Jaylen Hands, 6-2 PG, Mater Dei Catholic, CA, 2017 ClassStrengths
-Excellent athlete in terms of quickness and vertical explosiveness
-Impressive ability to stop and start with force from a standstill. Shifty with the ball. Doesn't need a ball screen to beat his man.
-Finishes above the rim in transition and the half court despite his average height (6' 2) and length (6' 4).
-Inconsistent, but shows potential as a shooter. Good footwork into his mid-range pull up, where he gets good rise and rotation. Should be able to extend his range in time.
-Fairly advanced ball handler for his age
-A bit wild as a finisher but mixes in high-arcing floaters over length at times. Soft touch in the paint.
-Score-first mentality but can create for teammates with simple drive and kicks and drop offs at the rim
-Has the fast-twitch quickness to be a pest on defense when he's focused and motivatedWeaknesses
-Doesn't have elite physical tools for a lead guard prospect at 6' 2, 168 pounds, with a 6' 4 wingspan. Upper body has improved, but has very thin legs.
-Not a great decision maker at this stage of his development. Can polish up his point guard skills. Had 15 turnovers in 68 minutes in Treviso, compared with just 9 assists. Drives into traffic with his head down and no plan. Throws a lot of jump passes. Tends to overdribble. Settles for contested jumpers.
-Shows potential but isn't a great shooter at this stage. More comfortable in mid-range spots than out to three. Not much of a threat in catch and shoot situations.
-Can be predictable in the half court. Wants to use hesitation dribbles and drive left (his non-dominant hand). Can do a better job of taking what the defense gives him and reacting to positioning.
-Struggles to finish through contact and over length. Throws up a lot of wild shots in the paint. Opts for flash over substance, turning fairly basic finishes into difficult ones.
-Can improve his consistency on the defensive end.
-Doesn't always have the best body languageOutlook
Hands is an extremely talented guard who's still working to put it all together. His tremendous explosiveness and ability to create offense without a ball screen will make him a nightmare assignment for opposing Pac-12 guards when he gets to UCLA. Hands' long-term potential heavily depends on his ability to improve his decision-making and shooting consistency, but he has a lot of tools to work with.