After a full day at Okun Fieldhouse, here are the standouts from Day 2.
Phog First Look: Zach Peters
Boasting a well-developed, 6'9 240lb frame, it's no surprise that Peters spent the majority of his time playing down low for Team Texas. Outside of The Life's Chris Coleman (6'10, 275lbs), Peters is the most physically imposing and college-ready prospect in the tournament. More impressive than the physique, though, is the athleticism that he shows. He moves very well for a kid of his size, showing good elevation, good lateral quickness, and excellent body control.
Offensively, Peters is still developing in the post. He struggled with the smaller defenders he faced, as his tendency to bring the ball to his hips – rather than keeping the ball above his head – led to quite a few steals in all three games. However, he shows good fundamental footwork and already has the comfort level to use both shoulders down low. When Peters made quick decisions and used his strength to get toward the bucket, he was unstoppable underneath. His hesitation in the post – he can be a bit deliberate at times – is something that will disappear with experience against bigger and more athletic opponents.
Working from the elbow seemed to be where Peters was most comfortable. He displayed a nice shot fake and the ability to jab-step his defender to open up the lane, and he uses his excellent body control to help him finish in the lane without drawing charges. Though he didn't take many outside shots (if any at all) in the games, his mechanics look fine in warmups and he hits those shots at a high rate. There's no reason to think Peters can't be an excellent mid-range shooter as a power forward.
On the defensive end, Peters has the shoulders and arm length to make him a high-level rebounder in college. When his effort was focused on rebounding, he was a force on both ends of the court, but at times he tended toward ball-watching rather than attacking for boards. Given Team Texas' thin lineup (only 6 players in attendance, 1 of which spent most of the day suffering from cramps), it appeared that Peters elected to stay clear of fouls and shot-block attempts. He doesn't look to be a natural shot-blocker, however.
As far as early commitments go, Peters is a good get. He's got a college-ready body and a full two years of high school left to refine his game. Kansas fans have a lot to look forward to in Zach Peters.
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