clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What's in a Point Guard?

New, comments
Dude looks either bored or angry in every pic I could find.
Word around the scouting world has Xavier in and possibly leading on Brooklyn point guard Kareem Canty. Canty is a former class of 2011 player who reclassified to 2012 so as to accommodate a year at prep school. ESPN.com is impressed with him, rating him a 92 overall, four-star player who is in the top 100 of his class.  Scout.com is similarly flattering to the young man, calling him the 7th best PG in his class. Despite that, I'm not so excited about the idea of Xavier landing him.

Canty has the potential to be a good player; I'm not doubting that. Game reports can be glittering, like this one from the Rumble in the Bronx in June, or this one from the same tournament last year. When things are going well, he is a big-time point who apparently can get the ball to his teammates or score it himself. Kareem also has a body strong enough that it helps him out on the glass and as a defender. He's also reputed not to be afraid of contact in the lane.


There are a couple of red flags in the scouting report for Kareem. ESPN.com says:
His shot selection can be flighty at times while he can also be careless with the basketball. He is terribly un-vocal for a point guard and can turn off teammates when his on-court temperament leads to poor decisions.
That's obviously not good. Scout.com lists "decision making" as one of his weaknesses. Other reports note that he tends to play well as the game is going well but struggle if things go sideways and he gets frustrated.

If your college is paid for by basketball, you should be smiling.
When Canty begins his college career - whether it's at X or somewhere else - Mark Lyons will be a senior, and Dee Davis will be a sophomore. It is the contrast between the reports on Davis and those on Canty that is eye-catching. Word is that Davis is a great teammate and a wonderful floor leader who keeps the ball moving and runs the offense. Dee lacks the edge that Canty possesses, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

I'm frankly not sure where this leaves us. What's better to have at the point: the aggressive go-getter who toes the line between competitive and petulant, or the floor leader who makes sure everyone gets involved while not forcing himself into the game? The same reports that question Canty's decision making laud his toughness and his ability to finish games; the same drive to win can be positive or negative depending on how he controls it. If things break well, Canty could develop into a Tu Holloway type of player. It's what might happen if things go poorly that concerns me.