Jernard Jarreau, (pronounced Ja-Row) arrived to the University of Washington on July 3rd and is ready to take the campus and the world of NCAA basketball by storm. A couple of hours after he landed in Seattle, I was able to chat with Jarreau and get his thoughts not only on his style of play, but also on his ability to make an impact immediately for the Huskies. Part 1 will focus on his style of play, while Part 2 will analyze his fit with the Dawgs and his thoughts on playing for the Huskies.
Jarreau may be one of the most underrated players in the 2011 class, mostly because the majority of his progress was made after the scouts had seen and rated him. He told me that he only had one summer to really impress coaches and scouts because his junior year he had a wrist injury that kept him sidelined most of the year.
In that one summer, he went from being a low to mid-major player to becoming a 4-star player. However, he wasn’t done and he continued to improve and continued to bulk up and learn to control the paint and this is what the scouts missed. “I wasn’t one of the top in my position. I am trying to prove everybody wrong, I only had one summer to prepare myself because of a wrist injury my junior year. All I can do is continue working hard and that is what I am going to do.”
At one point in his life
he was playing the 1 and the 2. He was quick and could handle the ball with ease, and then he started growing. He shot up to 6’10, and he went from being a quick-ball handling guard to a quick-ball handling power forward. He said that now he is most comfortable at the power forward position but that his skills from being a guard remain, “My biggest strength is being fast and quick. I can get by defenders easy, even at my size.”
His game is most often compared to NBA super-star and former Seattle Supersonics 1st round pick, Kevin Durant. I asked him why he thinks that people compare him to Durant, “Durant is tall and he can shoot and he handle the ball.” Those are two things that even Scouts were impressed with Jarreau’s game at 6’10. Durant measures in at 6’9 and weighs about 230. However, in college Durant weighed about 215-225. This is the weight that Jarreau is shooting for by season start.
If you have seen any of Jarreau’s documentary videos, you have seen that he has a really smooth shot both inside and outside. I joked with him and asked if it was movie magic, which would only show him making shots but cut out the ones he missed, he laughed and said, “nah.”
With his handles, shot, and quickness behing his biggest strengths-those go right alongside what he is working on now, “I am working on finishing to the basket.” He knows how to get into the paint and score but he wants to become more consistent at finishing. He told me that he is getting stronger and that he doesn’t shy away from contact. That even though he is currently only 200 pounds and shooting for 220 by the start of the season, he fights for everything. He competes.
This competitive drive inside of Jarreau is what is going to contribute to success and an instant impact at UW. More on that in Part 2.