April 8, 2009

Class of 2009 point guard scouting report

Who's the best of the best among the Class of 2009 point guards? We break down the players in four categories.

BEST PENETRATOR
1. John Wall
High school: Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy
College choice: Considering Duke, Kentucky, Miami, North Carolina
Buzz: No one in the 2009 class gets to the basket with as much regularity as Wall. Blazingly fast with the ball going either direction, Wall also has the uncanny ability to make positive plays after bursting into the lane.
2. Abdul Gaddy
High school: Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep
College choice: Washington
Buzz: He might not be the quickest guard in the class, but Gaddy is as crafty as they come and consistently gets into the lane. A hesitation move or crossover usually starts the drive, with a smooth floater finishing it.
3. Eric Bledsoe
High school: Birmingham (Ala.) Parker
College choice: Considering Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida, Kentucky
Buzz: Physical and quick with the basketball, Bledsoe is a handful to guard. Once in the lane, he is a great finisher.
4. Maalik Wayns
High school: Philadelphia Roman Catholic
College choice: Villanova
Buzz: When Wayns wants to get to the basket, there are few guards who can prevent him from getting there. He will be another top penetrator in Villanova's system.
5. Chris Colvin
High school: Chicago Whitney Young
College choice: Iowa State
Buzz: Like a Mack truck, Colvin excels at barreling his way to the basket. Once he gets a head of steam, no one can keep Colvin out of the lane.
BEST BALLHANDLER
1. John Wall
High school: Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy
College choice: Considering Duke, Kentucky, Miami, North Carolina
Buzz: It isn't athleticism alone that gets Wall to the basket. He also is a superb ballhandler who can do almost anything with the basketball.
2. Abdul Gaddy
High school: Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep
College choice: Washington
Buzz: Gaddy is right with Wall as a steady ballhandler who can get his team into its offense. Gaddy has the ball on a string and knows what to do with it.
3. Mfon Udofia
High school: Stone Mountain (Ga.) Miller Grove
College choice: Georgia Tech
Buzz: This compact lefty rarely over dribbles and can keep his dribble alive until the play presents itself. Udofia also has a great feel for running a team.
4. Eric Bledsoe
High school: Birmingham (Ala.) Parker
College choice: Considering Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida, Kentucky
Buzz: Bledsoe's strength with the basketball is top-notch, and with a burst of acceleration he can get the ball to wherever it needs to be on the court.
5. Junior Cadougan
High school: Humble (Texas) Christian Life Center
College choice: Marquette
Buzz: He isn't the most explosive athlete, but Cadougan is an exceptional ballhandler with a feel for the game. His skills make the players around him better.
BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER
1. John Wall
High school: Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy
College choice: Considering Duke, Kentucky, Miami, North Carolina
Buzz: Yes, his outside shot needs work, but Wall shoots it well enough to keep defenses honest. His ability to make plays off the dribble makes him the most dangerous offensive weapon in the 2009 class.
2. Abdul Gaddy
High school: Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep
College choice: Washington
Buzz: A smooth operator with the basketball, Gaddy has an impeccable blend of offensive skills. He has a steady outside shot and the ability to score in a variety of ways off the dribble.
3. Raymond Penn
High school: Richmond (Texas) Bush
College choice: Oklahoma State
Buzz: If you're looking for a scoring point guard, Penn gets the ball into the basket as well as any. Explosively quick, Penn can blow by his man and score from long range.
4. Tommy Mason-Griffin
High school: Houston Madison
College choice: Oklahoma
Buzz: Mason-Griffin will continue his scoring duals against Penn, a fellow Houstonian, in the Big 12. Like Penn, Mason-Griffin has a bowling ball build and a wicked pull-up jumper.
5. Elijah Johnson
High school: Las Vegas Cheyenne
College choice: Kansas
Buzz: A terrific athlete who has drawn comparisons to a young Baron Davis, Johnson can overpower defenders and also beat them with his speed. When his jumper is on, he is unstoppable.
BEST DEFENDER
1. Eric Bledsoe
High school: Birmingham (Ala.) Parker
College choice: Considering Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida, Kentucky
Buzz: No one in the 2009 class brings a more physical approach to the game than Bledsoe. He can lock up his opponent and also clean up the glass on the defensive end.
2. Darius Smith
High school: Chicago Marshall
College choice: Connecticut
Buzz: In the same mold as Bledsoe, Smith is a physical defender with the quickness to hawk the ball 94 feet. Smith has a passion for defense you don't often see in a young player.
3. John Wall
High school: Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy
College choice: Considering Duke, Kentucky, Miami, North Carolina
Buzz: Although raw as a defender, Wall's length and superb athleticism make him dangerous. He has a feel for coming up with steals and is a tremendous shot blocker.
4. Lorenzo Brown
High school: Alpharetta (Ga.) Centennial
College choice: N.C. State
Buzz: A combination of length, athleticism and instinct makes Brown one of the top defenders in the class. Brown's ability to guard wing players makes him even more valuable as a defender.
5. Mfon Udofia
High school: Stone Mountain (Ga.) Miller Grove
College choice: Georgia Tech
Buzz: A bulldog of a competitor, Udofia loves to pressure the basketball. He also has a feel for making defensive plays away from the ball.



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