One veteran scout believes that Louisville recruit Quentin Snider is the best all-around point guard in the 2014 class.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Today is the day that college basketball coaches intensify their pursuits of the next Anthony Davis, next Peyton Siva and next Victor Oladipo.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, college coaches started watching prospects compete, instead of relying on the word of recruiting evaluators. Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Augusta, Ga., became the most important basketball addresses on the planet.
But coaches were not allowed to watch the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas last weekend. Frank Burlison did visit the LeBron camp.
I've linked and quoted Burlison before because I think he's one of the best in the business, a veteran, Hall of Fame observer of the game. I'd advise you to follow his blog (click here). Burlison is not trying to sell you anything. He is telling you what he sees and believes.
I talked to Burlison after he returned home to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. He had good things to say about a number of players who are already on the local recruiting boards:
QUENTIN SNIDER, Louisville – "I love him. In terms of doing everything, he was probably the best point guard there. Certain guys are maybe better scorers. Certain guys are maybe a little quicker. Certain guys are better at traditional play-making. In terms of the entire point guard package, I like him the best of the point guards (in the 2014 class)."
Snider will be a senior at Ballard next season. He made Burlison's list of the Top 15 performers regardless of position at the LeBron camp. Snider is playing for the Louisville Magic at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis.
JAMES BLACKMON JR., Indiana – "Unfortunately he was on crutches (ankle injury) for the last day of games, but I loved him at the NBA Players Association Camp (in mid-June).
"I thought he was the best shooter in the NBA Players Association camp. Might have been the best shooter or at least as good a shooter as there was here (at LeBron). I saw him during drills. He's really good. I mean really good."
The ankle injury cost Blackmon a spot on Burlison's Top 15 at LeBron, but he did select Blackmon as one of his top five players at the NBA camp. Blackmon will play his senior season for his father, former UK guard James Blackmon, at Marion (Ind.) High School.
D'ANGELO RUSSELL, OHIO STATE: "I love him. I think with Rashad Vaughn, he's the best combo guard that I've seen in 2014. Very skilled. Very effective."
Russell played his freshman season for Doug Bibby at Central High School in Louisville before transferring to Montverde Academy in Florida.
CLIFF ALEXANDER, UNDECIDED: "He's gotten real, real strong. He scores in more ways than he did a year ago. He's developed a jumper and actually got a nice jump hook over his left shoulder. Not only is he an aggressive and forceful rebounder who plays hard, now he's got more in terms of face-up and low-post moves. Wherever you put him, he's going to be a mismatch in college."
Alexander has said that he is still considering 10 schools, including Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana. Alexander is a Chicago kid, and many believe that Michigan State is the team to beat. He's been listed at 6 feet 10 or 6 feet 9, but Burlison wondered if 6-8 was more accurate.
RASHAD VAUGHN, UNDECIDED: "The best perimeter guy. He can score any way you want. Shoot deep. Drive it. Athletic enough. Great feel for the game. Doesn't force shots. Can score in transition. Can score in half court or by just taking his man. He's a complete two-guard who could also play the one for certain teams."
Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina and other heavy-hitters are involved with Vaughn, who will play his senior season at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.