A day after UCLA basketball missed out on four-star combo guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, the Bruins made the list of an even higher-ranked recruit in five-star forward Jermaine Lawrence.
From his Twitter (H/T: @BigBadBenyo):
MyFinal Top 7 in no specific orderCincinnati, Kansas, Kentucky,StJohns, Syracuse, UCLA, UNLV
— Jermaine Lawrence (@mainestory44) August 26, 2012
This is solid news, because Lawrence is a legit five-star prospect with a solid amount of talent and a wide set of skills.
We know, this is typical scout-speak, so let’s break down just how good this dude is.
First, a video from the YooToobz:
On first look, we can see the dude is lengthy and athletic. He’s a tad lanky as it is, but it looks like his frame can support adding more weight to make him a much stronger forward.
And from the looks of this video, that’ll help tremendously. Quite a few of these highlights suggest that he plays the interior very well, often using his athleticism to play under the basket for efficient shots (and, uh, dunks).
He also seems to shoot well from the outside, but he’s not exactly camping out there often for open shots. His ball-handling and perimeter skills look adequate, but judging by the fact that you don’t see this too much in this two-minute video, we can’t say it’s a strength.
Do the scouting reports agree?
Largely, yes. The reports agree that he needs to fill out that frame to offset his scrawniness, and they love his athleticism and ability to catch and shoot from the perimeter. They also seem to think he’s an adequate ball-handler and a solid half-court player.
What they knock him on is his tendency to become erratic when dribbling and attacking the basket from the perimeter, along with his decision-making in that situation.
Basically, the reports say he’s versatile as hell, and at 6’10”, he is a match-up nightmare (think a wiry Lamar Odom in that sense).
Any team would benefit from having a guy like this on their squad, so obviously UCLA getting picked in his top seven is solid. Landing him would be a hell of a coup.
We dig this guy, just as we dig all the top UCLA recruits so far. Can we sign them all? (Uhhh, no.)