Last night Duke recruits Chase Jeter (Bishop Gorman) and Carlton Bragg (St. Josephs) along with the number 2 overall prospect in the 2015 class, Stephen Zimmerman (Bishop Gorman) faced off in Wheeling, WV at the Cancer Research Classic.
It was clear to see why Stephen Zimmerman has ascended the rankings and is drawing interest from nearly every big name program, including UNC & Kentucky. The 7 footer showed a variety of skills and put up numbers to the tune of 21 points and 8 boards. Zimmerman showed great touch around the rim and also range on his jumper. He also had several highlight-reel dunks despite some very physical defense being played on the junior. The most impressive part of what I saw in his game was his decision-making. Zimmerman has amazing passing ability for a player his size and that was on display as he easily found his open teammates on the break and out of double-teams. He also has great body control and runs the floor well making himself a target for his teammates.
Duke fans are aware that Coach K has made an offer to the 6’10 power forward Chase Jeter. The long and agile Jeter is a skilled rebounder and gets he hands on a lot of balls even when he isn’t pulling down the ball he is batting or tipping. Even though Jeter missed some opportunities at the rim his repertoire of moves was on display. Jeter is quick and athletic and can guard multiple positions on defense which makes him a good fit at Duke. His versatility is one reason why Duke is very high on Jeter who would finish the game with 11 points and 9 rebounds despite being saddled with foul trouble.
Carlton Bragg is an ultra athletic power forward who is being monitored by both Duke and Kentucky and despite having a cold shooting night was able to put in 9 points and 14 rebounds for St. Josephs. His jump-shot was off for most of the game but he did find other ways to contribute be it rebounding or passing.
The game was an interesting display of outside vs inside with Bishop Gorman and their twin towers controlling the paint while St. Josephs chose to stick to mostly a perimeter game shooting 3’s over top of the Bishop Gorman 2-3 zone. At halftime Bishop-Gorman had stretched their lead to 9 points, that lead would have been greater had the 3 point shooting differential been less with Bishop Gorman not hitting any in the first half and St. Josephs hitting on 6 triples.
Bishop Gorman would eventually run away with the game winning 73-60 in an very entertaining game. Incidentally, the fact that there was a shot clock made the game much more exciting to watch and follow and kept the action moving. I’m a firm advocate of it being adopted for all High School games but alas that will probably never be.
What I liked about the duo of Jeter and Zimmerman is firstly the way they share the basketball, very unselfish and team oriented, no ego on display, I also loved the fact that both hit their free throws, I didn’t count the exact numbers but I believe each missed on 1 but both probably hit in the 80s to 90s as far as percentage. Neither Bragg, Zimmerman or Jeter has to score to make an impact on the game, all could have high assist numbers at the next level and all are good rebounders. Jeter and Bragg probably the most adept at it. Zimmerman will, however be a star in college, he reminds me sometimes of Jeff Whithey who was a star at Kansas, now with the the Pelicans in the NBA.