Well, there’s no Wall this go-round, but today’s Holy Rams certainly don’t lack for talent, either.
Jaylen Fornes hopes to one day carve out his own notch in the game, and despite lacking national fanfare the junior combo guard has built a solid resume heading into the 2014-15 campaign.
Fornes toured last spring and summer with Team Loaded, a squad featuring elite point guard Dennis Smith. But while it was Smith who understandably grabbed the headlines, Fornes started eight regular season games for Loaded, played in all 16 contests and averaged 13 points per outing while bombing in 45 percent from the three-point stripe.
He performed commendably this past weekend as well. The 6-3, 170-pound guard scored 16 points on 7-11 shooting in a win over Forsyth Country Day on Friday, then returned Saturday to go for 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a big win over Genesis Academy.
Clearly, three-point shooting is a vital component of Fornes’ arsenal. He wields a quick, wrist-based release that flies out of his hands. He loves to spot up in the corners — a shot that most high school players disdain with a fiery passion — and gets good elevation.
Meanwhile, Fornes is quick enough to put the ball on the floor occasionally and make forays to the hoop, though he’s generally a below the rim finisher. He’s also more of a SG/PG at present, but realistically he could make the transition to PG/SG.
His recruitment reflects his growing standing among major conference programs yet who represents different things to different coaches.
”Appalachian State offered over the summer, and so have Campbell and Florida A&M,” Fornes said. “I’m also hearing from Clemson, N.C. State and Virginia Tech. I was hearing from Virginia, but they got Kyle Guy (2016 guard from Indianapolis) and I’m pretty sure they’ve dropped.”
Fornes understands that he’ll need to showcase legitimate college ball skills to draw more offers.
”I’m becoming more of a point guard,” he said. “I like being a combo, too, but I’ve really been working on my point guard skills.”
Between now and spring, look for Fornes to accumulate numerous new offers.