Koenig A Versatile Guard

If actions speak louder than words, Roy Williams has already said plenty about Bronson Koenig.

With Kendall Marshall tearing up the ACC as a freshman and a commitment from four-star point guard Marcus Paige already in the fold for 2012, UNC doesn't have a dire need for a point guard in 2013. But the first time Koenig visited Chapel Hill, Williams jumped on the opportunity and offered the LaCrosse (Wisc.) Aquinas guard a scholarship -- as a sophomore.

Koenig's talent and versatile skill set made him a no-brainer for Williams.

At 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds, Koenig is an elite playmaker as a passer and scorer. He commands the floor and sets up his teammates not just where they are but often where they should be.

"I think his passing is so timely. It's pretty hard to coach that," Aquinas High coach Rick Schneider said. "The reads he makes are something that's a little bit of a lost art. … Bronson is a kid who truly makes his teammates better."

Koenig is an exceptional decision maker who thrives in a pick and roll setting. With a smooth outside stroke and enough shake to break down defenders, Koenig can survey the court and either feed the rolling big man, attack the rim or step back and shoot the deep ball.

"His shot is so fluid, he's able to get it off when he chooses to do so," Wisconsing Playground Warriors coach Ritchie Davis said. "To have a kid like that who can get his own off, has a really good mid-range jump shot and is really consistent shooting behind the arc, that really pays some dividends."

In the mid-range, Koenig utilizes an already polished floater after breaking down his defender. Despite his reputation as an elite passer, Koenig is consistently the leading scorer for the Playground Warriors during the summer and has the potential to a big time scorer.

When he gets to college, however, Koenig will likely be a high efficiency offensive player who scores in the low to mid teens, according to Davis. That doesn't mean he won't be able to go off for big games, though. With his versatile skill set, Koenig can be used a lot of different ways, including as a shooting guard.

"Playing two point guards at once, you can slide Bronson off the ball and that's not always a bad thing because he shoots it so well," Davis said. "He's smart enough to pick and choose the right spots when he should score and when he should defer to others. (I've seen) in one game Bronson convert consecutive three point shots, hit pull up jumpers and go right down the teeth of the lane for drives and dunks."

Schneider said Aquinas often moves Koenig off the ball to give the defense a different look.

"He allows us to exploit teams in different ways versus a kid who's just a great shooter that's going to stand and wait for someone to get him the ball," Schneider said.

With his length and foot speed Koenig can also defend both guard positions. In fact, the UNC staff is high on his lateral quickness and how it would translate to the next level.

"That's one thing the UNC staff was able to pick up upon," Davis said. "They thought he'd be able to defend the one and the two at the next level by the time he went to college."

But as impressive as Koenig looks in a scouting report, it's his intangibles -- and his hardware -- that have coaches most excited. Koenig might only weigh 160 pounds but he's a better athlete than you might think and tougher than most.

"He's just a winner -- at least so far into his career. His team almost always seems to win. He makes plays down the stretch," Davis said. "He's a tough kid. He'll take some shots. He'll go down, drive the basketball, take some elbows, take some bumps and come out with bloody lips. We've seen it many times. But he's back up and making plays."

In addition to making first team all-state in Wisconsin as a sophomore, Koenig also led his team to a state title this year. Though he's younger than most of the players he plays with and against, Koenig runs the show, according to his coaches.

"In the finals he literally put his team on his back in the fourth quarter against a group of upperclassmen," Davis said. "He demanded the ball, took the big pressure shots, knocked down a couple threes and a couple baskets that were really tough buckets in the paint but that's what the kid does. He's a winner.

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