2006 Focus: Jermaine Beal

Scout.com checks in on one of the under the radar players in the state of Texas. Guard Jermaine Beal, a versatile member of the Class of 2006, deserves some pub.

Jermaine Beal would much rather play shooting guard, but he realizes that it's better for his future if he runs the point this summer.

``In college, I'm probably going to play the one and the two," Beal said. "I want to get ready for the one and play the point this summer. I've played the two most of my life."

The 6-3, 185-pound Beal, a junior guard at DeSoto High (Texas), is averaging 15 points per game for a team that is 27-2. There's no question he's got some help with Oklahoma State-bound wing Roderick Flemings on his team.

However, Beal is a big-time scorer – and somewhat underrated on the national level.

``He's very underrated. If we don't have Jermaine Beal, we don't go – and if DeSoto doesn't have him, they don't go, either," Team Texas coach Jazzy Hartwell said. "Be brings a lot to the table. He's poised and is a blue-collar kid."

``If you need him to score, he can score," Hartwell added. "When he was little, he played point for me and was poised and under control – but he can also shoot it so well that we played him at the two. I'm going to play him at both the one and the two this summer." Beal figures it's because he played on the under-16 Team Texas squad a year ago with big-name guys like Darrell Arthur and Bryan Davis. While Beal toughed it out last July, playing with a broken nose suffered on the first day at the Nike Camp, he knows that he didn't exactly light it up with college coaches.

``I kept playing and wore a mask," Beal said. "I played hard, but it was hard for me to see so I really didn't score all that much."

Beal said that playing time and education will be the two most important factors when he's choosing a school.

``I don't want to go somewhere that I'll ride the bench as a freshman," Beal said.

Beal's most aggressive suitor is Baylor, although he's wide-open to some of the other schools who have expressed interest – Oklahoma, Texas, Cal, UNLV, UConn and Illinois.

``I don't have a favorite right now," he said.

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