September 6, 2007

Pickup Evaluations: Freshman Class

Over the past few weeks, we've watched the 2007-08 UA basketball team in action in just about every single pickup game at McKale Center. While we will periodically have daily recaps, class by class, we'll also review how the players have been performing since pickup started back up.

Just so it's clear, pickup performance isn't a prediction on our part of what to expect from the UA players in action this year. It's only an analysis of what the players have been doing in pickup games, good or bad.

Jerryd Bayless, 6-foot-3, 193 lbs., CG:

During pickup games, Jerryd Bayless has been one of the top three players on the team, along with sophomores Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill. Bayless has shown the best ability of anyone on the team of creating his own shot off the dribble before exploding for his patented highly elevated jump shot.

Unlike most freshmen, Bayless has the ability to consistently hit from both three-point and midrange. Because of the lift he gets on both shots, there shouldn't be too difficult of a transition in that area from high school to college.

The only thing Bayless hasn't really done in pickup is used his quickness to take the ball to the basket. Going through video for highlight reels that will be done on all the players, so far we have 17 clips of Bayless, and each one of them is either a jumper - usually three-point - or an alley-oop dunk.

Bayless has never had too much of a problem driving to the hole, so it's probably more of an issue of fatigue, as the players do have intense morning workouts three times a week, beyond their normal requirements in the weight room.

The biggest question is whether or not Bayless is able to play point guard. In pickup games, he hasn't answered that question, and that's just because he's tended to hang out behind the three-point line and hasn't done much to create for others other than normal swing and entry passes.

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