Over the years, I’ve had a chance to watch the growth of a few current freshman guards. At every level so far, these players have absolutely dominated their competition. The level of consistency that has been shown from these guards gives me confidence that we’ll see much of the same soon as they enter into the high school ranks. Keep in mind, this is NOT a list of what I consider to be the “top” guards, but rather a list of 5 guards you should watch.
First on this list, we have Rodmik Allen. This young point guard out of Wilmington, NC is currently enrolled at New Hanover HS (NC), a storied program known for producing high level players. It’s safe to say that Allen is next in line to help lead the charge. For years, Rodmik has been putting up blistering scoring totals at every age group he’s played. Over this past summer, he set the Big Shots record with a 50 point outburst and garnered several MVP accolades along the way. The confidence that he displays when he’s on the court oftentimes strikes fear in his opponents. He’s got a quick handle, is an efficient shooter, has a never ending motor and he’s also an excellent passer. You truly have to pick your poison when trying to defend him as a team. In addition to his well defined game, his athleticism is starting to catch up with his skill and feel for the game. If he continues to improve his body, he’ll win a ton of games in high school. He has game and he’s competing at a winning program.
Crafty is the best word to use when describing Nathaniel “Q” Williams IV. He’s an absolute wizard with the ball in his hands and does a tremendous job controlling the pace of a game. It’s hard to remember a time when a defender was able to speed him up or make him uncomfortable. That’s impressive considering how often he plays up several age groups. As the primary ballhandler, he gets shifty off of the dribble. Constantly, he finds his way to the basket for tough layups finishes, drop off passes and the occasional finish through contact with a trip to the free-throw line. Off the ball, he does an excellent job staying active and finds himself knocking down masses of three-pointers. His combination of feel for the game, shooting ability and passing ability makes it easy to see why he’s already garnered a Division 1 offer. This kid is a proven winner that will help make a ton of his teammates look better than they would have imagined.
At the moment, Mykal “MJ” Williams may be one of the lesser known rising freshmen guards on a large scale in NC. That won’t last too much longer. Williams has surprisingly been able to fly under the radar while playing up an age group with the Team Trezz program. His pace, shot making ability and court vision usually leads people to assume that he’s a small rising sophomore. Have no doubt, he’s a rising freshman with a very mature game. MJ is a southpaw that never looks rattled and always appears to be in complete control, even while playing against much older and larger players. You could throw him on almost any roster and that team automatically becomes a threat to win. It’s important to think of him as a pass first traditional guard. He makes everyone around him elevate their level of play. He distributes, scores it and he defends the ball at a high level. At Farmville Central, expect the winning tradition to continue with the likes of MJ coming up into the storied program.
Opposing coaches commonly described Lybrant Rush as a “machine” this summer. You can’t help but fall in love with his pull-up jump-shot. He has a picturesque form and gets great elevation on his jumper. Frequently, he went on monster scoring sprees where he would bury 5-6 straight three pointers while blowing a game wide open. However, he’s much more than just a shooter. LJ has good creativity with the ball and is very successful changing directions with the ball in his hands while maintaining top speed. His athleticism works well for him defensively as he’s able to pick off a lot of long passes. Surprisingly, he’s a solid weakside shot blocker despite being a guard that’s on the “shorter” side around 5’10” in height. Without saying too much, I’ll just say that this kid has the ability of an instant impact player at the high school level. Check in his freshman year while it’s still plenty of space to get a seat.
West Charlotte is very well known for producing high level point guards. Chadlyn Traylor is next in line at West Charlotte. His name has been well traveled in youth rankings and along the east coast for several years now. My first chance at seeing him play in person was a wonderful experience. He’s got excellent length, outstanding fluidity and has a poised approach to the game that makes you wonder if he’s actually a rising freshman at the college level. However, he’s a rising 9th grader that has as mature of a game you’ll find this early. His mid-range game is deadly. Defenders struggle with deciding whether he’s going all the way to the basket, pulling up for a midrange jumper or setting up a teammate for a lob pass. He’s competed with, held his own and outplayed top level competition consistently and hasn’t regressed at all. West Charlotte fans should be excited to have him walking through their school doors. He’s got it all. Colleges will be checking in soon.