Arizona’s chance to land Class of 2012 prospect not out of reachby Javier Morales on Jul. 24, 2010, under Sports
RELATED LINK AT WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: Adams offering aid to Seattle team after receiving aid in ER
LAS VEGAS — Although he stands at 6-foot-8-inches, Grant Jerrett‘s wingspan extends much longer to 7-1, and he’s not done growing.
Jerrett, a prime UA recruiting target from La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran, is a 15-year-old Class of 2012 prospect whose potential could go through the roof while the length of his arms go out the door. By the time he plays his first college game, he could stand at 6-10 or 6-11 with an imposing reach.
Despite these lengthy dimensions, Jerrett believes his greatest challenge “is to become more like a guard.” A guard?
“Yeah, I’m working on my ball handling a lot, and it’s getting better,” Jerrett said after playing for Belmont Shore in a Friday morning game against Team Detroit at Bishop Gorman High School. UA assistant coach James Whitford was there to keep a close eye on Jerrett and to be seen in the stands like his contemporaries at UCLA, Cal, ASU and USC (and practically every other Pac-10 school).
To Jerrett’s credit, he never compromises his strengths. He defends close to the basket and mostly takes high percentage shots within 10 feet of the hoop. He does not try to be spectacular in front of all the college coaches here. He hasn’t thrown up a three-pointer or tried to dribble between his legs.
He instead demonstrated his impressive basketball IQ with intelligent reads on defense and by gaining position in the lane on offense.
“The key thing is he never is concerned with what he is right now; he’s more concerned about how good he can become,” said his high school coach Eric Cooper Sr., a former UA player. “He never tries to become a star. All he does is go to workouts and knows that whatever we want him to do, he’ll do it.”
“He’s not an egomaniac. He’s not concerned with being the superstar but he’s going to be a superstar. He does not take bad shots. I tell him just be a player and be an impossible matchup. If you’re on a big, take him outside. If the guy guarding you is small, take him inside. Dirk Nowitzki does that in the NBA.”
Jerrett is smart enough and active enough to not be told twice to achieve those objectives.
“I got a 3.5 GPA in school this year,” said Jerrett, who expresses himself as if he could be in college today. “I know I can do better in the classroom, and I will do that.”
Being a college coach’s dream means he will have to weed through a number of schools who have already offered a scholarship. In addition to every Pac-10 school, he listed these schools who have contacted him: UNLV, Colorado (which will join the conference by the time he’s a freshman), Gonzaga, Fresno State and Oklahoma.
Although it might mean little in the recruiting process, Jerrett is coached at Lutheran by Cooper Sr., who was recruited to the UA by Lute Olson in 1985, but transferred to Texas-San Antonio before exhausting his eligibility. His son, Eric Cooper Jr., is a Class of 2013 guard Sean Miller and Co. are recruiting.
“My relationship is good with Arizona,” Jerrett said. “I talk to their coaches a lot, mostly Coach Miller and Coach Whitford.
“I have a good relationship with all the coaches I talk to. We not only talk about basketball, we talk about school and life, which is good.”
Jerrett has already unofficially visited the Arizona campus shortly after the end of last season.
“I was most impressed by their arena and workout facility,” Jerrett said.
Showing his youth, Jerrett added, “I have not really followed Arizona, but I’ve always been familiar with them. I’ve heard of their old coach, Lute Olson.”
Foremost on Miller and his staff’s agenda is having Jerrett learn all about them while he is within arm’s reach.