I had the chance to catch Canada's semifinal game vs the USA South team in the Nike Global Challenge. Here is what I thought of the two Zag recruits:
1) Wiltjer - Although I didn't see his best game I still walked away impressed with Kyle. The USA team with far superior athletes threw a zone against the Canadians and it absolutely took Canada out of its comfort zone. The Canadian coach ran a similar zone offense as the 5th grade girls who scrimmaged at halftime. This zone really clogged Witljer's pick and pop game that he executes, as well as his individual post up game that is one of his strengths. He really reminds me of Daye minus the attitude issues . That's the best comparison I can make. Their shots are smooth (Wiltjer has more range now than Daye did in at GU) and they are going to out "skill" someone to score, not out jump or out run someone. But what the semifinals game showed me more than anything else is Wiltjer is a system player. If he can be an important piece of a traditional system, he will thrive. His game is not suited for the dribble drive motion offense (which is why the Kentucky recruitment has never made sense to me), but he will thrive if he has guards that can distribute and hit the 3 to leave him some post room. As far as expected contribution goes, I would guess he would have the chance at GU to play some serious minutes off the bench his freshman year (think Daye his freshman year). He is not a player who is going to go to a school and make them an immediate final four threat (like Carmelo, Durant, etc). Kyle doesn't appear to be a one (or two) and done type player to me, nor does he seem like he wants to be. Also to be fair, it's the end of a tireless summer of basketball for him so what I saw could have been a result of some tired legs. But from a fan who has seen upwards of 100+ GU games in person, Kyle would be a great Zag.
keep reading after the break for impressions of Kevin Pangos....
2) Pangos - I was really interested to see Pangos in person because this was probably the last time I would be able to see him before he became a Zag, Michigan Wolverine, or Cincy Bearcat. He fits the mold of the classic GU guard. He is a distributor more than a shooter right now. The best comparison I can make for him is two fold: Size wise and athletically he is more of a Dan Dickau type player. His offensive game and defensive game is more in the mold of a Matt Bouldin type player. Not a deadly shooter yet, but good bball IQ and seems to be a true point guard. The USA south team was loaded with athletes so it was hard to guard them in transition as Canada and Pangos found out quickly. But rest assured none of those players will be heading to a WCC school. He ran a couple of nice pick and pops with Wiltjer that seemed like they had been playing together for years, not 2 days. He is a gamer though, as soon as I saw him run the point it became apparent why Few and company want him. Seems to be a natural leader too.
Other random quick thoughts that I took from the game: I am not sure if Khem Birch is on GU's radar but he possesses elite level athleticism. He was the best athlete on the floor which is saying a lot. I know there was some talk awhile ago about Sim Bhullar. Stop. It. Now. He is a homeless man's Will Foster without a nose for the ball at all. Andrew Wiggins (The Canadian LBJ) has a long way to go (granted he is only 15) but I wouldn't get crazy excited about him yet.