More and more college basketball is becoming a point guard dominated game. Seemingly in order to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament you have to have a dominant point guard. In the class of 2014 there is no shortage of prospects who could soon be that March Madness hero.
Two prospects have really asserted themselves as potential elite point guards and they are Tyus Jones and Emmanuel Mudiay. Both prospects were absolutely unguardable all July long, and though they get it done in different ways, they have the potential to simply takeover games.
Jones is the consummate floor general. He doesn’t have elite size or freakish athleticism, but his total skill set combined makes him an off the charts prospects. His understanding of the game is impressive, and at 6-foot-1 he can make plays in the lane. Using ball screens he is absolutely unstoppable, and then he sees the floor extremely well. Quite simply Jones never turns the ball over and has the ability to make all of his teammates better. Very few point guards in recent memory have been able to control the game the way he does.
After Jones is Mudiay who is physically off the charts. He has the size at 6-foot-3 which is impressive, and then is an elite athlete. Mudiay doesn’t have that unreal feel for the game like Jones does, but he is definitely a point guard who is capable of making others better. All July long he was impossible to stop in one-on-one situations, and nearly every school in the country is after him.
Following those two there is a slight drop, but not a huge one. Indiana product Jaquan Lyle has elite size and he might have the best floor vision in the class. He isn't the quickest, and defensively at times might be best guarding off the ball, but he has improved as a shooter and simply makes passes that are unreal. As long as he continues to mature with his game, all the talent is there for him to play for a long time.
Out West a trio of point guards are making a huge splash. Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Josh Perkins, and Jordan McLaughlin all have coaches in the Pac 12 drooling with their ability.
Jackson-Cartwright is the consummate floor general who makes shots and just knows how to play. His understanding of how to play the position is basically unmatched. However he needs to get stronger and is a shade under 5-foot-9.
McLaughlin is the athletic freak who just glides with the ball in his hands beating his man off the dribble. Best of all McLaughlin can score it, but is becoming more of a floor general, and has made huge strides in the last year.
For his part Perkins is a great point guard who combines elite size with good athleticism and a solid skill set to make plays. Perkins sees the floor well and is a knockdown shooter. That combination, and the fact that he knows how to be a leader makes him very intriguing.
Along with the group from the West, Joel Berry from Florida and Quentin Snider from Kentucky are two guys who have opened a lot of eyes. Berry was dominant in July and is an absolutely bull going to the rim. Good speed allows him to get places on the floor along with a great ability to change gears and get defenders on their heels. Also he is a good shooter and excellent at finishing through traffic around the rim.
Snider is the lone committed prospect in the top tier, he is headed to Louisville, and is probably the best pure shooter of the bunch. He is absolutely a knockdown marksman when his feet are set. Also he is a good passer and a more than willing defender who has fairly quick feet and very long arms.
In all 19 prospects found their way into the top 75 making this the year of the point guard. College basketball needs floor generals, and the 2014 class has a lot of them to offer.