Point guards fight urge to score at ABCD

Teaneck, N.J. -- There is a reason why only one
point guard, O.J. Mayo, is in the top ten in
scoring at the Reebok ABCD Camp.
It's not that there are not talented point guards
here. It's that most of the time at elite camps, once
you give the ball up, you rarely get it back. And
since point guards make the first pass to start the
offense, usually, they don't see the ball again during
that possession.
Syracuse commit Johnny Flynn is fine with
that, as long as he can get his teammates involved and
win games.
"Your obligation as a point guard is to get everybody
the ball," Flynn said. "Everybody wants to eat.
Everybody wants to score. It's a leadership quality to
be able to run the offense and find open teammates and
get them the ball. College coaches appreciate that, to
have a point guard come in and pass the ball."
Flynn has been one of the most dominant point guards
at camp for that reason. With capable scorers like
Chris Allen, Tracy Smith and
J.J. Hickson on his team, Flynn's role is to
distribute. He's more than happy doing it.
Same goes for Alabama commit Rico Pickett,
who has been the leader in assists all week and is
currently tied with Demetri McCamey heading
into the final day. Each camper plays 16 of 32 minutes
in a game and Pickett is averaging 4.5 assists through
three days.
Does Pickett want to fire away? Sure, who doesn't want
to shoot more. But he realizes players like Blake Hoffarber, who leads the camp in 3-point shooting
percentage at 62 percent, is looking for shots and so
are the big men in the post. Pickett's role is
well-defined -- distribute the ball and when you get
an open look, take the shot.
"It's important in order for a team to win
consistently to have a point guard who is unselfish,"
Pickett said. "I have to be the guy to keep things
steady and get the ball to everybody. That's my role
on this team or on any team. Get all the guys involved
and then find time to do my thing."
For Miami (Fla.) commit Edwin Rios, getting
familiarized with his new teammates on the first day
of camp was crucial. He wanted to build their trust as
a floor leader and he took the time in the early games
to learn their styles of play so he could maximize
their talents.
When 2008 USC commit Malik Story heats up
from deep, Rios wants to get him the ball. When
Renardo Sidney, who is transferring to
Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia, has post position, Rios
wants to dump it down low.
"It takes awhile to get familiar with all the guys,
but by the end of the first game or the start of the
second game, you start to get a feel for your
teammates," Rios said. "It's all a matter of playing
hard. A lot of guys think it's just about scoring. But
if you play tough defense, if you pass the ball and
you work to get open, you're going to get shots. It's
tough getting to know the players and making a bond,
but once you do it everything is easier."
One player who has a number of offensive options on
his team but has still found opportunities to score
points has been 2008 prospect Brandon Jennings, who tweaked his list to include
Arizona, UConn, USC and Texas as his top four schools.
Jennings, who will attend Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak
Hill Academy next season, has Kevin Love, who
has led the camp in scoring and rebounding for three
straight days, on his team along with Drew Gordon, James Harden and others. But
Jennings is finding ways to score and is getting
around 10 points per game. He is also second in camp
at 4.3 assists.
"A lot of guys are selfish, a lot of guys won't pass
the ball," Love said earlier this week. "Brandon's not
like that. He makes us all better."