Five-star forward Billy Preston has been on the recruiting radar for a long time. A kid who garnered a ton of attention as a freshman, Preston has since had several stops on his high school basketball journey, but at every stop he has shown tremendous upside.
The biggest thing that Preston brings is an impressive size, skill, and athleticism combination. Preston is nearly 6-foot-10 and has the ability to step out and shoot and handle, then also can play down low and rebound.
Defensively Preston is definitely best guarding power forwards and centers, as he would struggle to move laterally on a wing, but on offense he can play virtually all over.
At times Preston can dribble too much or take ill-advised shots, but the talent level that he possesses is so significant that it is tough to try and take away his aggressiveness.
What Preston has consistently shown is his ability to put points on the board. During the EYBL he was one of the more consistently productive players. He hit in the mid-range, took his guy off the dribble, and even showed a good motor.
That is especially important because Preston has had moments of inconsistency throughout his career with his motor and his focus. When he is playing hard and focused, he has been one of the toughest matchups in the 2017, but too often he wouldn’t play to his potential.
The bottom line is Kansas now has a supreme talent. Self is likely to try and get the best out of him.
There should be plenty of playing time available, so Preston will be thrown to the fire immediately. Look for Self to use Preston a ton in the high post in the Kansas system where his skill level can really shine through, while also allowing him to use his physical stature to his advantage.
If Preston can buy into the system, he has superstar potential, now the question is can Self get the best out of him, and can Preston play well within a system where he won’t have the ball in his hands all of the time.
Starting this year at Oak Hill Academy we will learn about Preston. Right now he is a physical specimen with impressive skill, now the question is how will he translate that into being a refined basketball player who thrives in a structured system.