Saturday, August 17, 2013
Scout's take: Victor a great fit at Arizona
By Reggie Rankin
ESPN 100 power forward Craig Victor (New Orleans/Findlay Prep) committed to Arizona on Saturday over offers from LSU, Oklahoma State and Kansas.
This is a marquee pickup for coach Sean Miller because Victor has the talent and leadership to contribute immediately upon his arrival in Tucson, Ariz. The class of 2014 prospect gives Miller yet another high-level forward who was recruited heavily nationally, along with Brandon Ashley in 2012 and Aaron Gordon in 2013. Arizona, at times, is referred to as Point Guard University but can also now be considered Combination Forward University with its recent high-level success.
Why did Victor pick Arizona, and what will he bring to the Wildcats? Let's break it down.
Why he committed: "I could have been a hometown hero [at LSU], but I choose to be a national hero who will be able to come back home and help young kids. Arizona will allow me to be that national hero," Victor said.
What he brings: At 6-foot-8, the 205-plus-pound forward has very good leadership abilities. He runs the floor well and is a strong above-the-rim finisher when he has a clear path to the basket. He is a matchup problem in the half court because he has excellent feel for the game and skill inside the arc to score with his back to the basket with either hand. He can score comfortably facing the basket out to about 19 feet, from which he can hit midrange jumpers and complete strong, straight-line drives to the basket while finishing through contact. Victor can post up and overpower smaller forwards and drive by less mobile ones. He is also a terrific interior passer. Victor can complete passes on time and on target to open teammates from the high post and along the baseline when attacking off the dribble. Victor is a solid rebounder as well.
How he fits: The No. 1-ranked player from Louisiana in the 2014 class, Victor runs with the New Orleans Elite travel program and will fit in like a perfect puzzle piece at Arizona. He will be a leader right from the first workout and will be a matchup problem as a combination forward. Victor will be able to pick-and-pop inside the arc and pick-and-roll to the rim, in addition to Miller creating some wing, post and baseline isolations for him as well. He will be a good decision-maker and help immediately on the glass on both ends of the floor. Defensively, Victor has the basketball IQ, athletic ability and strength to defend both forward positions and even shooting guards in a switching or late-clock situation.
"Coach Miller will work me hard. I will trust in him, and he will trust me and I will get better," Victor said.
Reminds us of: The current No. 31 overall player in the ESPN 100, Victor has some game similarities to Patrick Patterson of the Sacramento Kings and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors with his ability to score posting and facing, along with his passing and leadership qualities.
How the class is shaping up: The Wildcats' current two-player 2014 class is very talented with the addition of Victor, who joins another ESPN 100 performer in point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright (Los Angeles/Loyola) at No. 52 overall. Jackson-Cartwright gives Miller a true point guard who can push the pace, facilitate and make open shots, and Victor has the ability to finish on the break and create matchup problems inside and out. It is safe to say the Wildcats are set at the point and combination forward positions.