Cal recruiting never stops. Coach Martin and Co. are back on the trail and are currently in the mix for Top 100 Big Man Jayce Johnson. Another big body would be great for our depth but let’s take a deeper look into what he would bring to the team.
Here is your basic info:
Name: Jayce Johnson
Weight: 235 lbs
High School: Santa Monica High School
AAU: Earl Watson Elite
Rating: 4-Stars (ESPN #92, Scout #64, Rivals #83)
Considering: Too many to list here.
Jayce Johnson is a big man on the rise. His stock has skyrocketed since he first appeared on evaluation sites in his sophomore year. He has also grown two inches to add to his already huge frame and is now a legitimate 7'0". As seen, there are a lot of schools interested in him and could be in the mix, but it is also early in the 2016 cycle and we'll have to see what schools he decides to trim off his list. Let's take a look at what he could potentially bring to the Bears in 2016.
- Post Game - Jayce Johnson has a polished game in the paint. He is a back-to-the-basket type of player and likes to get the ball in the paint and post up his defenders. He is comfortable with either hand and can spin off his defender in either direction as well. Jayce is also very aware of his surroundings when in the paint and can skip pass the ball out of the post if he feels like the defense is collapsing on him. He does not fade away on any of his shots and gets to the free throw line frequently which is only helped by another one of his strengths (highlighted later). He has baby hooks and leaners from either direction that he is very comfortable with and is very effective with his post feints. Adding to his repertoire of moves and increasing his range will be crucial in his development as center.
- Finishing Around the Basket - To complement Jayce's ability to get to good spots in the paint is his ability to finish around the basket. He has very soft hands around the basket and can finish lay-ups/dunks with either hand. He's gained a lot of explosion and can get up for put back dunks and tip ins given that he has the positioning on the defender. He isn't a leaper at 7-ft but does use his length efficiently around the basket. He has not been put in a lot of pick-and-roll situations but its visible that he would be a great option to do so with his ability to finish at the rim.
- Free Throws - Not much needs to be said about this, he is an adept free throw shooter. A 7'0" center who is able to play back to the basket AND knock down his free throws? This is a huge asset to have for any team. Sign him up Coach!
- Strength - Jayce is 7'0" but only weighs in at 230-240 lbs. He has broad shoulders to be able to seal defenders for rebounds and on the pick-and-roll but he needs to add some weight to hold his ground in the paint. Jayce does need to put on some overall muscle but particularly upper body strength. He does enough at the high school level for rebounds and put-back dunks with his height, but at the collegiate level he'll need to improve his positioning and strength to battle it out in the paint.
- Mental Game - Jayce Johnson doesn't seem to be lacking in confidence or consistency, but his decision making seems to impact his game. It's good to see him know what he wants to do on offense with the ball in his hands, but it also looks like he sticks to his approach. Rather than playing off of what the opposition gives him, Jayce looks like he has his mind set on a move or approach and uses that regardless of how the defense reacts. This is fairly common with a lot of big men in order to be less clumsy with the ball and to be more compact with their movements. However, with Jayce's newly developed athleticism, he could definitely take that next step in letting the game come to him instead of trying to force his way into scoring.