March 3, 2008

Best of the Rest: Point guards

High school basketball seasons are ending in some states, and the college season has entered the madness of March.

The late signing period begins on April 16, and we're here to let you know which players are still available.

The list of top-notch prospects isn't long because most players made their college decisions long ago.

However, one of the top players in the nation is still unsigned. Two players received their releases from their National Letters of Intent. A familiar name at the point guard position remains on the board, and a new one has cracked into the top five top remaining players at the position.

Who is out there? Here is our look at the "Best of the Rest" at point guard.

Best of the rest | Sleepers | 2008 PG rankings | 2009 PG Rankings

Best of the Rest: Point Guards

Tyreke Evans, American Christian School (Pa.)

Rank: No. 2 point guard, No. 6 overall

In an age of instant-impact freshman, Evans is one of the players in the class of 2008 that projects to be a high-level scorer next season as a rookie. Where will it be? That remains to be seen. Evans will decide after the March 26 McDonald's All-American game.

Louisville, Memphis, Texas and Villanova will be patiently waiting for his final decision. Evans visited Memphis for the Tennessee game, so he has now visited all his finalists.

The 6-foot-5 guard will be one of the most watched players in Milwaukee at the McDonald's All-American game. He'll also hear, "Where do you think you will be playing your college basketball?" more than any other player in the game.

Evans highlights

Brad Tinsley, Oregon City (Ore.)

Rank: No. 18 point guard, No. 93 overall

When Vance Walberg was let go at Pepperdine, Tinsley asked for and was granted a release from his Letter of Intent. When he became available, the 6-foot-3 guard began to receive a great deal of interest.

It is fair to say he's the most recruited point guard in the nation at this stage of the game. His father, Carl, has been the filter of information to this point. Carl Tinsley said he has fielded calls from about 30 schools.

Tinsley's long list includes Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Drake, Fresno State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Texas A&M, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington and Wisconsin.

Verdell Jones, Champaign (Ill.) Central

Rank: No. 26 point guard, No. 123 overall

After the signing period ended, Jones was the second highest rated point guard who was available.

Jones, a long 6-foot-4 point guard, has mentioned Kentucky, Minnesota and Tennessee as his three favorite suitors for a good part of the high school season. Oklahoma and Arizona have shown more interest as the year has progressed.

The Rivals150 point guard said he would like to visit his three favorites again, and will have a better idea on where he will go closer to the signing period.

Paul McCoy, Portland (Ore.) Grant

Like Tinsley, McCoy was released from his Letter of Intent from Pepperdine in February. Since then, he has received interest from a wide variety of schools.

The speedy 5-foot-11 senior recently visited Washington State, but wants to look at other programs before making his decision. Tennessee and Virginia Tech have made the trek West to see McCoy in action. SMU, UNLV and Hawaii are also showing interest.

McCoy told that he would like to find a "good school, good location, good weather, [and] a good program that will fit me."

Jorge Gutierrez, Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep

The Mexican import has enjoyed a strong year at the start-up basketball program in Sin City. The 6-foot-2 combo guard plays with a tough-guy mentality and isn't afraid to get into the paint - to rebound or score at the rim.

With five official visits still to use, the three-star prospect is still sorting through a large number of programs.

Northern Colorado and Fairfield are his only offers to date. Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, UNLV, UTEP, New Mexico State, South Carolina, East Carolina, Murray State, Miami-OH, Northeastern, West Virginia, St. Louis, Pepperdine, Fresno State and Penn State are also in the mix.

Sleeper Central

After shining at the City of Palms tournament and playing well in other events, Chester (Pa.) floor general Karon Burton is receiving interest from local programs. The 5-foot-8 quick point guard plays with a high-risk, high-reward type of mentality. The Big Five schools - Villanova, LaSalle, Temple, Penn and Drexel - are on his short list.

Simi Valley (Calif.) point guard Lorne Jackson is having a strong senior season, and he is one of the better unsigned point guards in the Golden State. He has offers from American, San Diego, Long Beach State, Montana State and UC Riverside.

Making the move from the wet winters of Washington state to sunny San Diego, Patrick McCollum is taking full advantage of his new surroundings. The mid-level programs are hot on his trail.

Lonnie Hayes of Harmony Prep is apparently receiving interest from schools like Bowling Green and Virginia Tech.

Best of the rest | Sleepers | 2008 PG rankings | 2009 PG Rankings


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