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October 29, 2008

Best of the Rest: Shooting guards

MORE: Class of 2009 Shooting Guard Rankings | BEST OF THE REST: PG

Unlike the point guard position, schools in need of a big-time scoring guard are in luck. Of all of the positions in the class of 2009, the shooting guard spot is the best for available talent both inside the national top-150 rankings and players outside of the Rivals150.

There are eight players in the national rankings who are left on the board. There are at least a dozen other players who are likely high-major players at the position and are still looking for a college home.

Xavier Henry, Oklahoma City (Okla.) Putnam City | Henry in action
Rank: No. 3 overall player, No. 1 shooting guard in the nation
Schools in the mix: Kansas and Memphis
Visits: Henry has been to both of his finalists several times.
Notes: Memphis or Kansas? Kansas or Memphis? It is a series of questions that has likely bounced around Henry's head for the past six months. His father played at Kansas. His brother left his post in the New York Yankees' minor league system to join Memphis' basketball team. The ties to both schools are strong. But which school will be the one for Henry. He will likely announce his decision on national television. When exactly? That's the biggest question. Henry was involved in a car accident and fractured his cheek. The accident might push back his decision.
Kenny Boynton, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage | Boynton in action
Rank: No. 7 overall player, No. 2 shooting guard in the nation
Schools in the mix: Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Texas and USC
Visits: Boynton has visited Florida, Georgia Tech and USC officially this fall. His next stops are to Texas and Duke.
Notes: As the early signing period approaches, Boynton is keeping things very close to the vest. The buzz out of the state of Florida is that the Gators are in good shape, but you won't hear that from Boynton. The Blue Devils have made a strong impression, and he'll get a chance to see coach Mike Krzyzewski and his troops in November inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. A decision after the trip to Duke is expected. Boynton has said he will sign in the early period.
Lance Stephenson, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln | Stephenson in action
Rank: No. 9 overall player, No. 4 shooting guard in the nation
Schools in the mix: St. John's, Kansas, Memphis, USC and others
: Stephenson has made the quick trip to St. John's several times this fall for unofficial visits.
Notes: Stephenson has taken a very low-key approach to the recruiting process. He has stated several times that he intends to sign in the late period and hasn't aggressively looked at schools like most of his peers. He'll certainly be a player to watch this high school season, not only regarding his potential college choice but also as a player who could entertain international professional options after his high school career is finished.
Michael Snaer, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde
Rank: No. 11 overall player, No. 5 shooting guard in the nation
Schools in the mix: Florida State, Kansas, Marquette, Missouri and UCLA
Visits: Snaer is finished with his visit tour. He has been to each of the schools on his final list.
Notes: The five-star prospect is in the decision-making stages of his recruitment and will likely make his choice in the near future. He hasn't tipped his hand either way as to what school is tops on his list. Snaer said he wants to find a place where he can make an immediate impact.
Dominic Cheek, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony
Rank: No. 16 overall player, No. 6 shooting guard in the nation
Schools in the mix: Memphis, Kansas, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Indiana, Seton Hall and Rutgers
Visits: Cheek has visited Kansas and Villanova. He will visit Pittsburgh this weekend. He has visits planned for Indiana and Memphis in November.
Notes: One of the best pure scorers, Cheek has long been coveted by some of the elite programs in the nation. He's listened to a million recruiting pitches and seems to be taking everything in stride. Cheek says he is not in a rush to make a decision and hasn't given any public hint to a leader or when he'll sign his national letter of intent.
Durand Scott, New York (N.Y.) Rice | Scott in action
Rank: No. 41 overall player, No. 9 shooting guard in the nation
Schools in the mix: Pittsburgh, Miami and Connecticut
Visits: Scott has visited Pittsburgh, Miami and Connecticut at least twice so far.
Notes: At this stage in the game, he said he hasn't ruled out signing late if that is indeed the best decision for him. However, Scott said he hopes to finish up his visits this fall and sign in November.
Jason Calliste, Winston-Salem (N.C.) Quality Education Academy
Rank: No. 86 overall player, No. 20 shooting guard in the nation
Schools in the mix: VCU, Tulane, South Carolina, Charlotte, Marshall, Chattanooga, Marquette, Fresno State and Providence
Visits: He has visited Charlotte, Marshall and Chattanooga unofficially this fall.
Notes: Calliste has always been one of the biggest sleepers in the country. That is surprising considering his outstanding play in Las Vegas at the adidas Super 64 tournament. His recruitment has a number of quality mid-level schools in hot pursuit, and he's visited a handful of schools. Now the biggest question Calliste, a Toronto native, faces is sign now or wait? According to those close to him, signing late is looking more and more like the choice.
Nik Garcia, Evanston (Ill.)
Rank: No. 141 overall player, No. 34 shooting guard in the nation
Schools in the mix: Unknown
Visits: None.
Notes: After finishing his junior year at Niles West (Ill.), Garcia left for Patterson (N.C.) at the start of the high school year. He lasted about a week. Now Garcia will reportedly have to sit out the first semester at Evanston, his new school, due to his academics. He'll be eligible to play in January. If a team is in need of a shooter, Garcia is your guy. He's one of the better snipers in the senior class, committed or not.
There is plenty of talent to be found outside of the top 150, especially at shooting guard.

Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young guard Marcus Jordan comes to mind. The powerfully built guard and the son of Michael Jordan was one of the top players at the Nike Peach Jam this summer. He certainly proved himself to be a high-major guard.

Sherrod Wright out of Mount Vernon (N.Y.) is a slashing scoring guard who will have little trouble making the transition to the college level.

Oak Hill Academy guard Lamont Jones, also a New York native, can put up points in a hurry. He is one of the better guards not committed to a school.

Philadelphia's Jesse Morgan, a 6-foot-4 guard, could be an attractive prospect in the late period. He has good size, good ballhandling skills and a solid all-around game.

Teams looking for a pure shooter would do themselves a favor by sneaking a peak at Troy Daniels of Roanoke (Va.) Fleming. The 6-3 guard is one of the best marksmen left on the board.

Chandler (Ariz.) Basha guard Nick Markovich is one of the better pure scorers left on the board in the West.

According to Patterson (N.C.) coach Chris Chaney, DeAndre Kane is essentially a "soft verbal" to Pittsburgh.

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