Beal the 'real deal', says high school coach

DeSoto, Tex. combo guard Jermaine Beal (6-3) is scheduled for an official visit this weekend to Vanderbilt. Is he more of a point guard or shooting guard? Here's a scouting report and recruiting update.

DeSoto (Tex.) High School combo guard Jermaine Beal had a number of impressive statistics as a junior last season. Of all of them, according to the school's head coach Chris Dyer, one clearly stood out.

"37-and-4," Dyer says, referring to the Eagles' 2004-05 record.

The 6-foot-3 combo guard's best attribute, according to his head coach, is that he helped his team advance all the way to the 5A state championship game, where it was defeated 54-52 by Humble-Kingwood. For his efforts, Beal was named All-State, TABC All-State, and All-Tournament.

This weekend Beal is expected to make an official visit to Vanderbilt, where the Commodore staff is hoping he can help fill the void left by the graduation next year of senior point guard Mario Moore. The versatile Beal has already made an official visit to Oklahoma, and at last report VU and OU were slight leaders over a host of other schools for his services. Vanderbilt, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and SMU are among the 12 to 14 schools that have offered.

"I go to Vanderbilt on the 17th," Beal told SoonersIllustrated last week. "I told Coach (Kelvin) Sampson that Oklahoma and Vanderbilt are my top two schools. So after my visit to Vandy I will be able to tell OU a lot more about what I am thinking."

We put it to Dyer: would Beal be more of a shooting guard or point guard at the next level?

"Combo," was the reply. "Nowadays at the college level they want kids that can do it all.

"Used to be, 15 years ago, your point guard was a distributor and passer. That's all changed. Nowadays your point guard is a scorer just like your two and your three.

"Jermaine knows what to do with the ball. He's a brilliant passer. He's getting stronger, works hard in the weight room. His best attribute is that he just works his butt off in the gym.

"He'll be in the gym two hours every evening, just doing shooting drills. He was an extremely good scorer for us last year, and got a lot better for us on defense."

Beal may be closer to 6-foot-3-1/2 by now, Dyer said. "He's still growing. He wears a size 15 or 16 shoe."

The camp circuit last summer was a mixed blessing for Beal. Although the camps gave him additional exposure and netted him some major-college offers, Beal was probably not given the opportunity to showcase his full abilities.

"He went to the Texas A&M camp, the Texas camp, and a camp up in Virginia," said Dyer. "In some of those camps you get six guys who think they're point guards who have never played it before, or you get guys who, every time they touch the ball, it's like throwing it into a black hole.

"He played with a group of guys who were somewhat like that. From what I've heard and what I've read, it was not a good situation, because he's used to working with a team concept."

Dyer has built a powerhouse at DeSoto, as well as a proving ground for college-level talent. Last year's DeSoto team produced Roderick Flemings, a 6-6 forward who signed with Oklahoma State. Deveric Taylor, a senior teammate of Beal's, is receiving recruiting interest from several mid-majors. This season Beal will be one of three key senior returnees for a DeSoto team that hopes to advance to the state championship game for the third time in four years.

"We have some new faces this year," said Dyer. "We have three guys returning who all started as sophomores. Jermaine got to travel on our state championship team three years ago as a freshman, so now he's a seasoned veteran."

Should Beal ultimately opt for the Commodores, admissions shouldn't be an issue.

"He's already qualified academically," Dyer said. "He's a very, very good student."

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Want to see film of last year's Texas 5A state championship game between Humble-Kingwood and DeSoto? Click here. DeSoto is the team in yellow, and Beal wears No. 3. (You need Windows Media Player.)


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