2010 four-star point guard Kyrie Irving won't hit the court for Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick High School until the eleventh game of the season after transferring from Montclair (N.J.) Kimberley Academy, but his new coach Kevin Boyle expects him to make up for lost time quickly.
In fact, Boyle, who has coached St. Patrick for over twenty years and won numerous coaching awards, thinks Irving will be right in the middle of the discussion on who is the best high school player in New Jersey.
"A lot of people just haven't seen enough of Kyrie," said Boyle. "Once they do, people will be arguing whether he is the best player in Jersey or if it is Dominic Cheek, Dexter Strickland or Mike Gilchrist. If you put twenty people in a room after watching these four players play and asked them who was the best player, Kyrie would get his share of votes.
"If he does what I think he can do in the next year and a half, he has a chance to be up there with any of the guards who have played here or at St. Anthony's."
At 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, Irving has the ability to move seamlessly between both guard positions. He has the ability to run a team and distribute the ball as well as score the ball at a high level.
"First of all, Kyrie makes other players better," said Boyle. "Secondly, what will separate him from others when he moves from high school to college, is that he is a great shooter- one of the best in the country. A lot of guys are good shooters and streaky shooters. Those guys lose their confidence in college and struggle at times to make shots. Kyrie is a great shooter with consistency and perfect form. He won't struggle to make shots in college."
With the likes of Memphis, Rutgers, Villanova, Indiana, Florida, Kansas, Kansas State and Texas A&M rigorously pursuing Irving and with North Carolina showing some interest, Boyle sees Irving as a scoring point guard in the mold of Jay Williams at the next level.
"I tell you who Kyrie really reminds me of is Jason Williams," he said. "Jason grew up here in the neighborhood and was better than people realize. When Kyrie gets stronger, he will shoot with range and attack the basket like Jason did."
Irving, who runs with the New Jersey Roadrunners on the travel circuit, is the No. 27 ranked prospect in the Rivals150.