Notebook: Back on the board

In our weekly Notebook feature, the national team explores creative and broad topics from the grassroots hoops realm.

Point Guards are available

One of the interesting things about the 2015 class is that there are some pretty solid late options available at the point guard position, and within that group there are kids who are still open in their recruitments, as opposed to some who have made multiple official visits and are just sorting through those schools like many of the elite kids in this class are doing.

It starts with JaQuan Lyle, a former 2014 blue-chipper who is doing a post grad year at IMG Academy and should begin making official visits soon. After Lyle is a list of quality players such as Traci Carter, Marcus LoVett, Terrence Phillips, Munis Tutu, Hyron Edwards and Nych Smith.

While none of those players are likely to lead a team to a national title, it is a list of pretty good floor generals who can bring something to the table. All of them so far seem to be off to pretty solid starts to their senior season, and all of them bring a solid skillset to the floor.

Overall, coaches seem to be scrambling for some decent point guard play for next season, and surprisingly a few solid ones are available.

— Brian Snow

Scout watches Brown's big effort

With a couple of colleges in attendance on Tuesday, Troy Brown of Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial went for 28 points, 14 rebounds and three assists in a win over Las Vegas (Nev.) Palo Verde.

Brown, who ranks No. 2 overall in the 2017 recruiting class, showed a nice blend of facilitating and scoring. He was called upon to put up points in this one and he did just that, by attacking the basket and finishing plays around the rim

Brown possesses uncommon maturity for a sophomore

Rick Pitino, who was accompanied by assistant Wyking Jones, and Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend were at the game.

The big question everyone seems to be asking about Brown is what position he will ultimately play. I think the answer, at least this stage, is still up in the air.

Brown's playmaking and passing ability are valuable and perhaps the strength of his game. But at 6-foot-5, maybe 6-6, he could easily slide over to the wing and he could certainly defend the perimeter, as he has good length and lateral quickness. However there are concerns -- at this point -- about his long-range shooting.

At the game last night, my colleague Josh Gershon noted that he's playing more physical and mixing it up more, which showed in his rebounding stats. So regardless of the position Brown ultimately plays, he's a tremendous talent and an improving player and one we will continue to track over the next few years.

— Evan Daniels

Thompson forced to grow up

In the offseason, Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI lost a host of Division-I prospects. Marcus Derrickson, Josh Reaves and Kevin Dorsey are just a few of the talented players that transferred to different schools for their senior seasons.

With a major bulk of their production gone, including their starting point guard, Glenn Farello, the head coach at Paul VI, needs sophomore guard Aaron Thompson to step up.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to show what I can do and show that I can be the leader of the team,” Thompson said with confidence. “Show that I can get us wins.”

While it’s early in the season, Thompson, who stands 6-foot-1, says he’s risen to the occasion.

“I’m playing well,” Thompson said. “I’m getting more and more aggressive. I’m trying to become a better leader. I’m getting along with Frank [Howard] and V.J. [King] at times playing with them, they make me better and I’m trying to make them better.”

“I’m really vocal and a good communicator,” Thompson added. “I facilitate for the whole team, control the tempo of the game and play real good defense.”

Thompson informed Scout that he currently has scholarship offers from Penn State and Holy Cross. He’s also heard from Temple, Villanova, Syracuse, Virginia and Maryland.

Thompson’s brother, Anthony, is a sophomore starter for Holy Cross.

— Evan Daniels

Woods ready to take next step?

Junior combo guard Seventh Woods is playing with a heavy heart these days, having lost his grandparents last week in a house fire.

No one at his size finishes more emphatically than Woods

In his first outing since the tragedy, the Columbia (S.C.) Hammond product scored 37 points to lead his team to an emphatic 94-68 victory over Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley and South Carolina-bound senior wing P.J. Dozier.

Even apart from the personal loss, Woods has a lot to play for this season. He didn’t have the kind of spring and early summer he wanted in 2014 and then missed July due to a broken wrist. Now, however, he’s back in familiar territory — remember, he was among the country’s most electric sophomores last season — with Hammond.

What we’ll be watching this season is whether Woods has settled into his ultimate position. While he’s a defensive point guard — and a potentially dominant one at that — earlier this year he struggled to run the show naturally for his various travel and camp teams.

His jump shot also will be an area to monitor. Woods at times has caught fire, such as at last year’s HSOT Invitational, and including over the weekend in his 37-point outing. Consistency has eluded him to this point, however, and if he shoots the ball better from game to game, that will open entirely new avenues for him as an offensive performer.

I’ll get to watch Woods this weekend at the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbia and chart his progress first-hand.

— Rob Harrington

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

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