Eastern Arizona Junior College (15-9, 8-9) is playing their best basketball of the junior college season, but so is Glendale Junior College, as the two teams battled on Saturday afternoon on the campus of Glendale JC. The two teams would come into Saturday's match-up with two completely different stories surrounding their programs.
Eastern Arizona is a very athletic team team with loads of talent this season. Unfortunately for Head Coach Maurice Leitzke, the team has underachieved thus far this season, but are now playing their best basketball of the season, and will look to capitalize on their success from Saturday. This team is well coached by Leitzke, and the players look to have now bought in to what he is preaching. This team will be one of the top teams to watch late as we near the end to the junior college season, and prepare for the conference playoffs.
Glendale JC (13-11, 7-10), on the other hand, came into Saturday's game riding high on confidence and emotion - looking to also be playing their best basketball of the season. Glendale may be the best coached team in the state this season, as Head Coach Guy Meyer has worked tirelessly this season to build his team, and to get them to play as hard as they possibly can. The team was a joy to watch on Saturday, as they fought extremely hard until the end, playing basketball the right way.
Both teams were exciting to watch on Saturday and competed at a high level - making for an excellent game between the two teams. Eastern Arizona though would pull out the victory, 87-81, with some solid play down the stretch.
Here are my player evaluations of some of the top prospects I observed from the game on Saturday (In no particular order) . . .
Rayvaughn Bolton 6-3 SR Sophomore Guard Eastern Arizona JC - 2019 Class
Bolton is a very impressive guard with a pure jump shot and shooting stroke that allows him to make big shots at a high rate and with excellent range on his shot. A complete, fundamentally sound guard prospect with a variety of skillsets and an all-around offensive game. A very good ball handler that is capable of playing both guard positions at a high level. The best guard prospect that I have seen this junior college season, or atleast the best performance I have seen this season by a juco guard. Either way, Bolton is a nice sleeper prospect as a guard for division-I programs to take a hard look at this spring.
Nathaniel Pollard 6-6 FR Forward Eastern Arizona JC - 2020 Class
Pollard was a joy to watch on Saturday as he played at a very high level and converted around the basket almost every time he touched the basketball. And when he didn't have the ball in his hands, he wen't and got it anyway - rebounded it or grabbed loose balls en route to strong finishes. Pollard is a tough, physical rebounder that plays much bigger than his size suggests as he is very athletic and also has a rangy frame that allows him to play at such a high level. Pollard is also a good shooter of the basketball from mid-range, and is very effective inside and out. Runs the floor hard and is a very good finisher and slasher also. A definite prospect on the rise and an excellent sleeper prospect for a mid-major Division-I program.
Amari Stafford 6-7 Sophomore Forward Eastern Arizona JC - 2019 Class
Stafford is a good looking wing prospect with a rangy frame that is a very good slasher and finisher, and also has a good mid-range game for himself. A Skilled wing prospect that can play as a 3/4 and provide good overall versatility. An active rebounder and finisher. A good shooter with range. A good ball handler and passer. A talented prospect that would really help a smaller college program.
Collin Kelley 6-7 FR Forward Eastern Arizona JC - 2020 Class
Another forward prospect with a good body and size that is able to play either as a 4 or 5 for this team. He has good overall versatility as a player and knows how to rebound and also finish plays. He does not mid physical contact, and also plays much bigger than his size suggests as well. An active rebounder. Runs the floor hard. A good low post scorer that would benefit a great deal with another juco season under his belt.
Amari Hale 6-1 Sophomore Guard Eastern Arizona JC - 2019 Class
Hale is another skilled guard prospect for the team that knows to play and shoot the basketball with precision and range. He is also capable of playing both guard spots on the floor, but he will be at his best as a point guard for the next level he competes for. A very good ball handler and passer. A quick defender that has quick hands and feet. A good finisher. Another good sleeper guard prospect.
Landon Griffith 6-2 Sophomore Guard Glendale JC - 2019 Class
Griffith a tough prospect with a good overall skillset and excellent toughness as a player. He competes hard and is a physical guard prospect. Has an excellent compact and strong frame. A good shooter with range that shoots a good percentage, and also can get to the basket and finish strong over defenders. A very good rebounder for his size. A tough and gritty defender. A good prospect for a smaller college program that will contribute immediately, on and off the court because he plays hard.
Lahad Adeim 6-6 FR Forward Glendale JC - 2020 Class
Adeim is a long, and lengthy forward prospect that plays with a high motor and competes hard. Runs the floor hard and is a good finisher. Has good work ethic as a player. A left-hander, Adeim is a good mid-range shooter, and also has a good low-post game with a good skill level. Has good footwork and a good jump hook. Still raw offensively, but is getting much better. Plays within himself though and makes good plays for his team. A consistent performer. Has good upside.
Ryan Sedig 6-7 Sophomore Forward Glendale JC - 2019 Class
Sedig is an intriguing prospect as he has a very good body that looks impressive. He is a strong rebounder and finisher around the basket, that enjoys physical contact and competes. A solid low-post scorer. A solid shooter from mid-range. Active around the paint and has good overall toughness and work ethic. Runs the floor hard. He can definitely help a smaller college program immediately.