Nike Extravaganza Evals

The Nike Extravaganza this past Saturday at Mater Dei featured a number of potential Bruins prospects, including Stephen Zimmerman, Chase Jeter and Daniel Hamilton...

Daniel Hamilton, 6-6 SF Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. Hamilton signed a grant-in-aid with UConn in the fall, but many people close to the situation believe he will ultimately end up at UCLA. Hamilton's best attribute as a prospect is his ability to put the ball in the basket. He's got range to the stripe and he can score in a variety of ways from different spots on the court. He's very long and slender, but he's a good, not great, athlete. He's an indifferent defender at this time, but that's not unusual with a lot of high school players. If he can learn to use that length on defense he's got a chance to be a solid defender down the road. Hamilton is a very talented player in terms of his offensive game. He's got good ball skills for a kid his size and he's capable of putting up points in a hurry when he's on. The biggest questions with him have more to do with the intangibles. Is he willing to play within a team concept? Is he competitive? Is winning the most important thing or is scoring a lot of points more important? Frankly, those are open questions as of today.

Stephen Zimmerman, 6-10 C Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Zimmerman has long been one of the elite prospects in the 2015 class, and that's still the case, but his progress has slowed somewhat in the past year. His low-post game isn't noticeably better than it was last year and he's not as aggressive in the paint as he could be at the high school level. While he's capable of making shots out to the 15-18 foot range, he's hasn't become really consistent from that distance. He's still a long, agile and skilled young big man – and those guys are difficult to find – but at some point you'd like to see him become a more dominating presence. Of course, players develop at different rates and it's not always a straight-line progression. Zimmerman seems to be at a bit of a plateau right now, but he's still got a year and a half of high school ball left.

Chase Jeter, 6-10 C Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Jeter started out his high school career somewhat in the shadow of the more advanced Zimmerman, but that's no longer the case. Jeter is very young for his grade and he could easily be in the class of 2016. He's got a young face and his body is still changing. He's grown a few inches in the last year and it wouldn't be surprising if he's not done yet. His athleticism is improving as he matures, as he moves very well and he's quicker off the floor than he was a year ago. He's got a good feel in the post, with the ability to face-up out to 15 feet or so. He's active on the glass at both ends and he has the instincts and length to be a good shot-blocker down the road. Things could change in the future but, as of now, I see Jeter as the #2 center in the west behind Ivan Rabb.

Rex Pflueger, 6-3 SG Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Pflueger has made steady progress in the past year. He's a fairly good athlete, but he's more bouncy than quick. He's got a decent frame, with some length, and he's a fairly good passer. He's a streaky shooter, but has range beyond the three-point line. He's better off the catch, though, than he is at creating his own shot. Right now, he projects more as a complimentary player than an elite guy, but he is making good progress as a prospect and it'll be interesting to see how he looks during the July evaluation period.

M.J. Cage, 6-9 C Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Cage is much improved from where he was a year ago. He's still not close to mature physically, and therefore lacks some strength, but he's moving better and appears to be growing into his body. He's got a nice skill set for a young big, with the ability to play in the paint and also facing up a bit. He's a willing rebounder, even if he doesn't yet have the strength necessary against older players. He also shows a pretty good feel for the game. He's just a fair athlete right now, though, and that could potentially limit his upside. However, he's only a sophomore and it's possible he'll improve in that area as he matures. He's definitely a kid to keep an eye on in the 2016 class.

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