Rajon Rondo 6'1 150 PG
High, Louisville, KY
Rondo's stats vs. Highlands
FG: 11-13 3FG: 1-2 TP: 32 Blocked Shots: 2
Fantastic outing! Rondo was named team MVP at the Blue Chip Shootout for his perfromance against Fort Thomas Highlands, one of the top teams in the state of Kentucky. Even though Eastern fell to Highlands by 3, Rajon was clearly the best player on the floor. Rondo applied constant pressure to the Highlands defense all night with his constant dribble penetration and attack of the defense. Many on his assists came off dribble penetration into the lane for kickout threes and layups. Rondo has great court vision and delivered the ball to teammates for easy looks at the basket for scoring opportunities, as witnessed by his 9 assists on the night.
Rondo is clearly an improved player from last year and always plays hard. There certainly are a few point guards nationally who stand out above Rajon in the junior class, namely Sebastian Telfair, Darius Washington and Shaun Livingston, but Rondo's not far behind and must be right in line after that talented trio. He creates havoc on defenses with dribble penetration into the lane and uses slick crossovers with both hands to get to the hoop. He even put the ball behind his back on one occasion while slicing through the defense for a layup.
The most noticeable improvement in his game this season is the pull up jumper he knock down from the 15-17 foot range. Against Highlands, Rondo took the ball at the top of the key, made a slick crossover to his right into the circle above the free throw line, pulled up on a dime and drained a 17 foot jump shot. Minutes later, Rajon crossed over but this time went left into the lane and knocked in a 14 foot jumper. He drained a three off the dribble from the right wing as well, his only three pointer of the night on two attempts.
About the only knock on Rondo against Highlands was that he struggled early from the line, hitting only 2 of his first 7 attempts from the charity stripe. However, at crunch time in the fourth quarter, Rondo proved to be clutch by draining 7-8 from the line. Forced to defend 6'8 LSU signee Ross Neltner most of the game, Rondo more than held his own at the defensive end despite giving up 7 inches to Nelter. In fact, Rondo exploded off the floor several times to block or alter the shots of Highlands bigger interior players and made a key leaping steal of a lob intended for Nelter late in the game, then went coast to coast for a 6 footer off the glass to give Eastern a brief lead. He dove on the floor for loose balls, battled on the boards, shared the ball with teammates and scored at will all night. All and all a typical Rajon Rondo performance. What more can you expect from the state's premier player and one of the nation's best point guards?