Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shooting Guards. 65 Players to Watch in the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

This year the crop of shooting guards in the NCAA Tourney is outstanding! There is potential NBA talent that runs deep. ...Let's look at our list of Shooting Guards to watch in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

1. Evan Turner - Ohio St. - 6'6" 175. Jr. ... Turner is one of those kids that just looks like a pro. He plays like one too. This season, the clutch player scored 20 points per game while dishing six assists and grabbing nine boards each time he laced his sneakers. He led Ohio State to the Big Ten championship and was rightfully named a first-team All-American. ...He is versatile with the ability to handle the ball, shoot, and rebound. He has a post game. ...Can score by creating his own. He can be turnover prone and he may not be ready to be a Point Guard in the NBA ...but who cares? He can play the game! His assist-to-turnover ratio has improved with each season - now at 1.42-to-1. He has some grit and will accept a challenge. He will battle inside for rebounds. …A personal favorite of mine. He can create his own shot in the same manner as Paul Pierce. ...See his huge game winning shot in the 2010 Big Ten Tourney.

2. Marqus Blakely - Vermont 6'5" 210 SR. ... Blakely is the rare kid from a lesser conference that I am certain can play in the NBA. A highlight reel, Blakely was named Defensive Player of the Year in the America East Conference three years in a row. This season in the A.E. - he was second in scoring (17.4 ppg), second in rebounding (9.1 rpg), fourth in assists (3.7 apg) and led the conference in both steals (2.6 spg) and blocks (1.9 bpg). …Blakely is a 6'4" low post player that will likely have to transition to Shooting Guard at the next level. I think he can do it because of his fantastic athleticism. He can certainly guard opposing TWO's but whether or not he can provide scoring from beyond 15' will be his biggest challenge. The three-point shot is not his game. From inside of 15 feet - he is capable of scoring in a variety of ways. He can hurt you in the low post - where he abuses defenders, or he can take you off the dribble. He now uses his left hand well (something he added). ...For a big-time scorer - he is underrated as a passer. He is unselfish and he passes well out of the low post double-teams he sees. He gets his points based on his outstanding athleticism. ...He may be a guy that you don't ever have to run a play for, (If he can accept that role) yet he will find a way to help in the scorebook. ...He can finish on the run. ...Has long arms. ...Does a good job of putting himself in position to score. ...Right handed. ...Rebounds in traffic. ...Good concentration and a good teammate. ...See Marqus dunk!

3. Jeffrey Taylor - Vanderbilt 6'7" 210 Soph. ...Taylor does some things that separate him from the average Shooting Guard prospect. For starters - he takes charges and is an excellent defender. …He is also relatively unselfish - passing ahead as a rule. …He is a good athlete with quick and explosive jumping ability. ...See Jeff Taylor in action. ...What he is not (yet) is a three-point shooter. ...He also can try to do too much at times. This season - he averages 13 points and five rebounds per game. ...Summer 2008: Played for Sweden National Team in the Under-20 European Division B Championships, where he averaged 19.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in eight games. ...Taylor's father, Jeff, played at Texas Tech before playing in the NBA for Houston and Detroit.

4. Aubrey Coleman - Houston 6'4" 200 SR. ... Coleman is a stone cold scorer that is better off the dribble than with the jump shot. …He has a good handle on the ball and he can really "shake". He led the nation at 25.6 points per game. This season - he has posted nine 30-point games, including a career-high-tying 38-point effort at Tulane. He ranks seventh in the country with 2.7 steals per game. He also grabs 7.4 rebounds per game. ...Right handed. ....Not just a scorer - he also finds his teammates. ...He finishes at the rim. ..He plays defense too - although he does gamble lots. His fantastic anticipation makes him a leader in steals. In 2009-10 Coleman scored 420 points during the conference regular season, the second-highest total in league history.

5. LaceDarius Dunn - Baylor 6'4" 196 Jr. ... Since the NCAA Tournament features the best teams - not surprisingly - it also features some of my favorite players. …LaceDarius Dunn is a shooting Guard that really came alive in the N.I.T. Tournament at the close of the 2008-09 season. He carried that momentum into this campaign and he never let up. Dunn is a scorer that does have a questionable shot selection but he also makes things happen with his aggressiveness. He just cannot be denied as a scorer. This season he averaged 19 points, five rebounds and two assists per game. His percentages are impressive at .425 from beyond the arc, and .860 at the line. ...He is good at splitting a double team with his dribble. He is an excellent shooter. Right handed. ...He has improved his scoring average with each season at Baylor. ...He has great speed. ...He will get a technical foul now and again. ...Dunn reacts quickly and sometimes gets by on his athleticism as opposed to moving without the ball. ... I also think he could be more alert as a defender. ...Overall though - I like Dunn as a big shot taker and maker. ...In high school: Led Excelsior Christian School (Monroe, La.) to 118-9 record and one state championship over final three prep seasons.

6. Wendell McKines - New Mexico St. 6'6" 224 Jr. ... By body type only is McKines a Shooting Guard. He actually plays PF (well) for New Mexico State. He is a rugged dude with serious athleticism and ability to score around the hoop. McKines has some guard qualities in the fact that he has more assists than turnovers for his three year career. This season he is scoring eleven points and grabbing ten rebounds per game. His overall field goal number is 51%. He shoots a respectable 38% from beyond the arc. …He plays like a grown man. …Quick off his feet and explosive with his finishes at the rim. He also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and score off the drive. ...Right handed. ...Will finish alley-oops. ...From Oakland, CA. ...Body similar to former Milwaukee Bucks great Ricky Pierce. ...McKines needs to improve his concentration at the free throw line where he is only a 55% shooter.

7. Devin Ebanks - West Virginia - 6'9" 205. Soph. ... Right now Ebanks sticks out due to his NBA body and ability to rebound the ball. He can run the floor, dribble drive, or create his own shot and pull up for the mid-range jumper with defenders in his face. He reads plays and slashes at opportune times. ...He has gotten stronger already - making a noticeable improvement in his thin frame this year under Bob Huggins. ...Some players simply have a nose for the ball - and this kid fits that description. …Versatile. He can guard four positions. ...Long. Right-handed. ...Good hands. ...Finds the gaps in a defense and puts himself in a position to score. ...Can slash. ...Nimble, and athletic. ...Has the ability to finish. Smooth. ...He has a short torso and long legs. . Ebanks - if he can improve his deep shooting - will be a SF at the next level. …Was an Indiana recruit that bounced to West Virginia when the Kelvin Sampson thing went down.

8. Xavier Henry - Kansas 6'6" 225 Frosh. ...Henry is a wing-lefty that presents the classic triple threat. He can shoot, pass, and dribble. …As a bonus - he rebounds outside his area, and is composed beyond his years. He scored 14 points, and grabbed four boards per game this season. ...He is a smart player that reads situations and takes what the defense gives him. ...He can hit a three or score on the move. ...He make nice cuts to the hoop and finishes. His percentages: FG 45%, FT 79%, 3pt.43% ...2008-09 McDonald's All-America. ...Henry is the son of former NBA player Carl Henry.

9. James Anderson - Oklahoma St. 6'6" 195 SR. ... Anderson was the Big 12 Player of the Year and I think he is ready right now to help an NBA team on offense. ...He had a fantastic season - showing that he can score in numerous ways - and do it at NBA speed. Perhaps more importantly - he also defends and is willing to do so. He averaged 23 points, six rebounds and two assists per contest this season. ...He is a strong right handed athlete that can make shots. In the summer of 2009 - he was one of 12 players selected to represent the United States at the World University Games. ...He makes difficult, high flying plays. ...Also has an ability to finish in traffic. ...Uses both hands well. ...80% career FT shooter. …Was named a McDonald’s All-American in high school.

10. Wesley Johnson - Syracuse 6'7" 198 Jr. ... Wes Johnson is the man most often given credit for the great year that the Orange have enjoyed. He is the 2009-10 Big East Player of the Year. He scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had two assists per game this season. Johnson transferred from Iowa State and sat out in 2008-09. ...He can create his own shot and is said to be the hardest worker on his team. He can knock down contested shots due to his supreme athleticism. ...Has great body control. ...Plays the game with a smile on his face. ...Provides energy and ability. ...Shot 49% FG, 79% FT, and 39% 3pt. this season.

11. Raymar Morgan - Michigan St. 6'7" 220. SR. ...Raymar Morgan is a player worth keeping an eye on now that he is healthy. Past ills have kept him from performing at his best but this year as a Senior - Morgan was solid - posting 12 points and six rebounds per game. As a Senior he also has more assists than turnovers for the first time in his career (a sign that the light bulb may be turning on). ...For his career - he shoots 53% FG - which translates to a guy that takes good shots. ...He can defend Small Forwards and that should be his natural NBA position but he struggles with his perimeter shooting (just 29% from the college three this year). …A good athlete with terrific speed. He rebounds outside his area. On the downside - he only shoots 67% from the free throw line.

12. Chandler Parsons - Florida 6'9" 200 Jr. ...Parsons is among the more versatile players in college hoops. He is 6'9" with superb ball-handling skills. He can score, dribble, dish, and rebound. He shoots 37% from beyond the college arc - which is an improvement over his numbers for his first two years. ...He can legitimately play some spot TWO although his natural position is THREE. ...This season he averaged 12 points, six boards, and three assists per game. …Will rebound outside his area. ...Really fluid for a tall kid. ...Hits floaters. ...Right handed. ...Has a way of making the game look easy for him. See Parsons' buzzer beating skills here.

13. Alex Franklin - Siena 6'5" 228 SR. ...I am a fan of Alex Franklin. ...He is the kind of player that goes hard and has the talent to match his intensity. He is a nightmare match up due to his combo of strength and ball-handling ability. He abuses defenders once he gets into the paint. ...He started his career at Siena as not much more than a undersized power player. He has evolved into an a skilled basketball player. He was 2009-2010 Metro Atlantic Player of the Year with averages of 16 points and eight rebounds per game. For his career - he is shooting 57% FG. (not every day a 6'5" guy does that!) …He owns a sick handle and sweet offensive one on one game. …Plays at NBA speed. ...Can guard either SG or SF. ...He is unselfish and routinely passes the ball ahead.

Two more worth watching: Austin Freeman - Georgetown, Jordan Crawford - Xavier.

READ MORE!!! 65 players to watch: Point Guards, Small Forwards, Power Forwards, Centers

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