This is the first of two articles on the Grizzly men’s basketball recruiting class of 2010. It will take the same form as the articles I did on the Bobcat Men’s class. The caveat I have is that about a month ago it appeared that Wayne Tinkle and his staff were still looking at signing a JC combo guard. I have not heard of any signing so I do not know if they are still looking. If they did sign another guard though it could signal that a retuning or recruited player will not be suiting out for the Griz next fall and that of course will effect thins post. I will address this if and when it happens.
This is the second great recruiting class in a row that Tinkle has signed. last years class was hurt when prize recruit Thurmond Woods ended up leaving before the start of the 2009 season, but Will Cherry was every thing he was made out to be. I really think Kareem Jamar and Vaughn Autry enter the program with the credentials and roster opportunities to make a big splash in the Big Sky as true freshman.
Top Freshman – These recruits in my opinion have the potential to one of the top five freshman in the Big Sky next year, but to do so they will need to put the work.
Kareem Jamar 6-5 small forward / shooting guard
National ranking: ESPN 91 (SF -33 # nationally)
Strengths: High basketball IQ, strong defender, strong rebounder, improving scorer
Area of improvements concern: He is a much improving offensive player, but can be rather streaky. He needs to continue to develop his perimeter skills to play the shooting guard spot.
Chances of contributing next year: Jamar chances are very good of playing significant minutes next year. He is a multi dimensional player that can contribute in a lot of different way which should help his case. The Griz will be a little thin for true small forwards so Jamar will have some opportunities to play right away.
Long Term: Jamar is the recruit that is getting the most accolade out of this class, and it is justified, but he is little different than most highly ranked recruits. He has never been the Big Scorer on any team he has been on. He has had some big scoring nights, but he is also very comfortable setting up and getting his team mates involved. I think he is going to be a great second option to Cherry/ Autry, but he will rack up a ton of rebounds, assists and steals.
National ranking: ESPN 92 (SF -27 # nationally)
Strengths: Aggressive scorer, Physically strong and a good defender. Good mid range game.
Area of improvements / concerns: Needs to improve his ball skills a little to play the point. Consistency beyond the three point arc.
Chances of contributing next year: Like Jamar Autry is coming on board at a position where the Griz could use some help. There is some depth at the point and shooting guard spot but most of it is unproven. I see him playing mostly at the shooting guard spot next year but will get some time at the point.
Long Term: I believe Autry will form a pretty impressive starting back court with combination with Cherry (PG), Autry (SG) and Jamar (SF), that will put the Griz in the position to challenge for the league crown for multiple runs.. This will be a very potent not only offensive back court but a defensive one as well. I think Aurty’s aggressiveness should make him a contributor very early in his career.
Sleeper – It is my opinion that Reader is an under-appreciated recruit for the Griz. He does not get the national love of Jamar or Autry but could end up being better than one or both
Billy Reader 6-9 power forward / center
National ranking: ESPN 78 (SF -236 # nationally)
Strengths: Good length, physical, tough, good rebounder and has a knack for shot blocking.
Area of improvements / concern: Needs to work on his footwork, need to continue to diversify his offensive game.
Chances of contributing next year: I really like Reader’s upside and could be the best big man Tinkle has signed since Qvale. Still though he will have Hutchison and Ward ahead of him on the depth chart, and may have to out play one or both of these guy’s to avoid a redshirt year. I think he is capable but it will take a lot of work on his part.
Long Term: When Qvale and Selvig graduate I think Reader could be the Griz next great big man. When you look at his weaknesses they match exactly what Wayne Tinkle is so great at teaching. He is a well rounded post but has good enough mobility and lateral movement I suspect he will play the power forward spot as he moves into a starting spot, down the line.
Project – I label Weisner a project because he is the recruit most likely to redshirt.
Michael Weisner 6-7 small forward/ power forward
National ranking: ESPN 77 (SF -#181)
Strengths: High basketball IQ, great perimeter shooter, good passer, great ball skills for a big man.
Area of improvements /concerns: Needs to add strength/muscle to his frame. He has very good guard skills in a power forward’s body.
Chances of contributing next year: The big question mark for Weisner is what position he will eventually play. He also needs to add some muscle to his frame. With Jamar in the same class I really think this all adds up for a redshirt year for Weisner.
Long Term: Weisner could be considered the project of this class but he has a heck of a lot of tools to work with. I see him eventually playing at the small forward position, but could swing over to power forward spot to give the Griz more speed. I have heard that he would like to get some looks at the shooting guard spot , like he did in high school but I wonder about his speed given the other young guards the Griz have. He is though most likely the best three point shooter the Griz have signed in the past couple years.
Junior College Transfer
Arthur Steward 6-4 small forward /shooting guard
Strengths: Very strong physical player, strong rebounder from the perimeter and good defender. Excellent mid range game.
Area of improvements: Is more of a small forward than a guard, and a little under sized.
Chances of contributing next year: Steward should is a guy who does a little bit of every thing. He can score the ball very well , rebound, play defense and what ever is asked of him. Everyone I have talked about him thinks he will be a great pick up for the Griz as a glue type player.
Immediate Impact: Steward should challenge for a starting spot right away. Whether he starts or not he will play a lot of minutes for the team. He has nice athleticism and speed and should fit in with the more athletic direction the Grizzly back court is going.
Jordan Wood 6-2 shooting guard
Strengths: Good three point shooter, high basketball IQ, good defender, and quick hands
Area of improvements / concerns: Not overly athletic, surprisingly not a great free throw shooter.
Chances of contributing next year: Wood should provide some solid depth at the shooting guard spot next year, but I do not know if he will be able to beat out the returnees or Steward for a starting spot. While a true shooting guard, he had to play the point guard spot for Snow College last year so he may be counted on as an emergency point guard.
Immediate Impact: Wood should be a solid contributor for the Griz the next couple years but is going to get a lot of competition from returning players as well as some very capable incoming freshman. His strengths will be his versatility, intelligence, and experience