For the past couple of years, the reporters on this website have watched Cardozo High School swingman James Southerland advance his individual game to the level of landing Big East offers.
It was a short time ago that Southerland, a 2008 prospect, took the Syracuse offer. There have been many words to describe Southerland's game too. The words "upside" and "skilled" are most used.
So the reporters on this website decided to utilize their thoughts and present them in this article on James Southerland. The following is a detailed thought process put together by senior reporter Brian Towey:
James Southerland has established himself as one of the city's best shooters and more intriguing perimeter players, a rangy 6-foot-7 forward who strokes it to the arc. He is a perimeter-oriented player, more comfortable facing up than going to the block, and more finesse than physical.
Southerland's jumper is a little flick: effortless and fluid. He has gone from a guy comfortable knocking down shots in the 12-15 foot range to a viable perimeter threat. He is a gifted shooter.
Mainly a catch-and-shoot option, Southerland showed an improving ability to create his own shot as a junior. Right now he's a perimeter "4", but in time, he might be able to spend some time on the wing.
Physically, at around 180 pounds, James has a lot of work to do to prepare himself for the next level. With a slender, willowy frame, he might not be done growing.
Southerland has a considerable upside. He has the potential to develop into a weapon on the perimeter in time.
MIKE SULLIVAN'S VIEW: James is a very talented player who must develop consistency in his ability to score from the perimeter. However, this category is one that almost every high school player must establish if they are to be successful in such a competitive conference like the Big East.
I have had numerous conversations with Cardozo head coach Ron Naclerio about Southerland. Naclerio feels once Southerland has time to worry about filling out his frame and adding muscle that James will be a very capable player. In fact, Naclerio has used the word "surprise" to me. He believes some programs missed on Southerland.
The spring and summer will be a good opportunity for the Syracuse staff to watch and see what progress Southerland must make before he becomes a full-time member of one of the country's top basketball programs.
We'll be watching too and reporting on it throughout the next several months.