One of the more noteworthy names on Arizona’s radar is 2018 forward Shareef O’Neal, son of Shaquille O’Neal. Having big shoes to live up to, O’Neal has the game to match the name and had a great outing during the Vegas evaluation period and PGU caught up with him to talk about expectations and his overall skill set.
“I’ve been able to use my versatility more. I can play inside and outside so stretching the defense is something that I’ve been known for so I just want to continue to get better at that by hitting open jump shots. Playing with my back to the basket more as well. Just trying to expose post matches when I can.”
The 6’9 forward had all his tools working for him during the Las Vegas games. O’Neal was hitting three point shots with or without a defender in his face from NBA range. Can dribble well for his size and causes problems if there isn’t a quick enough player with size to guard him and puts constant pressure on the defense.
“I just wanted to work on getting lower. You know this time last year maybe when I would be in the post I wouldn’t necessarily be able to get good positioning so just trying to have a better feel down there and I think I do now.”
“Mostly I just want to become a better all around defender. Guarding more positions when the situation comes especially with screens and things like that.”
Of course, having the bloodlines of NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, helps with the process of developing more skills and one couldn’t have a better teacher.
“My dad tells me to work on my post game because he feels that I have the perimeter game right now so I need to put a little work in the post. I’ve been working with him a lot actually so its been a big help obviously.”
“I’m trying to do more for my team then just score. We have playmakers that can put the ball in the hoop I just want to bring whatever my team needs, he added.”
This time last year O’Neal was on the radar but lacked offers he was looking and mentioned in the past that he wanted to be recruited by the likes of Arizona and now Sean Miller and the staff attend games to make sure they have eyes on the top twenty player.
Recently, Cal Supreme 16U teammate 2018 Tevian Jones of Chandler, AZ mentioned that they would like to attend college together as a package deal and O’Neal talked a little about that. “We like the way they’re coached and the way they play out there. We’ve been friends for a while and I can definitely see myself playing with him in the future.”