Chris Paul, the 6-2 point guard from West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, NC, showed at this past weekend's Gonzaga College High School DC Classic why he was recruited by many top Division I schools.
In the opening round game, the Titans where topped by Georgetown Prep 73-70 when a last-second three by a teammate rimmed off as the buzzer sounded. He scored 26 points including 10 in the final minute plus. With less than five seconds on the clock, Paul brought the inbound pass to the other end of the court and found an open teammate behind the arc on the right wing for the tying basket attempt.
Georgetown Prep coach Dwayne Bryant said that he used a box and one and man defenses to try to wear Paul out. But, as evident by the Wake Forest bound guard's outstanding play at the end, the result was less than intended. This scheme did reduce some of his touches and that may have been the difference.
West Forsyth took seventh place at the event with a 79-57 victory over Texas' Heritage Christian (12-5) and is now 3-2 in the early 2002-03 season.
"I'm used to getting that type of defense," Paul said. "It really didn't bother me. And I'm pretty familiar with a number of Georgetown's players through summer play; Davis (Nwankwo), Roy (Hibbert) and Tommy Moss."
Paul indicated that Coach Prosser and the whole Demon Deacon staff and team were a large reason for his choosing Wake Forest. "I plan on majoring in computer science though I'm also looking at going into law," Paul said.
RivalsHoops.com's number 15 player in the class of 2003, is a top talent. He shoots the long range jumper with accuracy, takes the ball to the basket withh quickness and determination, and makes excellent decisions as the lead guard.
"I'm working on my pull-up jump shot," he said. "I know I'll need to be able to also score in the paint in the ACC."
Paul, who averaged 26 points and 8.7 assists as a junior last season, looks more than ready to continue at that level, or higher. The Titans will be in the post-Christmas Frank Spencer Tournament from December 26-28.