Scouting: DeJuan Blair

One look at DeJuan Blair, and you can see that he passes the "eye test" of a prototypical Division I power forward. Here's a brief scouting report of the 6'7" 240 pound rising senior from the Steel City.

Blair, who is being recruited by schools from all over the country, currently holds offers from Indiana, Kansas State, Pitt, West Virginia, Xavier, and Duquesne.

He's been slowed recently by knee surgery, and as a result wears two large braces while playing on the court. It's hard to get a fair read on Blair's mobilty or lift while he's still recovering.

In the game we watched, Blair opened the scoring with a soft midrange jump shot from just beyond the foul line. His shooting motion was fluid, including a nice follow through as he watched his shot splash through the net. Most of his offensive game comes from the low block, where Blair has the potential to be a dominating scorer. He uses his body extremely well for someone his age, and seals off his defenders to get to the hoop.

He's also an aggressive offensive rebounder. When the shot goes up, he finds a man to block out before looking at the ball. Once his lift comes back, Blair's prowess on the offensive glass will be an even scarier thought for opposing coaches and players.

Maybe the best part of Blair's game is his passing. With Division I caliber players like Herb Pope and D.J. Kennedy on his Pittsburgh Jots AAU team, Blair was willing and able to find the open man when he was double teamed. At one point in the game, Pope fired a hard pass from the top of the key right through the defense and into the hands of a fortuitous Kennedy, who finished the play.

Defensively, Blair still has a little bit of work to do. He wasn't overly aggressive, but some of that could have had something to do with the fact that his team was winning by at least 30 points for most of the game. He controlled the boards, and did a nice job starting the break and finding the point guard for an outlet pass.

Maybe the best thing about Blair is his on court persona. You can tell the kid throughly enjoys playing the game, as evidenced by his ever-present smile while on the court. He has fun on the court, but doesn't showboat or gloat after every shot. Don't let the smile fool you though, because he's all business.

Blair hasn't really started to sort through his offers and interests yet, and it's possible that he will wait to sign a letter-of-intent until April. Whenever he decides to sign, the team that gets him will be getting a power forward who's physically ready to compete at a high level right away.


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