The spring is the time for underclassmen to emerge, and 2011 prospect David Gardner is poised to place his name on the national map.
A 6-foot-6, 175-pound shooting guard hidden away in Okolona, Miss., Gardner has the qualities of a five-star prospect. In fact, his travel team coach Gary Caveness feels Gardner is farther along in his development than his former player Courtney Fells at the same point in their careers.
"He's beter than Courtney at the same stage," said Caveness, who coaches the travel team Da House. "Last year he was just a deep shooter with length. Now he is hitting jumpers in the midrange, when he has the right match up he is posting up smaller guards. He is even skilled nough that we can run him at the one."
Even though Gardner is rapidly improving in all areas of his game, there still remains one constant in his game, and that is his shooting ability.
"David is a phenomenal shooter," said Caveness. "In the 12 years I've been coaching AAU, he is the best shooter I've had."
Gardner, who averaged 19 points and eight rebounds per game this year, has all the elements of a prospect who will be highly recruited.
"David is an A/B student," said Caveness. "He's a very recruitable kid. In the end I think he is a top 25 player. He's developing quickly."