Scouting Report: Mario Chalmers

Fans of both Arizona and Kansas are waiting to hear what Mario Chalmers decides. He will either be a Wildcat or a Jayhawk, but exactly what kind of player is he. We take a little look at a player who is rated as the nation's top point guard.

Point Guard
6-1, 175
Bartlett HS, Anchorage, AK

WHAT HE'S LIKE: Chalmers is a fairly balanced point guard. He's a good enough scorer that he could be a pretty good two-guard prospect, but he's has the size and passing ability that makes him better suited to play the point. Chalmers likes to pass first, but has shown that he can fill it up when the game calls on him to score. He likes to drive, but will take the three-point shot when it is there.

Physically he is long and strong. Not quite as tall as you'd ideally like, but he's not a shrimp either. Listed at 6-1, he looks to be every inch of that and might be a hair bigger. He's got nice strength. He won't make anyone think he's a football recruit, but it is clear that he knows where the weight room is. He uses his strength well, especially in the lane.

WHAT WE LIKE: Chalmers is big-time, an elite guard who does many things well. First and foremost is his floor sense. He may not be the second coming of Jason Kidd, but he has a great feel for the game and where his teammates are going to be. He thrives on being a passer and seems to be genuinely happy when he sets his teammates up.

As good as he is at passing, he's probably a better scorer. He's been able to put up some great numbers in summer events. He can score inside and out, not settling on one or the other. He uses his strength to attack the rim and can score a few different ways when he gets down there. He also has a nice stroke from the outside and exercises good judgment when he shoots.

Chalmers is very comfortable without the ball. He played stretches of AAU games at two-guard and looks good in that spot as well. One appeal of Chalmers is that he could come in right now and play alongside an established point guard. That is one selling point for Arizona as they try to convince Chalmers that he should come play next to Mustafa Shakur for a year.

Unlike many young point guards, Chalmers does not over-dribble. Too many prep point guards think that the best way to create is to dribble until something opens up, but Chalmers has figured out that to truly create you must work within the flow of the offense.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE: There is not a whole lot to dislike about Chalmers. The biggest knock on him has been the level of competition he has faced in Alaska. That is quickly being erased as he has thrived in various AAU tournaments.

He does struggle with his concentration at times. He has been quoted as saying that he didn't always have to play hard in Alaska. In summer events we saw him lose focus when he was not directly involved in pressuring the ball. His team would often pressure the player bringing up the ball, but when another player was given the chore, Chalmers seemed to drift just a bit. At times he tries too hard to make the big pass. Sometimes it seems that he feels he has to make the big pass every time he touches the ball. He committed a few needless turnovers when he eschewed that shot for a fancy pass.

Every once in a while his mind will be ahead of his body and the body of his teammates. You'll see that he wants to do something, but no one else on the floor is quite prepared.

A few analysts have questioned whether he is a pure point guard and if he can run an offense. I have not seen those problems.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: "Smooth and efficient with his jumper and poised. He's a big timer in this class. --TheInsiders' Dave Telep.

WHAT WE ARE HEARING: Just a few weeks ago Arizona was the leader. After a visit to Kansas, a ton of recruiting sites reported that the Jayhawks were a lock. We heard that it was 50-50 and as of Thursday night that is still what we are hearing. To be honest, no one knows for sure which way he will decide to go.

AN ARIZONA SLANT: Chalmers is the Wildcats' top guard prospect and quite possibly their top target overall. Chalmers is currently the top point guard prospect in the nation and should remain there until the end of the summer. If he chooses Kansas, expect Arizona to switch gears and make a push at Terrence Williams. If that doesn't work out, there is a great chance that they could skip a point guard all together and go with the players they already have.

Chalmers is set to announce his decision at 4:00 Tucson time. Cat Tracks has someone covering the press conference and will have the answer as soon as possible.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories