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February 8, 2013
Last weekend, the Nike Extravaganza at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei High presented many top-tier recruits, including many that Arizona has its sights set on.
The likes of Stanley Johnson, Tyler Dorsey, Stephen Zimmerman, Chase Jeter and Wildcats signee Elliott Pitts all took part in the high-profile tournament. But a potential sleeper recruit who was also there is 2015 wing prospect Rex Pflueger of San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra Catholic.
GOAZCATS has been in attendance for many of the 6-foot-4 guard's games, some good and others not so good.
Pflueger has received an offer from USC and says that he is garnering interest from a multitude of Ivy League schools in addition to multiple PAC-12 programs outside of the Trojans.
Here is a closer look at the sophomore from Southern California.
Strengths: It has been noted before, but Pflueger's athleticism is the main draw behind interest from schools at this point. He's quick, agile and has great leaping ability -- proven by the pre-game warm-up dunk contest that he takes part and shines in.
The game comes pretty easy to Pflueger, who has a good basketball IQ. He doesn't force any action that's not there, and he plays within the offense that Lions head coach Joedy Gardner has centered around 2013 prospect Jamal Aytes.
Pflueger has pretty form on his jump shot, which is actually a true jump shot. He has shown good range beyond the 3-point line, but he can also put it on the floor, take two dribbles and stroke it from mid-range as well.
Weaknesses: Pflueger is still only a sophomore and has major upside with plenty of time to refine his game, and where he needs to start is overall consistency. There are times when Pflueger can get lost in the shuffle especially when he's being guarded a by a bigger defender.
A good example of this was when JSerra played Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei back in early January. GOAZCATS was in attendance and Pflueger scored just two points on 1 of 4 shooting as he struggled to get it going offensively while being checked by Johnson. Pflueger has shown the ability to score 20-plus points with ease, but in some games he comes out flat and lacks aggressiveness.
Pflueger, who at 175-pounds, has a good frame that could stand to add some muscle. The added weight would allow him to compete better against the bigger defenders who cause him trouble on a more consistent basis.
When asked by GOAZCATS what he thinks he needs to improve on the most, Pflueger replied with ball-handling. While he can use an effective pump-fake, two-dribble pull-up, Pflueger does need to work on his dribbling so that he can maximize his potential as a two-guard, and maybe even make the move to the point if all things go according to plan.
Intangibles: Again, Pflueger is still very young and has shown a great understanding of the game and what's expected of him already. There's plenty of time for improvement, and if there is any coach out there who can get the most out of his players, it's Gardner.
Obviously with the interest from Ivy League schools, Pflueger excels in the classroom as well as on the hardwood. High-character prospects are very intriguing for college programs, and all signs point to Pflueger as being a high-character player.
If Pflueger's game continues to progress over the next two years, he's definitely a recruitt to keep an eye on.
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst
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