May 28, 2010

Tide offers Kentucky PG

Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is making an early effort to pursue a rising prospect who grew up in the shadow of the powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats. 2012 point guard Jaylen Beckham recently received an offer from the Crimson Tide, making the Tide the first SEC school to offer the 6-foot, 150-pound star.

"He's an athletic guy with a real gift for seeing the court," said Coach Mike Scoot, Beckhams's coach on the AAU club team Hoop Dreams. "He can be very acrobatic in the air and that allows him to finish at the basket very well. He's also got a quick first step and I think that's probably the most dangerous thing about him offensively."

The Tide join Washington and DePaul as the first schools to offer Beckham, though Memphis, Xavier and Kentucky have all been in touch with the rising star.

"I know Xavier is particularly high on him," Scoot said. "They have said he's near the top of their board as far as point guards go."

While the Crimson Tide are sure to have plenty of competition in landing Beckham's signature, Grant appears to have made a strong impression thus far on both the player and his coach.

"Coach Grant is a really good guy, I've met him a few times over the years," Scoot said. "He's come to Jaylen's school to watch him a couple of times and he's really made an effort from really early on to show that he's interested and that he's committed to Jaylen."

Grant's reputation for developing guards could be a huge positive for the second-year Tide coach.

"I know he's done a great job with several point guards that he's coached in the past, especially with Eric Maynor when he was at VCU. I think Jaylen can fit really well into what Coach Grant does and how he likes to use his point guards."

Beckham averaged 20 points and 8 assists per game last year with Hoop Dreams.

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