2008 Positioner - Top 10 Guards

No. 1 player in the nation leads point guards, UCLA with three committed backcourt stars


Nov. 12, 2007




 
 

By Van Coleman

CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com



Van Coleman

Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
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Overall, the Class of 2008 made some strides as it has developed, but it still needs to see a number of players emerge this season to get to, or have a chance to rise above, the average-at-best label.

 

Even with the added depth at the top after some strong summer play, the Class of 2008 is still not at the same level as the two or three classes that preceded it. The lack of depth really starts in the second 50, where there are a lot more "ifs" and "maybes" than in recent years.

 

However, the quality of summer play may have spoken volumes as the Class of 2008 hopes to ride that momentum into their senior seasons.

 

SHOOTING GUARD

 

The top five or six in this group can really light up the scoreboard with the jumper and off the dribble.

 

Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday can dominate a game as we saw this summer and should be in the discussion when you talk about best in the class.

 

Willie Warren can absolutely get in a zone from beyond the arc. Buford, Williams and Releford will make impacts at the next level as frosh.

 

Look for this group of wing scorers to make an impression on college basketball when they arrive in the fall of 2008.

 

1.  Tyreke Evans (No. 3 overall in Class of 2008)

6-4 / 195 / Aston, Pa. American Christian

He was stellar at the June USA Basketball Hoops Festival, then wowed pro scouts at July's LeBron James Skills Academy and capped off the summer at August's Nike Global Challenge, averaging more than 30 points an outing. He has combo skills, can create opportunities for teammates and light up the scoreboard. He can destroy opponents on the clear-out, with pull-up jumpers or highlight dunks at the hoop. He will continue to challenge for the top spot in class this winter. The nation's top unsigned player says he will choose in the spring from Memphis, Louisville, Villanova, UConn, Texas and Seton Hall.

 

2.  Jrue Holiday (No. 6 overall)

6-4 / 175 / North Hollywood, Calif. Campbell Hall

This summer, he led Pump N' Run to the title at July's Adidas It Takes 5ive and to the final of July's Adidas Super 64. He is a true competitor who finds ways to win. He has range to the NBA arc, can break down opponents off the dribble and score in bunches. He is a solid defender who can create big plays with his quick feet and hands. He is among the nation's best and will make an immediate impact at UCLA once he arrives in Westwood.

 

3.  Willie Warren (No. 12 overall)

6-3 / 185 / Fort Worth, Tex. North Crowley

He was on fire all summer long. He can score from the NBA three-point range on in. He can create dribble drives and finish in traffic, or knock down the pull-up jumper inside the arc. He is a good passer too and when double-teamed will make the opponent pay with his solid ability to find the open man. Reminds me a lot of former Texas Longhorn and now Cleveland Cavalier Daniel Gibson at this point in his development. Says he'll be a spring signee and has a long list still, considering the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Baylor, UConn, Texas, Kentucky and Cincinnati.

 

4.  William Buford (No. 15 overall)

6-4 / 180 / Toledo, Ohio Libbey

This skilled combo can put up some big numbers from the perimeter. He's a dead-eye shooter when left open and creates opportunities for his teammates with his passing ability. He will run the point in the transition game for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Look for him to add perimeter firepower for an already talented squad in Columbus.

 

5.  Elliot Williams (No. 18 overall)

6-4 / 175 / Collierville, Tenn. St. George's

He can flat-out blow by defenders off the dribble with his handle and quicks. He has a solid jumper from beyond the arc to set up the dribble drive. He finishes at the rim in traffic and if you double him he'll make you pay with the pass to the open man. Explosive scorer who will make an impact at the next level for the Duke Blue Devils.

 

6.  Travis Releford (No. 33 overall)

6-3 / 180 / Shawnee Mission, Kan. Bishop Miege

This physical combo can break you down off the dribble, finish at the rim with the flush, or knock down the three to set it all up.  He was impressive at both July's Adidas It Takes 5ive & Super 64 tournaments, leading his club deep into the championship rounds. He will add offensive firepower on the wing for Kansas once he hits the hardwood at Allen Fieldhouse.

 

7.  Sylven Landesberg (No. 37 overall)

6-5 / 185 / Flushing, N.Y. Holy Cross

This smooth Big Apple wing man showed he can score from three with the jumper or finish in traffic with the drive. He isn't as flashy as some of the others in the top ten, but he is a consistent performer who puts up solid numbers on the offensive end. Look for him to have a huge senior season and ready his body for ACC play at Virginia.

 

8.  Dequan Jones (No. 52 overall)

6-5 / 195 / Marietta, Ga. Wheeler

One of the fastest rising wing talents in the class, this explosive slasher and driver can flat-out play above the rim off the dribble and sets it up with a fast-improving outside jumper that he hit with some regularity this summer. He has a lot of a young Dwayne Wade in his skill set at this point and is a definite highlight maker ready to bring the storm for the Miami Hurricanes.

 

9. D.J. Seely (No. 53 overall)

6-4 / 180 / Modesto, Calif. Christian

Another of the spring-into-summer big risers, this smooth wing scorer has the ability to explode off the dribble or pop the triple with regularity.  He has hops to flush drives and the quicks to become a solid defender in the Pac-10 for in-state California.

 

10. Scott Suggs (No. 61 overall)

6-5 / 190 / Washington, Mo.

This long and athletic wing has a sweet stroke from beyond the arc and uses his length to finish the drive in traffic. He has a solid handle and is a good passer in the open court who can run the break in the transition game. He seems to make big shots with regularity and will take his game from Washington, Mo. to the Washington Huskies.

 

 

POINT GUARD

 

Brandon Jennings has been way out in front of the pack here for some time, but fast-rising spring/summer surprise Iman Shumpert and the east-west connection of Malcolm Lee and Kemba Walker make this an interesting group at the top.

 

Don't be surprised to see some new faces surface his fall through December, but depth is a little shaky at this all-important position.

 

At best this group is average, hence the reason that most of the top ten were off the board before others and made priorities by college coaching staffs.

 

1.  Brandon Jennings (No. 1 overall in Class of 2008)

6-1 / 170 / Mouth of Wilson, Va. Oak Hill

He led Oak Hill to the National Title last season and was absolutely at the top of his game all summer. "The Proof" was stellar at the June NPBA Top100 & July RbkU camps, then capped off his summer with a championship run at the Reebok Nationals. He has really matured as a floor leader by involving teammates in the offense, but is still ready to take the game over down the stretch if needed. He reminds me in many ways of a young Kenny Anderson from Georgia Tech fame. He's headed to Arizona and look for him to become one of best ever at Point Guard U.

 

2.  Iman Shumpert (No. 21 overall)

6-4 / 185 / Oak Park, Ill. River Forest

This sweet-shooting point really exploded onto the national scene during the spring and summer. He was considered a shooter only a year ago, but his great length and passing abilities have let him graduate into one of the top points in the class. He lit it up at the Nike LeBron James Skills Academy in July. He was without a doubt the biggest mover among the nation's top point guards and will be a good one in the long lineage Georgia Tech has at his position.

 

3.  Malcolm Lee (No. 23 overall)

6-2 / 180 / Riverside, Calif. J.W. North

He put on quite a show in Vegas, averaging well over 20 points an outing while running the show for the Inland Reebok squad. He can knock down jumpers from beyond the arc and is an excellent passer in transition or off the dribble. He will be one of a trio of super guards who is heading to UCLA next fall. He has the versatility to play either backcourt spot in college.

 

4.  Kemba Walker (No. 29 overall)

6-1 / 175 / New York, N.Y. Rice

The heart and soul of the guard-filled New York Gauchos has a knack for making big plays on the defensive end or knocking down big shots to help his Big Apple squads win. He is a tough floor leader who isn't worried about numbers but thrives on W's. He has a solid outside jumper and finishes in traffic, something Connecticut fans will enjoy once he gets to Storrs.

 

5.  Jerime Anderson (No. 35 overall)

6-2 / 170 / Anaheim, Calif. Canyon

This tough point has been a big part of Pump N' Run Elite's tourney titles at April's Real Deal on the Hill and July's Adidas It takes 5ive Classic. He is a rock-steady point who isn't about thrills, but does what it takes to win. He will team with Holiday and Lee to form a deep backcourt at UCLA.

 

6.  Bud Mackey (No. 47 overall)

6-3 / 175 / Georgetown, SC Scott County

This explosive scoring combo can deliver the rock or score in bunches from beyond the arc or off the dribble. He can run the break with the best in the class and sets up penetration with a solid jumper from beyond the arc. He would have challenged for a starting spot at Indiana but has reportedly had his scholarship off withdrawn after running into some legal trouble. Hopefully, he can turn himself around and thrive in the classroom and on a college court.

 

7.  J'Covan Brown (No. 48 overall)

6-3 / 190 / Port Arthur, Texas Memorial

This long and physical combo has the tools to run the show or slip into the scoring spot in the backcourt. He is tough with the ball in transition and can deliver the rock to the open man on the wing, or finish with highlights in the paint. His size and athleticism makes for an intriguing combo at the point spot. Expecting a decision from him during the fall signing period and says he'll choose from Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Texas, Baylor and Cincinnati.

 

8.  Michael Rosario (No. 49 overall in Class of 2008)

6-2 / 180 / Jersey City, N.J. St. Anthony's

He was absolutely at the top of his game at the June NBPA Top 100 Camp. He showed he can break you down off the dribble with an explosive first step to the rim, or hit the open man on the wing or baseline. He has a solid outside stroke from three and will give the Rutgers Scarlet Knights a floor leader for the future.

 

9.  Larry Drew (No. 58 overall)

6-1 / 170 / Woodland Hills, Calif. Taft

This smooth point isn't flashy but he is quick, and knows how to get the ball into the hands of teammates where they can score. He makes others around him better and can keep opponents honest with his outside jumper. He's a consummate floor leader who will run the show with authority for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

 

10.  Korie Lucious (No. 69 overall)

5-11 / 165 / Milwaukee, Wisc. Pius X

This quick point can run the show and deliver the rock off the dribble. He has range to the arc and uses his shot to set up penetration-and-kick to the open man. He will compete for major PT at the point spot at Michigan State once he arrives in East Lansing next year.

 

 

 

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