Workout Takeout: Troy Baxter

Most sophomore wings with elite athleticism can't shoot. Most shooters lack elite athleticism.

But Troy Baxter possesses both qualities in ample measure. The slender forward now attending Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock easily was the most impressive athlete we watched at last weekend's Workout, regardless of class.

Baxter is a one-footed leaper who gets that extra bit of lift when he elevates. Though not quite in James White's class, he has the same long legs and stride propelling him to breathtaking flight.

Among his exploits from the weekend, Baxter threw down a reverse alley-oop along the baseline — which is to say, he went reverse after he caught the ball — and several spectacular tip-dunks. He also utilized his hops to pin shots off the glass and generally terrorize opponents within the vicinity of the basket.

But he's also a pretty good three-point shooter with a smooth, natural stroke that looks like it's going down each time he releases it. Baxter has easy range past the stripe and will be able to combine dangerous shooting with dynamic finishes in college.

As for caveats, a couple do apply. First, he's a full class ahead of most sophomores and, despite being thin, therefore is more physically developed than your average 15-year old kid. He also isn't a great ball-handler, which calls into his question his future position. We currently list him as a combo forward, but his collegiate and professional prospects will improve dramatically if he can prove he's a full-time wing.

Clearly, however, he has plenty of time to polish his skills. Few players at 6-7 ooze with such obvious ability, and Baxter projects as a clear high-major talent.

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