Sometimes, determining a young player’s style can be a gradual process. But that’s hardly the case with 6-2, 175-pound sophomore Devontae Shuler, a speed guard by any definition.
A product of Irmo (S.C.) High, Shuler excels in the open floor. He loves to receive an outlet pass and race past defenses, and his stamina is top-notch because he seemingly runs the entire game. Shuler’s explosiveness translates into high-level finishing as well, and he even swats the occasional shot from behind.
A couple critical questions arise with players so reliant on speed: Can this guy employ a change of pace, and can he make plays at angles rather than at only a straight line?
Shuler currently slots as a combo guard precisely because he’ll need to become more refined in the halfcourt, but he’ll never face a concern about his ability to play in a non-linear fashion.
He’s excellent at slicing into the paint toward a big man, then weaving around him for an easy layup. His ability to stay under control at top speed — given that his top speed vastly exceeds that of most peers — will be a career-long asset that he’s only beginning to utilize to his advantage.
Shuler doesn’t yet attempt many jump shots and will need to address that aspect of his game, but as a sophomore he has ample time to smooth out the rough edges. And he recognizes areas where he thrives as well as those he must improve.
“I like to play defense and if I do that well, the offense adds up,” Shuler said. “I’m working on running point guard and looking for my teammates.”
”I like the watching the SEC,” Shuler said.
While his recruitment still has a long way to go, Shuler’s early impact in his class ensures he’ll be a topic of conversation for the next three seasons.