Rozier emerges as Ohio's top guard

This time last year, Terry Rozier wasn't a household name in the Buckeye state. Now, the 6'2 Louisville signee is making a strong case for Ohio Mr. Basketball honors.

This time last year, Terry Rozier wasn't a household name in the Buckeye state. Now, the 6'2 Louisville signee is making a strong case for Ohio Mr. Basketball honors.

Rozier, one of's Top 20 point guard prospects, has led Shaker Heights, OH., to an 11-1 record and No. 6 ranking in the state this season. A complete guard prospect, Rozier is averaging 21.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and three steals.

"Two words describe Terry best - hungry and humble," Shaker Heights coach Danny Young said. "He does so many things without the basketball. There have been games this year where he didn't score, but got 10 rebounds, five assists or a few steals. He does other things to dominate the game and make impact plays."

Rozier, a hard worker, should fit right into Rick Pitino's Louisville program. Young said his star player constantly works to hone his skills and overall game.

"He's a gym rat. He loves to be in the gym working on his jump shot, ball handling and free throws," Young said. "He works on his strength, watches videos and wants to get better. He has no arrogance -- you'd think somebody who is going to play for Rick Pitino at Louisville you couldn't say anything to him. But he's so far from that."

Rozier has had several impressive games this season, including a career-high 41 points, 9 steals and eight rebounds against John Hay. Rozier also led his team to two wins over rival Warren G. Harding, including an overtime win recently when he finished with 25 points and nine rebounds, draining a fadeaway three-pointer and four free throws in the extra period.

"He tries to divert the process to his teammates but….he has the ability to hit the big shot," Young said. "He has the ability to take over a game. There was one game he scored 31 points and didn't hit a single three. He hit floaters, midrange shots, free throws and layups. The kid is fun to watch and he doesn't force the issue. It's all within the flow of the offense. He has a great feel for the game and never gets rattled. That's what is so special about him."

Louisville recruited Rozier, the Cardinals only 2012 recruit, to play point guard. He's expected to serve an apprenticeship behind Peyton Siva next season and could be the heir apparent to the talent UofL junior.

"He can definitely play the one," Young said. "I watched him play with All-Ohio Red and he can definitely run the (team) and make others better. He averages nearly five assists so he has the ability to drop dimes and make the game come easy to his teammates. He's strong with the ball and he's a one-man press breaker. He does not turn the ball over. He's rock solid with the ball and can handle pressure. Some guards only have one speed, but he can play at different speeds. He has the ability."

Asked if Rozier is the best guard in the Buckeye state this year, Young didn't hesitate to talk up his star's case.

"Oh, without question," Young said. "If there's a better guard I'd like to see him."

Rozier is considered one of the frontrunners for Ohio's Mr. Basketball honors, along with 6'6 Ohio State football signee Adolphus Washington, a five-star football prospect. Michigan State signee Kenny Kaminski is also a strong candidate.

"I'm hearing through the rumor mill that he and Adolphus from Taft are the two leading candidates," Young said. "I think he's a favorite."

Though Rozier is having an outstanding senior season, Young said the 170-pound guard still has much to improve before he arrives at Louisville.

"(Terry) needs to become stronger, a little smarter player and improve his leadership ability by being more vocal. He's a leader by example," Young said. "So I would say those are the three keys."

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