BEL AIR, Md. -- Terrapin Times ventured out to the John Carroll School gym this past week also to check out high-rising JC sophomore point guard Junior Farquhar, in addition to the aforementioned/profiled Immanuel Quickley, his talented sophomore back court mate.
And while Quickley, a top national target impressed me, Farquhar, a bit of a lesser-known breaking out some now, intrigued me a good bit as well.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder who looks like he could be a senior physically, reportedly has early offers from Baylor, New Mexico and USC. And this high-flyer could fit well in any tempo program to say the least.
I had heard about his 'above-the-rim' game, and his three 'posterizing' dunks over players as tall as 6-9 this season, and on Thursday night I got to see that close up.
Farquhar, who at first look resembles a wing guard trying to transition full-time to point and still raw, elevated early for an alley-oop pass from Quickley. But he was simply too high above the rim and misplayed it and didn't convert. Later, though, he went knifing through the lane and rose up above the entire St. Frances team for a one-handed tomahawk dunk that brought the house down. Later yet he had also a breakaway one-hander that showed his 40-inch plus vertical as he threw it down with equal force. Farquhar has a 6-7 wingspan as well.
Farquhar would go on to finish with 9 points on a tough 3-for-11 shooting night from the field, while hitting 3-of-6 free throws and also adding 2 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 turnovers. He did not show much of a jumper on this night, but again it was our first look.
While a 'freak' athlete no doubt, and in possession of a mature frame/upper body already, it appears Farquhar is still learning the position and all its subtleties as the starter up top for the first time. Last season, Quickley started point for JC.
Farquhar is more than athletic and explosive enough to get past defenders, but on this night (and against only a solid but unspectacular SFA team), he did not have the confidence to probe SFA's sometimes zone, or at other times the confidence to blow by 'man' defenders when the opportunity was there. 'Tentative' may have been the best word for the night.
He did not show tremendous 'feel' yet for the position, like when to run and when to slow down, as a few times his game was out of control and he missed open cutters. Once he caught the ball all alone under the basket, for what should have been an easy layin, but instead dribbled back outside much to the astonishment of the crowd, as it could have been an easy two. Back up top, he often dribbled side to side too much indecisively, when he should have been cutting through the lane and probing the defense, at least given his size and athletic ability to get past people. But that may just be a confidence thing for the young pup.
Again, like Quickley, he's just a sophomore still fine-tuning his craft. Physically, Farquhar meets all the criteria, and then some, to be a major college point. But he will need to continue to develop his playmaking ability up top, and we want to see more from him as far as vision and instincts and when and where to go with the ball. The times he did slash through the lane with the ball he did present opportunities for his teammates (and there were some blown assists as well). But with his size and stature and first step, there should be more. At times, Quickley lent a hand at the '1' in this game, and he was far more decisive.
For the season, Farquhar is averaging 9 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg, and 1 spg for JC, which improved to 17-7 with the win over SFA. Not bad for a soph starting his first season up top for the perennial Harford County private power under Coach Tony Martin.
Maryland has been out to see JC and its talented sophomore guard tandem a few times this season, including Head Coach Mark Turgeon, with undoubtedly more trips to come.
And Junior Farquhar is definitely 'one to watch.' But we want to see more of him as he continues to develop at the point guard position, which on this night appeared raw and a work in progress.