Posted On: 02/10/18 2:46 AM
Northwest Louisiana, especially the Shreveport-Bossier area, has a rich history of guard play. Some of those players have been big names like Southwood’s Paul Marshall (LSU/ULM), Loyola’s Charles Winborne (Loyola-Chicago/ULM), and Airline’s Josh Hagins (UA-Little Rock). While these players were successful Division I players, other guards from the area have been quite successful in lower divisions. One example that stands out in my mind is Kyle Blankenship (current head coach at LSU-Shreveport). He set NAIA Division 1 assist records during his playing days. In this article there are three guards from the class of 2018 and one from 2019 that might not play NCAA Division I basketball but will be solid guards at the lower divisions.
Tyron McCoy/ 6’1″ Jr. / Bossier High
Tyron is not ranked like his junior teammates Jacoby Decker and Kalaas Roots but he is just as important to the team. McCoy is that junior guard who takes the defensive challenge of checking the other team’s high volume shooter/scorer. He is quick enough to guard small guards and athletic enough to defender bigger wings. Tyron also has a quick second jump that allows him to rebound well with taller players. Offensively, he is a slasher who makes sharp cuts to receive the ball in scoring positions. He also runs the floor extremely well and finishes above the rim. Even though he needs to improve his jump shooting, he is capable of making a defense respect him offensively. For a team who needs a glue guy who can slash and defend, Tyron would be a good choice. Being that he is a Bossier guard, he has enough toughness and heart to help any college program.
Malik Cooper / 6’3″ Sr. / Evangel Christian Academy
Malik’s senior campaign has not displayed the flashy moments that once ranked him high on Northwestern State’s short list of prospects. However, Cooper is a smooth guard who has a consistent outside jumper which is matched with his athleticism. Seeing him in several contest this season, he has driven the baseline using a quick first step to drive by defenders and finish with a dunk or layup. Malik has worked on his upper body and can take large amounts of contact and still finish at the rim. He has played on the varsity level since his sophomore year so he has plenty of court experience. He is a great perimeter defender who is often asked to guard bigger players because of his athletic ability. Cooper is a kid who has the total package to play on the next level. When Malik is on, there are not many players who can defend him offensively. Schools looking for a scoring, athletic guard will find Malik to be a great choice.
Leon Chambers / 6’3″ Sr. / Booker T. Washington-Shreveport
Leon has been a pleasant surprise for the Lions this season. Coach Gipson has used Leon off the bench and as a spot starter this season where he has flourished in each role. He and senior guard Le’treveon Jones have taken turns as the primary scorers for Booker T. and the team has benefited. Versatility is Chambers middle name. He can bring the ball up, play the wing, and post up smaller guards. His jumper has become dependable from deep and he has a nice mid-range jumper. Driving to the goal has become a great addition to his game as well. Leon is one of those wings that can help a team in multiple facets. A team who needs a versatile wing will have a steal with this senior.
Yancey Kelly / 5’10” Sr. / Southwood High
This three year varsity player has come into his own as a senior. He has developed from a corner three, spot up shooter his sophomore year to a guard who can do it all. Yancey was always a marksman from the arc. Now, he has learned to attack the basket from all angles which makes him dangerous anywhere he is. Along with his three point shooting, Yancey has added a pull up jumper and rebounding to his game. He is not a verbal player but he leads by his play. Kelley has also hit game winning shots this year showing that he is not afraid to take the last shot. When looking for a guard with these attributes, a college will not find or more mature or better player. If a school is pursuing an off the ball sniper who can handle end of game pressure, Yancey Kelly will fill that need.
Look for more previews and profiles of players as the playoff season nears and the recruiting season begins right here with Prep Hoops Louisiana.