Connor Vanover is not like most 15 year olds (he just turned 15 in late June). The rising freshman is over seven feet tall and he hasn’t started high school yet. Besides being extremely tall, Vanover is unique because he has an amazingly smooth stroke with range on his jumper that extends to the three point line. Most young big men struggle with body control and often miss shots around the rim, but the seven footer from Arkansas is consistent from midrange and beyond.
It’s hard to see a young player with this much potential and not get excited, some are even comparing the youngster to NBA star Dirk Nowitzki. While comparisons are fun, they can create unrealistic expectations. Having said that, it’s hard to not see a hint of Dirk when Connor is shooting fadeaway jumpers over defenders.Connor Vanover had a great showing at the 2014 John Lucas International Middle School Combine in Houston this Spring. Playing against some of the top middle schoolers in the country the Little Rock native showed great touch around the rim finishing over and around opponents in the lane. His improvement over the last two years was evident almost immediately as Vanover made huge strides with his mobility and his back to the basket game. Already known for his feathery jumper, Connor did not disappoint as he connected on high percentage of mid range and three point shots throughout the camp.
While Vanover is an amazing prospect there is still work to be done. There is room for improvement in the paint as the Arkansas Wings big man doesn’t have a go to post move yet. In some games Connor starts off shooting deep jumpers, where it may be more beneficial to start inside and work his way out. However, these are components of his game that can be worked on and improved. His talent is undeniable and you can’t teach a kid to be 7 feet tall. The most important thing to remember is that young big men normally develop late. With this in mind, Connor Vanover is WAY ahead of the curve and MiddleSchoolHoops expects to hear his name many more times over the next couple years.