Vincent Edward Mendoza
One of the top players in the class of 2017 is El Cajon, CA Foothills Christian prospect Jaylen Hands. The 6’1 guard is well acquainted with the Arizona coaching staff as he has held an offer for awhile now. However, Hands has scheduled a visit with Arizona to be on campus August 7th and PGU caught up with the point guard to discuss his first visit as he heads into his second trip to Tucson.
Interest in Arizona has always been there for Hands and PGU talked about that with the guard. When asked about what things stand out about Arizona it was all too familiar.
“Winning culture, constant California recruits, Sean Miller and the overall name and prestige of the school,” he said.
Coach Miller and assistant head coach Pasternack lead the recruitment of Hands as his recruitment is beginning to heat up during the July period. Having been on campus for a visit when Arizona pounded Stanford Jaylen really had a chance to experience a taste of what McKale is truly like.
“It was crazy. The crowd was great. Everyone loves the team there so it was great to feel the love from everyone around.” However, atmosphere is not the only thing that Hands will be looking for when deciding upon a school to attend. “I want a good fit. Being comfortable with the coaches and being able to play freely within the system.”
With the July live period coaches are now able to get in contact with prospective high school recruits and when PGU asked if that has changed anything in the way Arizona has gone after him he tells PGU, “no, I have always been recruited hard by them. It feels great to be acknowledged by a school as big as them.”
As the summer progresses and more coaches get a chance to witness Jaylen’s game in person, offers will continue to come in but Hands remains humble through the process telling PGU, “any level of a school that acknowledges you always makes you feel good, so anyone is good.”
Having played the AAU circuit with the Compton Magic there are familiar faces along with him in 2016 Arizona commit T.J. Leaf and 2017 prospect Jalen Hill (UCLA) and both are putting in the time necessary to persuade Hands to attend their respective schools. “(Laughs) Yeah they are funny, both of them are recruiting hard!”
But undoubtedly, Leaf will have more time with Hands to really press on his recruiting pitch as Jaylen has successfully made the transfer to Foothills Christian where T.J. attends and both look to compete for a state championship.
With schools such as Arizona, UCLA, Cal, SDSU, Louisville, ASU and USC vying for his services, a successful visit in August will only look to push Arizona ahead of the pack.