4 Star 2019 F Jaelyn Withers just committed to Chris Mack and UofL Basketball.
Beyond blessed to say Iβm a Card π―ππΎ pic.twitter.com/NIxEkfPc5g
— Jaelyn Withers (@jaelyn_durant) September 9, 2018
Withers becomes the second recruit of the class joining his friend Josh Nickelberry.
The UofL staff has been recruiting 6’8 215 lbs Withers hard since their arrival. He chose UofL over offers from Arizona, Texas A&M, Texas, Florida, NC State, Virginia, and others. Mike Pegues was his primary recruiter per 247sports.
Check out my second half of the season highlight tape π₯https://t.co/ZSSSEhLMxt
— Jaelyn Withers (@jaelyn_durant) March 8, 2018
Watching Withers highlights, it’s quite easy to see why Mack coveted him. Withers is a true do-it-all F. He can play as a stretch 4 PF or as a wing SF. He’s like a skilled Montrezl Harrell, as I have said before in other articles I’ve written about him.
First thing I noticed about Withers is he can shoot. He can drain shots from 3 and he can hit mid-range shots both off the dribble, off the catch, and in the post. The stroke is smooth for a guy his size and makes him more dangerous when he decides to put the ball on the ground and goes to the basket.
Withers is a good ball handler. In some ways, he could be what we expected Deng Adel to become. A few times, he brought the ball up and initiated the offense. He could catch the ball on the wing, ball fake, drive to the basket, and finish.
Speaking of finishing, Withers has the athleticism to finish around the rim. He’s very strong and is able to finish through contact. Withers also loves to destroy the rim when dunking. He’s a thunder dunker.
Withers is a good passer out of the post, from the wing, and in drive and kick situations. It’s something I honestly did not expect to see. His court vision is really good and he knows which pass to utilize to get it to his teammate.
Withers is also a good shot blocker, primarily by coming from the weak side. His length and leaping ability help him with this. Withers keeps blocked balls in the play so teammates can get it and start fast breaks.
It’s hard to judge Withers rebounding from the highlights, but he has a nose for the ball. He had a few put-back dunks and had a couple of rebounds that he brought up the floor. He also had a nice rebound on a shot that went long. He had a guy on him, but used his long arms to get the ball. With his 6’8 215 lbs frame, I have no doubt Mack will continue to develop his rebounding ability.
Finally, Withers has a ton of energy and runs the floor with vigor. Like the Fs under Pitino, Withers gets down the floor quickly both on offense and defense. Defensively, it allows him to chase down offensive players and block their shot. On offense, it allows him to be in position for alley oops or for rebound put-backs.
Withers is a guy Mack can utilize in the post or on the wing. He could use some development with post moves, but his shooting ability from the post somewhat negates that. He’s a guy that brings energy, shooting, ball handling, passing, and athleticism to the floor. With Mack’s track record of developing players at Xavier, Withers could develop into an All-ACC performer or possibly even more. Time will tell, but this is a great pickup for UofL.