Luwane Pipkins is a shooting guard in a point guard's body. Meanstreets 15U AAU coach Melvin Nunn says he's the best scoring point in the 2015 class, and few will discount that. Pipkins has little reason to disagree.
"My strengths are attacking the basket, shooting and defense. Just about everything."
He feels there are two things that need improvement.
"I want to get my left hand stronger, and finishing at the cup. That's about it."
In a recent AAU game against the 15U Illinois Wolves, Pipkins was hitting threes, midrange jumpers and penetrating for scores despite close guarding. On a roll, he tried to take over the game at the end, a game Meanstreets lost by one in overtime.
His teammates were expecting him to shoot rather than pass, so they stood around and watched rather than work to get open. He was left with no options when his shot wasn't available.
"No, not at all. They keep setting screens, but they don't try to get open."
That is the double-edged sword for someone so talented. Take over and your teammates lose focus. Defer to teammates, and then your own scoring ability is under-utilized. Still, the 5'-9" dynamo prefers to put team ahead of self.
"We're a good team, a fast team, a disciplined team. The key for us is to execute down the stretch and get back on defense."
Pipkins helped his Chicago Bogan team as a true freshman last winter.
"I played some games with the varsity. We did great; we went to the second round of the playoffs. We lost to Marist by one point in overtime. During season games, I did great. I averaged 16 points a game."
He's hoping for better things to come.
"This next year we'll be small, but we'll be quick and fast. We have most of our guys coming back next year, so maybe we'll be better."
Have any colleges begun talking with you?
"Illinois and UCLA have contacted me."
He's hoping to hear from his childhood favorites.
"I love the Buckeyes of Ohio State. If they don't come along, the school I like his Kentucky."
Should neither school show interest, Pipkins prefers teams who play his style of ball.
"I like college teams that are fast and quick, just like me."