Posted: 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, 2013
By Kevin Cacabelos
This post continues our series on the top players signed to Pac-12 schools from the class of 2013. We ranked the top five point guards last week, and this week we'll take a look at the top five shooting guards and small forwards from this year's recruiting class.
5. Elliott Pitts, 6'5, 190lbs--Dublin, Calif. (De La Salle HS)--ARIZONA WILDCATS
Pitts plays with great pace and he is always on balance (utilizes the jump stop) when converting play after play. He can knock down jump shots from all over the court and he's an excellent driver (solid 1st step) as well. (Via: ESPN)
It will be awhile until we see Pitts making significant contributions on the court for the Arizona Wildcats. Sean Miller's squad is loaded at the two-guard position; Arizona returns junior Nick Johnson and senior Jordin Mayes, along with a probable expanded role for sophomore Gabe York. Pitts has the potential to turn into a potent offensive threat. His best strength is his shooting ability, he can shoot it from beyond the arc and also is apt at pulling-up for mid-range jumpers in transition.
4. Tre'Shuan Fletcher, 6'6, 185lbs--Tacoma, Wash. (Lincoln HS)--COLORADO BUFFALOES
Fletcher is a rangy left-hander who can stroke jump shots as well as take defenders off the bounce. He has a budding triple threat game and a terrific 1st step while attacking off the dribble. (Via: ESPN)
Fletcher is a quiet assassin. Despite ideal length and height for a wing player along with superb athleticism, Fletcher isn't one who focuses on being flashy. He thrives in the half-court offense and has a variety of moves to score the basketball. He still has room for improvement, including a more consistent jump shot from beyond the arc.
3. Zach Lavine, 6'3, 165lbs--Bothell, Wash. (Bothell HS)--UCLA BRUINS
He has a slight frame, but he has very long arms and plays much bigger. He is a lengthy scoring point guard with a slick handle and a quick release on his jump shot. (Via: ESPN)
Lavine has had the reputation of being a lights-out shooter, but this past year, the wily shooting guard's athleticism literally made a huge jump. He will have to bulk up to compete and score against larger and more athletic Pac-12 guards, but this will come with time. Lavine is an elite athlete and has NBA potential if all goes right at UCLA.
2. Jabari Bird, 6'6, 190lbs--Richmond, Calif. (Salesian HS)--CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
Bird has a prototypical scoring guard frame (great length) and the skills to go along with it. He is extremely explosive in transition and can put together a highlight reel of awe-inspiring dunks. He has a legitimate jump shot out to 22-feet and his release is smooth. (Via: ESPN)
The Northern-California native is another NBA prospect Pac-12 fans will get to witness this coming season. Bird is everything you want from a small forward, he is a solid shooter, he thrives in transition and he is apt at attacking the basket. Bird sometimes forces the issue on the offensive end and will also need to work on his outside shot to reach his full potential.
1. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 6'7, 215lbs--Chester, Pa. (Chester HS)--ARIZONA WILDCATS
Hollis-Jefferson is a young forward with obvious star qualities. He is long and athletic lefty with an already strong body that will only continue to fill out. He is very smooth with the ball in his hands, able to make plays north to south as well as east to west, and equally capable of finishing plays himself or creating for others. (Via: ESPN)
Hollis-Jefferson's offensive capabilities are obvious, but what separates him from everyone else on this list is his commitment on the defensive end. Armed with his 7'0 wingspan, Hollis-Jefferson can be a game-changer on both ends of the court. On offense he is a powerful and explosive player who is aggressive at attacking the rim.