If the 6-5, athletic 2014 prospect continues to play the way he did at the Pitt JamFest over the weekend, his stock on the recruiting trail is going to skyrocket fast.
Demery started out the event by dropping 34 points against a solid BMores Finest team, and showed his potential as a dominant go-to scorer. He got it done from all three levels - hitting the three, scoring on all types of shots in the midrange and finishing above the rim with impressive dunks. He did it all relatively efficiently, and was smooth shooting it off the catch, and the bounce.
On Saturday morning, there was a nice-sized crowd of coaches - both head and assistants, including Xavier head man Chris Mack - there to watch Demery, and he didn't play near as well. He played a decent floor game and was solid on the defensive end, but just wasn't very engaged on the offensive end and had a few missed dunks. It was an early morning game, and his team was up big early, so it was good to see him turn it around in the afternoon for their third game. He played strong on the offensive end, getting into the lane with the dribble and finishing above the rim with authority. He also did a great job of drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line, where he's a very good shooter.
One of the things that was evident about his game throughout the weekend is that he gives great effort. With his size and athleticism, he does a good job of pressuring the ball on the defensive end. He is also a plus rebounder at his position. His approach to the game and his overall demeanor is a big focus for him with the college coaches being out evaluating.
"I'm trying to show off my leadership," Demery said. "I want to prove I'm a better leader and that I have a consistent jumpshot."
When asked what schools are recruiting him after a game, he gave a list off the top of his head that included Arkansas, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Miami, Virginia, Memphis, Xavier and Cincinnati. Other schools that have reportedly shown interest include NC State, Tennessee, VCU and Charlotte.
Demery added that he's built a good relationship with Xavier assistant Mike Pegues.
"I've been talking to coach Pegues and he's been talking to me about their school and how they like to run and play," he said. "I've had a lot of communication with him, so that's good."
As of now, Xavier is one of the schools Demery plans on stopping at this summer, while visiting some of the schools that are recruiting him.
"During the summer, I'm going to go visit Xavier, Miami and Georgia Tech," he said. "I've still got some time. I'm trying to focus on AAU right now."
One of the top priorities for this staff during the open period is likely getting a good feel for their top wing targets in 2014, and deciding who they're going to really narrow it down to and go after. Demery was a revelation of sorts in Pittsburgh, as he hasn't been talked about on this site, but he showed that he could be exactly what the Musketeers are looking for in the 2014 class. He's a big, physical wing with good athleticism, and he has the ability to develop into a go-to scorer, as long as he is a consistent shooter. He didn't play his best in front of Mack on Saturday morning, but he was pretty darn good the other two times that MusketeerReport watched him while Coach Pegues was evaluating him.
James Demery is definitely a name for Xavier fans to keep an eye out for as the AAU season continues to roll along.