2005 Focus: Bryan Mullins

Bryan Mullins is a rare breed nowadays: A point guard who actually gets his teammates involved. Now the Downers Grove South High (Ill.) floor leader is starting to pick up his scoring, which could really help him pick up some high-major offers.

Bryan Mullins a rare breed in this day and age. Most point guards are not pass-first guys looking to get their teammates involved. Most look for their own before they worry about others.

Not Mullins.

The 6-1, 180-pound Downers Grove High (Ill.) floor leader is exactly that. A floor leader.

``He takes a lot of pride in his assists," Downers Grove coach Paul Runyon said of his junior point guard who broke the school record with 14 assists earlier this season. "But this year he's taken more of the scoring load without taking away from his ability to make his teammates better."

Mullins used to be a scorer when he was little, but he's played with some pretty good player in both AAU and in high school, so he's had quality options to pass the ball.

``I've been fortunate to play with some really good guys," Mullins said. "I didn't really have to score, so my thing was just to get them involved and find the hot shooter."

His team-first attitude and unflappable court demeanor have already earned him scholarship offers to a slew of mid-majors: Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Bowling Green, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Ball State have all offered.

However, Mullins is hoping a summer of big-time exposure with the Illinois Wolves will parlay him into a major conference.

``No disrespect to those schools – they are all great – but if I keep playing well, maybe I can get a higher offer," he added.

Iowa, Stanford, Clemson, UConn, Louisville, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and New Mexico have all expressed some level of interest and Mullins' 4.0 GPA should help him, but the big-time schools will need to see that Mullins can knock down the perimeter shot with regularity before an offer is put on the table.

``I know my job will always be to run the team first, but when we need points I want to be able to knock down the outside shot," Mullins said. "The last couple of games I've started to realize that I've got to step up."

It's worked as Mullins, who is averaging 12.5 points, 8 assists and 4.5 steals per game, has put up back-to-back 20-point games, including 21 in a victory over Willowbrook.

``People keep telling me I'm too small and can't shoot," Mullins said. "That helps motivate me. They think I'm a white point guard from the suburbs who can't play with the city guards."

Those city guards could take a lesson or two from the way Mullins carries himself.

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