Tony Campbell isn't your typical high school coach. He has 11 years of NBA experience to his credit and was a first-round pick by the Detroit Pistons out of Ohio State, so when he touts a player, it's for good reason.
Campbell has no problem talking up his star player at Paramus Catholic (N.J.), junior guard Luis Guzman.
``His biggest strength is his ability to shoot the ball," Campbell said of the 6-2, 180-pound Guzman. "He's going to be a prolific scorer. In transition, he's one of the most explosive guards I've seen in a long time. His ability to finish on the break is one thing that makes him special."
Guzman, who plays for the Playaz Basketball Club during the summer, doesn't get into all the talk about whether he's a point guard or a two-guard.
``I'm just a player," he said. "I think I'm more of a point guard, but this year I have a lot of talent around me so I'm able to play more at the shooting guard spot."
Guzman is putting up 16 points and 6 assists per game on a team that also features junior guard Terrell McKenzie and 6-6 senior Lawrence Williams.
``In college, Luis will be able to handle the ball and he can also shoot and pass as a two-man," Campbell said. "We're preparing him here so he can play both spots in college."
Guzman, a Bronx, N.Y. native, also excels in the classroom with a 90 average. Instead of attending somewhere like Rice or St. Raymond's, he opted to make the lengthy commute across the river to Paramus Catholic as a freshman.
Guzman wakes up at 5:30 a.m., gets a local bus, his first of three, and gets to school about two hours later.
``I wanted to go somewhere different, with less distractions," Guzman said. "In New York, everything is the same. I don't regret it at all. Paramus is like a prep for college. It's really good academically. Plus, Coach Campbell is the best. He teaches us things that no other coach can teach at this level."
Guzman's recruitment is still taking shape. Campbell said that his alma mater, Ohio State, is involved – as is Wake Forest, DePaul and St. Joe's. Guzman said he'd prefer to go down south to the warm weather – and mentioned Florida, Florida State and Wake Forest, along with Illinois, as a few of his leaders. Guzman also said that UCLA, Oregon, Texas, UConn, Syracuse and Michigan have expressed interest.
``He's real solid," Playaz coach Jimmy Salmon said. "He's a combo guard and he gets to the basket really well. I'd like to see him become more of either position one way or the other. He loves the game and really works hard and he's one of the few guys where the better the competition is, the better he plays."