This weekend offered me my third different setting in the past six months to observe Lavar Batts. A skinny freshman point guard, the southpaw certainly has worked his way into the statewide consciousness.
Just a young up from the Class of 2017, Batts already competes with confidence and maturity. His first step is quick and he loves to drive baseline, where he finishes nicely off the glass or makes a slick dish to a teammate. Exhibition events tend to feature less structure than regular games (to put it mildly), and therefore Batts' playmaking skills actually don't yet get the credit they deserve.
That said, he's hardly an unknown on the scene and appears to be a future point guard in the slick and quick mold. He's definitely at his best off the bounce, as his jump shot features a very unorthodox release and requires a wholesale restructuring in order to bring that aspect of his game to a par with everything else.
As he gains strength and potentially another inch or two of height, I believe Batts will become a fine defender as well. Thanks to quick feet and hands, he already rips away some steals and demonstrates promise on that end of the court.
He needs to continue improving and inevitably will face some stern competition as he embarks upon a national travel schedule, but suffice it to say the opening chapter of his high school career proved a clear success.