On Saturday, the Pima Aztecs hosted the Chandler-Gilbert Coyotes in a big ACCAC Conference game on the campus of Pima Community College. While both teams fought hard throughout the entire game, it was Pima in the end that came away with the 98- 87 win. It was truly a high intensity game and was good to get another look at both of these talent-laden rosters.
Here are my evaluations from the game and the top performers . . .
Pima CC Player Evaluations
Sophomore 6-8, 220 Lbs SF/PF Deion James
After transferring to Pima CC from North Carolina A & T last spring, James has been above and away one of the most productive players in the conference this year. A very talented passing forward who looks to set up teammates on backcuts, and spraying out to shooters when he can, James does a little bit of everything to get his team a win. While not lightning quick off the bounce, he can get into the lane and finish through contact. He gets out well in transition and uses his explosive athleticism to finish on/around defenders. He also is effective from 3-point distance, and he can hit trailer 3’s or put the ball on the deck and hit pull-ups from 3, or mid- range all around the court. Defensively, his length does cause issues and when he fully buys in, he is a tough person to score on. He also hits the glass hard and can push the ball out in transition, where he again thrives with his good passing ability. A stat-sheet stuffer, he ended the game with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. James currently holds offers from Colorado State, Fresno State, St. Francis, NAU, and has many other schools inquiring about his services for next year.
Sophomore 6-4, 180 Lbs SG Jacob Anastasi
I came away very impressed with Anastasi’s play, as he is one of the better sleeper prospects in the conference this year. A deceptively explosive shooting guard, Anastasi started off the game with a huge 2-handed dunk in transition. He can knock down catch/shoot 3-pointers (2-3), but looks at his best when he is attacking the basket off the dribble and using his athleticism to score on defenders at the rim. He also has a fire about him on both ends of the court that I really like, as he looks to take pride in defense - doing whatever it takes to get a stop. Anastasi finished with 24 points in the win.
Sophomore 6-9, 210 Lbs C Damon Dubots
Dubots is a very skilled post player and it looks like his best basketball is still ahead of him. He can bang down low pretty well with opposing bigs, has good hands, solid footwork in the post and has a nice soft touch at the rim - capable of using both hands to finish plays. Dubots also is very bouncy and has a good quick twitch off the floor, and can get up quick for second-chance points or rebounds, on both ends of the court. Upside is the key here for this prospect.
Freshman 6-4, 185 Lbs SF Isaiah Murphy
A jack-of-all-traits type of guy, I really liked Murphy last year out of high school, and he now looks to have improved his shooting range. Still a gritty, off-the-dribble slasher, Isaiah is elusive in the lane, as he uses great body control to get around defenders. He also finishes very well through contact, while being able to convert tough drives at the hole. Murphy will be one to keep an eye out for next year as he returns as a sophomore.
Chandler-Gilbert CC Player Evaluations
Sophomore 6-5, 180 Lbs SG/SF Derek Dantzler-Fulner
Dantzler-Fulner is a very long, talented wing who can efficiently score the ball in a variety of ways. He can shoot the ball at a good clip from 3-point distance (good release/lift and quick shot/comes off curl screens very well), and he uses very long strides to get into the lane and score (uses high floater/ can take a hit and finish). His length causes some issues on the defensive end, as he gets his hands on balls and can push/ start a break to score/ dish off to a teammate. I really liked Dantzler-Fulner and look forward to seeing him again before the conclusion of the season.
Freshman 6-1, 185 Lbs PG Kendrick Williams
Williams may be the best freshman PG in the conference this year. Kendrick is very strong and has a great frame. He is an attacking PG who really thrives once he gets a full head of steam and gets into the lane. His frame/shiftiness with the ball are two of the main reasons he is such an effective scorer. He also can knock down catch/shoot 3-pointers when left open. Williams also has a high IQ with excellent passing instincts, as he looks for open shooters/cutting teammates, as much as he looks to score the ball off of the attack. He also attacks the glass very hard for a PG, and is solid rebounding the ball from the guard position. He had a huge game with the stat line of 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. One to keep an eye on.
Freshman 6-2, 190 Lbs CG Steven Mitchell
Mitchell is a low to the ground-built guard who has great hands on the defensive end, as he came away with big steals on the day. He reads passing lanes very well, and is also a confident shooter with range, as he can face-up/create off the bounce to hit shots.
Sophomore 6-5, 195 Lbs Kendrick Gannon
Gannon was very effective all game, scoring the ball in different ways inside the 3-point line. He is very tough on the glass and really fights for the offensive/defensive rebounds. He finished the game with a solid 20 points and 7 rebounds (6 on the defensive end of the floor).