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FEATURED CLASS OF 2017 ARIZONA WILDCATS TARGET
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AAU TEAM: Las Vegas Prospects
OVERALL CLASS OF 2017 RANKING:
Scout: No. 57 (No. 13 small forward)
Rivals: No. 30 (No. 7 shooting guard)
247Sports: No. 28 (No. 5 shooting guard)
ESPN: No. 23 (No. 6 shooting guard)
OTHER TOP CHALLENGERS FOR O’BANNON JR.: UCLA, Kansas, North Carolina State, Oregon, Texas, UNLV and Washington.
SCOUTING REPORT: From ESPN.com — Charles O’Bannon Jr. is a rangy scoring guard who has a knack to score at all three levels. He can attack in transition and has the speed, length, and bounce to finish strong. If the defense closes the lane he is an excellent slasher with a good first step to the basket. From Scout.com: O’Bannon is a highly skilled wing scorer with a smooth medium-range jump shot and fine ballhandling ability. He also carries a solid frame and has good size for the wing. He needs to get stronger and ideally gain another notch of explosiveness for the college level. Regardless, he’s an accomplished athlete versus top-shelf competition and thus a relatively proven commodity in the 2017 class.
HOW HE FIGURES IN AT ARIZONA: Another versatile recruiting target for Sean Miller, O’Bannon Jr. can play the shooting guard or small forward position at Arizona. With Ray Smith the lone prototypical wing on this year’s team and shooting guard Allonzo Trier potentially trying the NBA after this season, O’Bannon could find an immediate fit within Miller’s rotation in 2017-18. Moreover, Miller will have an additional scholarship to fill on the perimeter with Kadeem Allen exhausting his eligibility this season. It’s interesting to note that Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports each list O’Bannon Jr. as a shooting guard with a higher ranking overall in the Class of 2017 than Scout, which lists him at No. 57 as the 13th-best small forward. Perhaps this shows his future is more as a shooting guard but he has the size and ability to be a wing player in college for Miller.
BACKGROUND: Arizona fans remember O’Bannon Jr.’s father (Charles Sr.) and uncle (Ed) and their intense Pac-10 rivalry with the Wildcats as members of the UCLA team that won the national title in 1995 under Jim Harrick. The younger O’Bannon does not allow the Arizona-UCLA rivalry to cloud his opinion of Miller’s program. He told WildcatAuthority.com’s Jason Scheer last month, “I have always been a big fan of Arizona and what Coach Miller has going on over there. I am looking forward to visiting.” Don’t be surprised if O’Bannon Jr. and his AAU teammate Troy Brown of Las Vegas Centennial take an official visit together at Arizona this fall. Brown and O’Bannon Jr. in the same backcourt in college would be something to behold.
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Charles O’Bannon Jr. of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman projects to be more of a big shooting guard in college
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.