Here is a little piece of advice when it comes to picking your NCAA bracket next year. Write your selection in pen for whatever team Kenny Boynton is on. There will be no need to erase that pick when the games are being played in March.
His résumé so far this grassroots season is about as good as any player in the nation. In fact, you could argue that he is the most consistent player in the Rivals.com class of 2009 rankings.
Boynton wins and if his team doesn't, it isn't because he didn't try. The five-star guard from American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida is a game-changer.
"I look forward to the big games. I think I have more heart than other people. I don't like it when people get the best of me so I try not to be in positions where they can," Boynton says. "I'm going to give you the same thing that you've seen in high school [in college]."
Don't sleep on his team next March. Just don't. He has proven his worth so far and July could be more of the same.
"Last year we had great teams but we wouldn't be able to close out. The difference this year, at least for me, is that I'm more consistent," Boynton said. "Last year I was kind of up and down. This year, I'm being much more consistent. I think this year I've had good tournaments across the board."
After watching guys like Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo and the rest of the outstanding 2007 class shake hands with David Stern last week, Boynton said he has the itch more than ever to step foot on a college campus and go to work.
Like the 2007 stars, Boynton is running into the same issue that his predecessors did. They are running out of challenges at the high school level.
"I want to get done with school and work out, work out and just get to college early. I want to be there right now," Boynton said. "There really isn't much of a challenge anymore. We are playing good teams, don't get me wrong and I don't want to sound cocky but I'm not individually challenged just because I've been playing AAU basketball for so long that I'm ready for the next challenge. I want to be in college."
Enter Duke, Texas, Memphis, Georgia Tech and Florida. According to Boynton, the quintet is recruiting him the hardest out of all of the schools on his list at the moment. They are also the most consistent, he said.
Boynton tripped to Duke and Georgia Tech last week prior to attending the Steve Nash Skills Academy in New Jersey. Boynton said he had a chance to interact with a lot of former faces inside Cameron Indoor as well as some of the future stars for the Blue Devils.
"The visit went well. I was up there with Jason Williams, J.J. Redick and Mason Plumlee. All of them were there together and they told me all about it. I got a different perception of it. The assistant coach, Nate James, was real down to earth. He told me how school wise it would be tough. They are going to be in my top three when I narrow it down because they situation that I can be in, like Coach K explained to me. He told me that he will put the ball in my hands and let me go. I feel like I can be pretty good in a system like that," Boynton said.
"Everytime I talk to Coach K he does say I remind him of Jason. Jason, he always pushes me. We played and he was just pushes me to keep going. He said he had been reading about me but wants me to keep going and getting better."
The trip to Georgia Tech was a familiar one. Boynton said he has been to the Atlanta school four of five times before.
His relationship with assistant coach Charlton Young is a big part of the foundation for his thoughts on the ACC program.
"C.Y. has been on me since day one. I have a good relationship with him. He keeps it real with me. He tells me what I need to work on. Even if I don't go there, he said he will still be there and wishes me luck. He's a Miami guy," Boynton said. "I think that would be a good situation for me because I know that C.Y. would be there to pick me up whenever I go through the struggles that everyone goes through in college. I like Georgia Tech, too."
With Memphis and Texas, Boynton said he likes both programs and the style of play employed at each school.
"I think they are more of my system, running offense. The plays they run is like what we do with Breakdown," Boynton said of Memphis. "It's just get out and go. Me and coach [John Calipari] have a good relationship. I think I could work out good in that situation.
"Texas is real similar with Memphis. I looked at what they've done with D.J. Augustin and they have a good history with their guards there. They have experience. They could develop me into a really, really good guard."
Boynton said he will likely officially visit both programs in the fall. Of the five on his list, those are the only two he has not visited.
With Florida, the home state school, there is a draw to play with a former teammate and close friend, Eloy Vargas.
"It would be great to go to Florida, stay close to home and play with my boy Eloy. That would make it even better," Boynton said. "He emails me whenever he can. He talks to my dad, my brother. He knows my family. He's showing a great interest in me right now."
Now comes the tricky part, Boynton says. Trying to find the right one.
July may prove to be a helpmate. Boynton will be at the Reebok All-American camp, Breakdown Hoops Festival, Reebok Summer Championships and the AAU Nationals. Expect head coaches from each of the five sitting sideline.
All of the coaches are hoping he can be the player that keeps their team on the court in March and even into April next year.