If you're a Duke fan, it's time to get excited. Actually, if you're a Duke fan -- it's time to get real excited. And the reason is that Shaun Livingston is coming to Durham. This 6-7 do-it-all perimeter wizard is a jack of all trades. And he's probably the best high school basketball player in terms of impact, in the entire nation.
Here's Clint's scouting notes on Shaun Livingston, direct from his notepad to your monitor. We hope you enjoy.
Wow, this kid has passing ability. He whips no look passes, 30 foot bounce passes and fast-break assists with the flick of a wrist. He can pass over the heads of the defense, around the hips of the defense and sometimes even straight through the middle of the defense with some zip on it. His teammates will need to pay very close attention because Livingston will notice that they're open before they realize it themselves. His instincts with the ball are advanced.
Love his ball-handling. Outside of Sebastian Telfair -- I doubt any other kid in the class has handles like Shaun. He goes right, left, jump-stops, navigates through traffic and has all of the AND1 tricks at his disposal. He's a phenomenal ball-handler. No one's gonna take the rock from this kid. He breaks down the smaller quick guards, he schools the wing forwards and he makes the big guys look downright ridiculous. You can tell that his childhood drills of dribbling out of the car window have paid off. This kid has one of the best handles that I've ever seen. Ever.
Loves to penetrate and use his long, lanky body to finish. He finishes with dunks, long swooping short shots, reverse lay-ups and timely passes to open teammates. Uses both hands to finish and pass equally well.
Scoring wise -- he's capable and able. His first love is the pass, but if you need a score -- he's got that ability as well. Doesn't shoot many long range jumpers, but seems to stick a lot of 12-16 footers off the bounce. Can create his own shot very well. Great hang time on his jumper. He's virtually unstoppable on offense at this level.
On defense, he's active but has a little bit of trouble with the smallish speedsters. May need to improve his overall strength and agility to defend the small guards better, but he'll get his share of deflections and blocks on those who take too long to get their shot off. He is also an excellent help side defender who understands help defense. Moves his feet well for a 6-7 kid.
This kid is an ELITE level prospect who may have the chance to enter the NBA Draft after this season, and if not -- we'd fully expect him to start for Duke next year.