April 4, 2006

Class of 2007 Breakdown: Shooting guards

With the McDonald's All-American game for the Class of 2006 and the college basketball season officially behind us, it's time to focus on the Class of 2007. All this week, Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer is breaking down the top players in the Class of 2007 by position.

Today, Meyer breaks down the shooting guards.

Eric Gordon, Indianapolis North Central
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
College choice: Illinois
A versatile combo guard, Eric Gordon, can snatch a rebound and take it the length of the floor and finish with a floater over defenders on one possession and then post up on the next possession and finish with a dunk off a spin move to the baseline.

A smooth shooter with NBA range, Gordon also has an explosive first step. Not just a one on one scorer, he also has the ability to create for others with his penetration.

Well built with a strong upper body, Gordon is a powerful jumper who can snatch rebounds in traffic. His defense is strong and he can guard a point guard in the full court as well as body up against a bigger guard around the basket.

Gordon's game will fit in seamlessly in Illinois' fluid motion offense attack, and he will only make Illinois' defense harder to score against.
Click here for video of Gordon in action

Jerryd Bayless, Phoenix St. Mary's
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
College choice: Arizona
An explosive athlete, Jerryd Bayless is not only a dynamic scorer but is on his way to becoming a complete player as a combo guard prospect. As a scorer, Bayless has a signature move with a left to right crossover into a pull up jumper that is virtually unstoppable. Overplay his right hand, and Bayless is plenty capable of taking it left and scoring.

Bayless is at his best in transition where he can finish over people at the basket or hit his pull up when cut off. Bottom line is that if he gets within 15-feet of the basket with a head of steam, it's a foul or a bucket.

With much more of a scorer's mindset than a passer's mindset. Bayless has the skills to be a very good passer. He should be a terror executing the pick and roll in college and the NBA.

When he puts his mind to it, he can be a lockdown defender on scoring guards and can rebound with any guard on the circuit.

Headed to home state school Arizona, Bayless has a chance to be the next great guard to play under Lute Olson.
Click here for video of Bayless in action

Durrell Summers, Redford (Mich.) Covenant
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 195 pounds
College choice: Michigan State
Just beginning to tap into his enormous potential, Durrell Summers has the length, scoring ability and both fluid and explosive athleticism to one day make a healthy living playing the shooting guard position.

A good shooter with range, defenders have to respect his ball fakes, and Summers does not need a lot of space to get into the lane and finish drives with acrobatic dunks. He also has the touch and body control to develop a lethal mid-range scoring game.

With the handling skills to create for himself, he does need to improve his court vision as a passer when he puts the ball on the floor.

His length and athleticism make him a dangerous defender and rebounder, but he must get stronger to play the defense that Coach Izzo will expect from him. Nonetheless, Summers has what it takes to excel in the wing oriented attack of Michigan State.
Click here for video of Summers in action

Alex Legion, Detroit Country Day
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 195 pounds
College choice: Michigan
A terrific scorer on the wing, Alex Legion shoots the ball very well off the dribble. Capable of taking it left or right, he has a very polished pull up jumper in the mid-range. Also adept at catching and shooting from three, Legion tends to play a little upright on the dribble and could improve his ability to attack the rim.

Also with room to improve as a ball handler and passer, Legion is a solid defender with the ability to be a tough rebounder. He should have the physical strength to contribute immediately in the Big Ten.

A big pick up for Michigan, Legion is the type of player who can help the Wolverines program get over the hump.
Click here for video of Legion in action

Nolan Smith, Landover (Md.) Oak Hill Academy
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 175 pounds
College choice: Duke
A tough all around player, Nolan Smith has a smooth feel for the game. Certainly a solid a solid athlete, Smith beats his opponent more with his head and skills than with his athleticism.

Able to score from behind the arc and in the mid-range, he is also slippery around the basket with good body control and his ability to finish with either hand. He is also a very good passer on the move.

Not the quickest defender laterally, Smith does have good hands and a strong understanding of positioning. Very good off the ball as a help defender, he also has a nose for the ball as a rebounder on both ends of the court.

Headed to Duke, Smith has a team first, winning mentality that Coach K loves in a player.
Click here for video of Smith in action


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