By LARRY VAUGHT
CHICAGO — While the nation has several outstanding high school point guards, ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi says the best scoring point guard without a doubt is Kentucky signee Andrew Harrison.
The 6-5 Harrison is here to play in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game along with his twin brother, Andrew, a two guard and another UK signee.
“His body reminds me of Tyreke Evans, who played for John Calipari at Memphis,” said Biancardi. “He can produce points a variety of ways. He’s excellent if the play breaks down and he will be great in the pick-and-roll at Kentucky because he can beat people off the dribble but he is also a good shooter from beyond the (3-point) arc. He doesn’t mind contact at the rim and can finish or find open teammates. He has great court vision.”
Biancardi says being able to score in so many ways makes Andrew Harrison unique.
“He is not a guy that can just make shot or just drive and finish at the rim. He can get offensive rebounds and score. He’s big enough to post up other point guards,” Biancardi said. “He has a great ability to score inside through contact. He can take advantage of a defense better than any other (high school) point guard because of his ability to score in a variety of ways.
“John Calipari’s system depends on a point guard having the ability to go in transition and put pressure on the defense. Then in the paint the ability to take a hit and score is important. He lets guards go create scoring opportunities for themselves and teammates and he can do that like Tyreke Evans could.”
Biancardi rates him “between an average and above average distributor” of the basketball.
“I don’t think he is thinking about scoring. He thinks about scoring and distributing equally,” Biancardi said. “He lets the possession call for what is needed. He can find open guys in transition. He can see guys cutting and posting up. He has really good vision and playmaking ability to make an assist or break off a play and create an opportunity for himself. He is that rare player who has the talent to put the ball in the basket but is also unselfish enough to find a guy cutting to the basket for a lob or kick it out to a shooter.
“My biggest thing for him to see how he adjust to running a team of predominately other freshmen. How will he get himself and his team into an offensive set, make defensive calls. He will have a lot on his shoulder. They all have to be in the right place at the right time. If three guys are in play one and two in play two, that won’t work. It will be a huge learning curve, but the group he will be with is extraordinarily talented and he will find the right balance.
“He continues to get better and I think he is the type of guy that will get in the gym and work. That’s important and will help improve his skill level. After these all-star games, he can start getting in the gym more and then when he gets with John and his staff at Kentucky they will start incorporating all the things he needs.”