A look at Roy Bright

Northern Durham may have a the best player in the class of 2004, if it is truly possible to discern and assign such accolades. Roy Bright (WG/WF 6'6") has played his way if not to the top, certainly near the top of his class. TSW talked to Northern's Coach Blair Pruette about his star player's abilities and the suitors that seek Roy's talents.

When you look down the list of possible players who could fill the bill as the #1 player from the class of 2004, a few names rise in the early hype. Names like JamesOn Curry (6'2" PG * UNC commit), Al Jefferson (6-9 C) and DeMarcus Nelson (6'3 WG/PG * Duke commit) could be the one declared by the experts as the best in the land. No list to be seriously considered can leave off Northern Durham's Roy Bright. According to his coach and others, Roy may have made a claim not only during his time at Northern, but also at the summer camps such as ABCD. "For us he lead the team in scoring and rebounding. He averaged double doubles for those categories. I think he can average triple doubles if we can finish his assists. He carried his abilities to Adidas where he had 16 points and 8 rebounds in the championship game. I have been told that even those numbers would of been better if it had not turned into a PG showcase."

What kind of player is Bright? A special one according to Pruette. "Roy has unlimited potential. Offensively, he can hurt you in so many ways. He can shoot the three. He can put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket. He has the special touch on the mid range jumper that is missing from so many player's games today. He can play the two guard, though he plays the post for us a lot. We give him the freedom to be a wing if that is what the defense makes available."

Bright often makes hay down in the blocks for Northern. Coach Pruette spoke of his low post abilities. "He can post up taller players. When we played Coastal Christian, they had 2 players that were listed at 6'10" and 6'11". He scored 39 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. He is our tallest player, so there are times when he has to post up. He knows how to score down low. He can score in the post with an up and under, jump hook, turn around jumper or a drop step. He has the ability to recognize what is being defended and takes what is given."

For all his talents, the knack to pass is probably the most underrated aspect of Bright's game. "Roy can score a lot. He also can out rebound the tallest players. What most people do not know is his ability to pass the ball" Coach said, "his court vision is tremendous. He knows where people are and should be on the court. But more importantly, he knows where a player will end up. This makes him a phenomenal passer. I expect his assists stats will double from where they have been."

Bright continues to perfect his game and has worked on his ball handling skills this summer. "Roy handles the ball like a smaller player. We have made improved ball handling a goal for this year. With his court vision, his ability to handle the ball, his quickness, and his ability to score, it makes him a natural 2-3."

With his abilities to play high or low, it is understandable why some confuse his height. He has been reported to be anywhere from 6'3" to 6'7". Coach Pruette seemed pleased to clear this issue up. "There have been various reports as to his height. He is 6'6" and we will list him as such when we do our rosters. He is still growing, and when he hits 6'7" I'll let people know."

We also asked Coach to tell us who Roy's game is similar to. "While I did not see Jerry Stackhouse in high school, people who have tell me that their games are alike. But for me, I have a hard time believing that Stackhouse's ability to post up was as good as Roy's. I think a better comparison would be Shane Battier when he was finishing his career at Duke. The ability to shoot the three or post up to score. The all around game Shane had would be closer I think."

Who is in line for Roy's services on the next level? The list plays like he is the number one player in the nation. Indiana, Kentucky, Duke, UNC, NC State, Cincinnati Tennessee, ect... Who leads? Depends on which week you ask. "Roy's list changes from week to week. We have talked about not weeding any schools out for now and to just keep his options open. He will take several unofficial visits to the local schools. The schools farthest away will need official visits when the time is right. He will begin the unofficials soon and will go several times to each school. This way he can get to know the programs." The big boys are all in line, now its just a matter who he chooses.

So who is the #1 player in the class of 2004? That debate will rage on for sure, but Roy Bright has started to make a case for himself. The skills to shoot the three or to post up. The ability to drive or pass. The strength to dominate the boards. The speed and hops to do the rest. The competition should be so versatile and gifted!

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