Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Larry Drew has a calling card as a point guard on the high major level -- his ability to be an offensive player while getting guys shots and leading a basketball team. Something that sets him apart in my mind from his peers is the way he's able to distribute the basketball and run a team at a high level. That is going to have an extreme value to a college program because he's one of the few guys in the class of 2008 that you know you can hand the basketball to and he'll take care of it, get everyone involved, will score if you need it and at the end of the day he's a team-first, unselfish guy.
He's not what you'd categorize as a scorer, but he's a guy who can get you some points. He's a guy you could put into a college game and he'll hold his own offensively, getting what he needs to get, but what he'll contribute more is making the game easier for the guys around him.
At the end of the day he's a team-first, unselfish guy.
There's really only one speed merchant in 2008 and that's Brandon Jennings. Those types are rare. Those guys with the rare speed like Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton, it's rare to have guys with that level of speed and quickness. But when you talk about Drew, he's a guy who's certainly above average in a lot of those categories. His speed will be equal to the better guards in the country and he has good solid quickness. You may not say it's Lawson fast, but it's noticeable and it's well above average for the guys at his position.
As for on defense, he has an overall basketball IQ that will feed into that aspect. He'll be committed at the defensive end, and he's a good enough athlete and a kid who is wired to be a good defensive player. I don't think there's any concern about what he'll be able to do defensively.
He clearly has the ability to get his shot off, he has the ability to be effective from a lot of different spots, but right now if I'm Larry Drew, I want to make my jumpshot a weapon that I can go to with extreme confidence. That's an area right now where he's shown inconsistency, but also shown the ability to shoot at a good clip. Tightening that up and making it a strength is something you have to look at. I also think he's got to be a guy who finishes and accepts contact because the way he plays, his ability to get into the paint, he'll take shots to the body. So becoming a good finisher and strengthening his upper body are two areas for improvement.
If you were able to take Aaron Miles and add Sebastian Telfair's court vision, I think that'd be a close comparison. Drew really sees the floor and is able to get guys shots. He's not like Telfair in many ways, but he sees the floor and is able to find shooters the way Telfair did at this level.
In terms of college position, there's no question he's a true point guard. A guy like Larry Drew, depending on your personnel and who you have in front of him, he either starts as a freshman or plays significant minutes as a freshman. If you don't have an older established point guard, in all likelihood he starts. If you have one of those guys, he's too good not to play a lot of minutes so you change how you're doing things to accommodate his talent level. And, frankly, he'll have an easy transition because he doesn't have to dominate the basketball to be an effective player.
No. 2 PG, No. 20 overall ---- I feel very comfortable in that he's a Top 25 player and among the elite at his position. I don't think anyone has done enough to overtake Brandon Jennings, and then there's a pack of about five guys behind him … Drew, Anthony Crater, Malcom Lee, Andrew Steele, Jerime Anderson. The spring will start to determine how they all shake out. Jennings has separated himself and now the rest of the guys will have an intense battle for that second spot -- and I wouldn't be surprised if Drew came out on top.
His father being an 10-year NBA player and current NBA assistant coach is an obvious advantage. It goes without saying that any time you come from a family with deep roots like that in college and professional basketball, you definitely have a big advantage with genetics and hoops experience. Whereas a lot of kids are trying to put the polish on their game at this stage, Drew is playing situational ball with his dad and high school coach.
He's well ahead of the curve. Don't know how many guys self-scout and evaluate themselves to the level he's doing it at. And, from a recruiting perspective, for the top programs out there, it's difficult to overestimate how important Larry Drew is to your program.
It's difficult to overestimate how important Larry Drew is to your program.
It's also important to note that we're doing this evaluation early. His game is still changing. He's kind of feeling his way out and defining himself as a point guard. We knew he was a good assist man, but I think he'll end up being great at that trait, after seeing him recently. You have to take guys for what they are now, only part of the way through their junior year. So he's not as fully defined a player as he will be by the time he reaches college.