Exclusive: Johnny Flynn Video Breakdown

The summer recruiting season is almost upon us. Most college coaches are frantically searching for players to fill out their 2007 class, but Jim Boeheim is already looking to jumpstart the 2008 class. The SU staff has already reeled in four players for 2007. One of the key players in this promising class is Johnny Flynn, a 6-0 point guard out of Niagara Falls, NY. OrangeNation provides an advance look at Flynn with video from the 2005 Rumble in the Bronx.

Flynn is a diminutive waterbug point guard not unlike current Syracuse back-up point guard, Josh Wright. Both players share similarities in their games, but Flynn may have the higher upside due to his more polished ability to run a team and what looks to be a more accurate perimeter shot. Wright has the edge in terms of overall speed and quickness, but Flynn isn't exactly Derrick Brower when it comes to footspeed.

Johnny Flynn has played with several D1 caliber athletes, so he is no stranger to taking a backseat and letting his teammates do the scoring. Over the last two seasons, Flynn has played high school or AAU ball with the likes of Tyrell Lynch, Lazar Haywood (Marquette signee), Robert Garrison (UConn), Franklin Jones (West Virginia signee) and his good friend Paul Harris (who, as you know is going to SU, unless you've been living under a rock). He knows what it takes to win, playing a key role in Niagara Falls' 2005 NY State Class AA championship victory over New Rochelle (69-58).

One of the most common questions about Flynn is what kind of player is he? The basic run-down goes like this: Flynn is a solid ballhandler and consummate lead guard. He can get a little too fancy at times with his passing, but for the most part he looks to keep his teammates as involved as possible. He also has a pretty reliable jump shot that he can get off over larger players because he has excellent elevation on his shot and a very quick release. Unfortunately, he didn't take any perimeter shots during the game I filmed, so I don't have any clips to show off his form. However, the rest of these clips should give you a good idea what he's all about when he's on the court.

These clips were taken in the GC Ballers' quarterfinal victory in the 2005 Rumble in the Bronx, where Flynn scored 12 pts to go with a team high 7 assists. The GC Ballers went on to win the Rumble in the Bronx championship with Flynn scoring in double digits in every game. Lazar Haywood was the named tournament MVP. Again, you will need the divX player installed to view these clips in either Quicktime or Windows Media Player.

The first clip shows Flynn's ability to create for himself in transition with some fancy dribbling. He uses a spin dribble to get around the defense, then double clutches in mid-air to get his shot up over a bigger defender. Johnny is also very adept at finishing close to the basket with either hands. Here we seem him finishing with his left hand on two separate drives. The first drive shows him going baseline, then reversing the ball with his left hand. Notice the quick hesitation move he uses to set up his drive. He is also fundamentally sound on the offensive end. The first clip in this sequence shows how he uses his body to shield against a trailing defender on the fastbreak, then the follow-up shows him take advantage of a lazy defender by breaking in for a backdoor lay-up. Notice how effortlessly he gets off the floor.

In this clip, we see Flynn with a pair of assists. The first pass in this sequence shows his ever-present search for lead passes to generate transition offense. This was a common theme in the games I've seen him play - he really likes to throw crisp outlets on the fastbreak, particularly to teammate Lazar Haywood (#32 in these video clips). The other pass shows his patience on the offensive end, as he pulls the ball out to reset the offense, then sets up teammate Franklin Jones for a basket in the post. Flynn is also a very creative passer, as we see in this sequence where he throws a slick pass off the backboard to a trailing Tyrell Lynch.

One of the main drawbacks to his game at this point is that he can get a little too flashy. Here we see a pair of well-intentioned passes that don't quite work out. As the late Al McGuire might say "There's a little too much mustard on that hot dog." In any event, these two clips show his strong ballhandling ability and his creativity when it comes to delivering the basketball. In both clips he shows the ability to change direction with either a crossover dribble or a behind-the-back dribble. Keep in mind that he had just turned 15 when these videos were taken, and he has reportedly improved since then.

The final OrangeNation exclusive clip is a botched play, but I think it shows just how explosive of an athlete Flynn can be. Sure, he might have missed this dunk, but look at the huge elevation he gets as he attacks the glass. If you watch the play in slow motion you can actually see the ball slip out of his hand while he's attempting the tomahawk. He certainly was plenty high enough to convert, had it not slipped out of his hand. Pretty impressive for a kid who was about 5-10 or 5-11 at the time.


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