#26 RANKED PLAYER IN THE COUNTRY (CLASS OF 2017)
STAR RANKING: 5 STARS
WEIGHT: 170 POUNDS
POSITION: POINT GUARD
HIGH SCHOOL: FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL IN CALIFORNIA
CHOSE UCLA OVER: LOUISVILLE, SAN DIEGO STATE, ARIZONA, AMONG OTHERS
PLAYER SUMMARY: UCLA has had a resurgence this season thanks in large part to freshmen phenom Lonzo Ball. Ball is perhaps the best player in all of college basketball and will most likely be heading off to the NBA next season. He is a projected top 5 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bruins head coach Steve Alford will have a very capable replacement to fill Ball’s shoes for the 2017-18 season.
Jaylen Hands is the player Alford will most likely have running the show for UCLA next year. The first word that entered our mind when evaluating his game was “explosiveness”. Hands is a big time athlete. We believe he is one of the more explosive athletes regardless of position of any player in the class of 2017. He is also young for his class, as he just turned 17-years old in October, which makes him look even more impressive since seniors are usually 18-years old.
The California native is a high riser who is lethal in the open court. After watching Hands play, we believe he is more of a shoot-first PG who might play both guard positions in college. He has a scorer’s mentality. However, he is fully capable of getting his teammates involved, which is what a PG must be able to do. He shows the ability to create for others very easily at the high school level. He is a flashy player, almost to a fault. He can become careless with the ball at times, which he will need to clean up. We believe once he matures and gets to college that he will.
The 5-star prospect is an excellent ball-handler who can get his shot whenever he wants in high school. We like that he has a very solid mid-range game at this point in his development. It is rare for high school players to have a consistent mid-range game as most players his age are fixated on the 3-point shot. Hands is currently a decent 3-point shooter with room for improvement.
He displays a little floater in the lane, which is going to be useful against college big-men. He has a nice shooting stroke, although he is an inconsistent shooter right now. We personally aren’t concerned because he does show good mechanics. Shooting is one attribute that can be improved through hard work and repetitions.
We personally don’t like to use the word “upside” very much when writing player evaluations. We believe the word gets used a lot. However, in our opinion, “upside” is a perfect word to describe Jaylen Hands. There is plenty to like about him as a player and we can see him in a few years turning out to be a terrific college player. There are things that he needs to clean up and improve upon.
However, the positives in his game certainly outweigh the negatives. Once he begins to play more under control and improves the understanding of being a true point guard, we look for him to be a very good fit at UCLA. He will be learning from Alford, who was an excellent PG himself at Indiana during the mid 1980’s. There are plenty of tools to work with. It will be up to Alford to get all those tools out of Hands to work proficiently.
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF JAYLEN HANDS
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