to fight and claw for every minute but the work ethic, skill and maturity that they'll enter college with will mean that they are equipped to compete for playing time and enjoy successful college careers.

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