TKR got a chance to see Manny Arop and Sam Dower play earlier today, and TKR came away very impressed by the duo. Arop and Dower were on opposite teams, and Dower matched up with both Ira and Will, while Arop was guarding Matt Bouldin.
The first thing any observer will see from Sam Dower is his incredible length and athleticism. He was able to defend Foster quite well because of his length. The first couple of possessions, the guys made an effort to get Sam the ball on the offensive end, while making sure the guy he was guarding got the ball when he was on defense. Offensively, Dower has a very strong mid-range game, and it seems that he can hit the free-throw line jumper consistently. He hit the opening basket of the game when he faced up on Will and hit a mid-range jumper. He runs the floor very well for a big man, and was able to get up and down and be a presence on the fast break. Dower certainly needs to add some strength to be able to defend some of the strong PF/C at the next level, but it is clear that he could come in and contribute as a freshman.
Just as impressive was the play of Mangisto Arop. Arop has incredible length for a wing, and does a spectacular job of deflecting the ball and making plays on the defensive end. Manny has a very good-looking jumper when he catches the ball in rhythm, and is able to be a threat on the offensive end because of his unique athleticism. He is still very raw offensively, but after a couple of years with the GU coaches, he could be deadly on the offensive end. Defensively, Manny was able to get into the passing lane and make a steal, which led to a very nice dunk. TKR really believes that Manny could be a high level defensive player for the Zags this year if he was eligible (TKR side note....Meech is truly something special to watch on the defensive end. Uses his quickness and strength to stay in front of his man). He also displayed his athleticism, when he caught an alley-oop pass from Jeremy Pargo that was high above the rim.
Both Arop and Dower are very special prospects, and what makes them so intriguing is that their best days are in the future. Both of these guys will certainly dazzle occasionally as freshman, but by the time both are sophomore/juniors, they could be really special. It was very exciting for TKR to see both of these guys in person, and hopefully this will not be the last time we see both of them playing for the Zags.