Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Arizona recruit leads nation's No. 5 team
By Dave Telep
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Day One at the City of Palms Classic ended Tuesday with a top-five team dismantling a squad that limped into the event. Lake Highland (Fla.) ESPN 60 point guard Joel Berry was out with a knee injury, so national No. 5 Chester (Pa.) circled the wagons and made short work of the Floridians.
Chester’s best player is one of the most unique recruits in the country. Arizona-bound ESPN 100 small forward Rondae Jefferson is a long-armed defensive specialist.
Most top 20 prospects are known for their ability to score; Jefferson is not. He’s a facilitating, empty-the-tank kind of forward. He’s the guy who ties in all the pieces because he’s a blender. Sean Miller won’t run plays for him, but he’ll trust Jefferson to make plays at Arizona. This kid is a fine passer.
Lake Highland was led by junior shooting guard Jay Henderson. Without Berry, the scoring burden fell to Henderson, a mid-level player. Though his jump shot is unorthodox, it was dialed in on Tuesday as Henderson made four first-half 3-pointers to keep the Highlanders around until Chester’s deep unit quickly wore them down to start the third quarter.
Henderson is tracking as an evaluation-worthy player, especially at the mid-major level because he has a scorer’s DNA. He’s not a blow-by guy or a classic jump shooter, but he’s a shot maker. And while he’s unconventional in his approach, he’s capable of giving you good numbers when his jumper is falling.