Tyler Dorsey: Junior Primer

Big scoring guards have generated waves in recent years at both the college and NBA levels, and Dorsey fits the prototype.

You can't always judge a player by his numbers. Though one of the most talented prospects in the Class of 2015, Tyler Dorsey sometimes compiles relatively pedestrian scoring totals for his high school squad.

But don't allow that to dissuade you from believing he's an elite. Dorsey combines with UConn-bound senior Daniel Hamilton and others for a loaded team, and thus he must blend and defer as the situation warrants. His exploits on the travel circuit are well chronicled, and there's sound reason he's widely considered a top-10 prospect nationally.

Dorsey began his prep career at Los Angeles (Calif.) Ribet Academy. From the word go, as a 15-under competitor on the trail, his recruitment attracted prominent head coaches from coast to coast. During this freshman season he reported offers from USC and Oregon State, with many others in pursuit.

He moved to St. John Bosco as a sophomore and teamed with both Daniel and Isaac Hamilton, a 2013 McDonald's All-American who's currently sitting out this season at UCLA. Dorsey managed to shine despite the presence of other high-majors, a clear sign that his destination would solidify at that level as well.

By last summer, he had drawn serious interest from most of the Pac-12 along with national powerhouses Kentucky and Duke.

Dorsey then authored one of the most impressive performances of the summer in Las Vegas. In a highly anticipated matchup against guards Emmanuel Mudiay and Malik Newman, he and Hamilton — along with center Stephen Zimmerman — eked out a momentous victory. Dorsey scored 35 points and proved that he can bang with the most formidable sluggers in the 2014 and 2015 classes.

His recruitment has expanded this season to include an offer from the Blue Devils and a strong pitch from UConn, which signed Hamilton in November. No. 1 Arizona has been a consistent presence and is pushing hard to keep him in the West, while red hot UCLA under Steve Alford seeks to keep him truly local.

Dorsey's game includes one of the best pull-up jump shots in high school basketball. His offensive style reminds somewhat of Jerryd Bayless, and the two also are comparably tall and built. Dorsey uses his dribble to set up jumpers, elevates nicely and has a quick release.

At 6-4, he has the size of a wing, but eventually he may become a point guard. Some of his suitors are pitching that plan to him already, and though we view him as a wing for the time being, they aren't being unrealistic.

Dorsey is a fine athlete as well who scores impressively in transition and around the hoop. Not only is he fairly springy, the fact that he's such a tall guard works to his advantage.

His handle is excellent for a wing and suitable for a point, and his passing is advanced as well. He ultimately projects as a scoring guard rather than a pure playmaker, so that's where he'll stand out most.

As for improvements to make, like most high school players Dorsey must become stronger. He also has a tendency to overdribble, and his decision-making as a passer can be questionable. That's a primary reason why I regard him as a natural wing for the college level, where point guards need to facilitate more than is the case in the NBA.

The bottom line is that, given the disproportionate number of big men atop the junior class, Dorsey is one of the few guards who can be categorized elite at this stage. In fact, he and Newman are the only two guards in our current top 13. Not that he needed context to be a big-time recruit, but Dorsey is more unique in this class than he'd be in others and that factor bestows even greater star power upon him.

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