Posted On: 07/15/18 9:06 PM
You may recall Nathanael Jack breaking open games and sparking monstrous runs during his time under Derrick De La Grana at Miami’s Calusa Prep. You may also remember Jack authoring a wild 40-point barrage against Downey Christian, barely touching the rim during a veritable 3-point clinic.
Jack’s recruitment has exploded this week, as the 6-foot-5 Canadian guard had a memorable performance during the JA 32.
Jack’s smooth 3-point touch was on display throughout three full regulation games, as the rising JUCO sophomore averaged a tournament-best 29 PPG.
Jack netted 13 treys during a single game in the event. He wound up with a tournament-best 44 points, leading the White squad to a 108-99 victory over the Red squad during the event finale.
It was a legit shooting onslaught. It wasn’t like he was playing against a bunch of duds, either. Having lit up a stage which featured several highly courted recruits, the offers have suddenly come flying in for Jack.
“Florida State, UC Santa Barbara, Louisiana Monroe, University of Hawaii, Jacksonville State, Grambling State, Cal State Fullerton, USF, McNeese, and Bryant University have all offered,” said Jack, who averaged 10.7 points (including 12 games of four 3-pointers or more) under Jeremy Shulman at Eastern Florida (JUCO) this past season.
Jack shot it at 40 percent from beyond the confines of the arc this past season.
Against Snow College, Jack scored 22 points (6-for-11 3FG), a performance which witnessed him expunge bouts of early season inconsistency.
He went off for 24 points, firing in from downtown on an 8-for-13 clip, against Chipola.
Jack turned in back to back games of six treys (scoring 18 points and 20 points, respectively) against Santa Fe and Chipola, with the 30-5 Titans splitting that pair.
He can’t be pigeonholed as a feast or famine guy. When Jack does feast, as he did during the aforementioned JUCO Advocate event, the mild mannered dagger man leaves nothing on the plate.
What type of switch do you pull, exactly, to trigger a 13 trey eruption?
“Nothing was really going through my head, I shoot a lot of shots every single day and it was a matter of time until one of those games came around,” Jack said.
“I train hard to have those kind of games so it caught a lot of people by surprise. My teammates and coaches knew that I had it in me, and I obviously know what I’m capable of doing.”
What does Jack attribute the suddenly sizzling hand to?
“Practice and continuous reps,” he said. “Getting 1000 makes minimum a week from three point range and never settling for the bare minimum.”
The words “bare minimum” should never even be in a shooter’s vocabulary.
It shouldn’t be found in the same sentence, same page, or even the same book.
After toiling in obscurity during his time in North Carolina, Jack needed a new scene and a fresh beginning. He needed a coach to push his evolution on the court and inject the insatiable thirst for success in his veins.
With the right coach and a massive green light, Jack would go from an unknown to a 1,200 shots per day workhorse. This was a necessary step in his steadfast progression from shooter to clutch shooter capable of stroking it under heightened pressure.
Enter, Derrick De La Grana.
The former Calusa Prep head coach was instrumental in Jack’s growth, shaping him from work-in-progress to a seasoned senior who provides stability off the ball.
“Derrick always told me I have all the tools to be one of the best ever, it just all depended on how bad I wanted to work for it,” Jack said.
“He always had maximum faith in me on and off the court and knew that I would do anything possible to be great. He made me think outside the box and expand my game from the outside in, he taught me how to maximize my skill.”
How’s Jack maximizing his skill these days?
He’s working to shed the label of “shooter.” He said a good deal of the day to day work is devoted to helping dispel the notion of a one-trick pony.
“I’m working at ball handling and finishing at the rim. A lot of different finishing at the rim drills with different types of finishing as well as ball handling drills to get my handles tighter.”
Sam Griffin, Westminster Academy
With a stellar shooting performance against Montverde’s high school national team a portent of things to come, Griffin has been consistent this off-season. Playing for Team Auto Nation, the hot-shooting 6-foot-3 combo guard scored 25 points during a 62-53 loss to New Heights.
Griffin has recently pulled in offers from Northeastern, Marist, Hofstra, and Florida International.
Toru Dean, South Miami
A pure point guard who earned First Team All-State honors (and put together several games of 10+ assists), Dean’s defensive grit has garnered notice this summer. He’s earned an uptick in interest from Florida International and Longwood. Both programs are likely to pull the trigger on the gritty 6-foot guard soon.
Keano Calderon, DME Academy
The well-built 6-foot-6 guard has springboard bounce, dazzling athleticism, and can score it at all three levels. A Class of 2020 prospect, Calderon recently picked up an offer from Florida Atlantic. He additionally holds offers from North Florida, Stetson, and Canisius. Calderon has recently shown an ability to spot mismatches and take smaller guards to the rim.
South Florida, Auburn, and other high majors are expressing interest.
Chase Johnston, Westminster Academy
The Class of 2019 guard has a lightning-quick release and can fire it from way, way, way beyond the arc. He’s shown an adeptness at hitting transition 3-pointers and also getting hot in clusters.
This has enabled Johnston to average 22PPG during the UA Challenge in Atlanta. Johnston, who holds offers from Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast, had 33 three-pointers in five games. He also averaged five assists during that stretch.
Siena and UMBC have both expressed interest in Johnston.
Tyrell Jones, West Oaks Academy
It’s hard to keep up at this point. The high-motored Class of 2019 guard, who is constantly in attack mode and loves to accelerate the breakneck pace, picked up offers from Auburn, Xavier, Kent State, and Buffalo.
Jones averaged a robust 26 PPG during the first week of July. His production from the 2017-18 season, in which he led a hard-pressing and guard-laden team, hasn’t waned.