Small players with Big Game – Guards of 2020

Grassroots
Louisiana

Posted On: 05/22/18 9:47 AM

This summer has produced some big play from the guard position in Louisiana. Performances by Jacoby Decker and Jalen Cook during the live period have set the tone for what guards in Louisiana are capable of despite their small stature. In this article, I will highlight some other guards of the 2020 class who have played big during the grassroots season.

Chanse Robinson / 6’0″ / 2020 / Louisiana Elite / PG

While Jalen Cook has been playing both guard postions on the 17U team, Chanse Robinson has been facilitating the offense on the 16U team.  The Lincoln Prep star and #2 rated player (2020) has shown that those Division I offers are well deserved with his play.  He has distributed the ball, scored the rock at over 50% from the field, and led the team in steals.  Even at six feet, he has long arms that allow to make defensive plays.  Robinson’s play has Louisiana Elite sitting at 6-2 in the UAA.  With his stellar play and leadership on the court, he will definitely see other offers come his way from schools wanting his point guard skills.

Cody Dean / 5’9″ / 2020 / Xpress Sports / CG

Cody Dean has been dribbling a ball and acting like a point guard since he was three years old.  From what I have seen thus far this summer, it seems like he is acting just as that.  While Cody is known for his three point stroke, his point guard skills have improved since his freshman year at Southwood.  During game play at the King of the 318 Classic, Cody showed improved speed while pushing the ball up the floor and better court vision.  His improved passing was on display as he threw a pinpoint alley-oop to one of his teammates on the break.  Dean can still make teams pay that leave him open with the way he shoots. Since his point guard skills have improved so much, he will be hard to guard no matter what the height is of the opposing defender.  Dean would definitely be a great guard on the D2, D3, or NAIA level.

Tim King / 6’0″ / 2020 / Xpress Sports / CG

Like his teammate, King has improved on several of his abilities.  During the 318 Classic, Tim showed that he is more than a guard who can drive to basket and get his own.  During game play, he displayed an improved ability to find the open man in the opposite corner or the opposite wing for good three point looks.  King also led the break and found the trailer for better offensive shots.  When King drives to the basket, he has a knack for absorbing contact and making a shot attempt.  This allows him to get to the charity strip instead of being dinged for a forced shot.  Tim is a hard-nosed defender.  His quickness and tenacity allow him to effect opposing guards decision-making.  With his improved offensive ability, Tim is becoming a dependable asset on the floor.  At this point, he is a definite small school guard with room to improve.

Jahmal Byers / 5’8″ / 2020 / 6th Man / PG

Byers is one of those point guards who is small in stature but his game speaks volumes.  During the 16U championship game during the Louisiana AAU championships, Byers constantly used the dribble to probe the lane.  Once in the lane he did one of two things, found a player to drop a pass off to or finished at the rim.  Jahmal has a strong upper body that gives him an advantage against guards his size because he can finish at the rim through their contact.  When his able to penetrate and get his shoulders in front of the defender, there is no way they can stop him from making a positive play.  Byers definitely tries to make the right play as a point guard when he is on the floor.  He is a true offensive facilitator.  Schools in Division 2 or 3 looking for a traditional point guard will be looking his direction closer to his graduation.

Deven Franklin / 5’8″ / 2020 / Team Cenla / PG

When Deven Franklin entered into the game for Team Cenla in the state AAU championships, the intensity of their defense immediately turned up.  Franklin is one of those players who harasses the opposing teams ball handlers into turnovers and forced shots.  Because he is so fast moving his feet and with defensive rotations, shooters try to release the ball before he gets there.  Even though he is not tall in stature, his quickness causes missed jump shots from outside shooters.  On the offensive end, defenders can not stay in front of him.  When Deven decides to go to the basket, he will get there in a blur.  While he is not the most polished guard offensively, he definitely makes up for it with his ability to drive and defensive skill.  With the development of his outside shooting, Franklin will be a menace on the floor for the next two years.

Melvion Flanagan / 5’10” / 2020 / Cenla Storm / CG

When you think of a guard with moxie and toughness, Melvion Flanagan is that guard.  During the 16U championship at Pineville High, these traits were never more apparent.  Flanagan had a rough game offensively.  While he constantly blew by the defenders guarding him, he had trouble finishing at the rim.  That being said, Flanagan still had a lasting effect on the games outcome.  While down three in regulation, he hit a three point basket to tie the game.  After each team played to a draw in two three overtime periods, they played a sudden death OT period.  Flanagan again rose up and buried the game-winning three point shot.  That is why I say moxie and toughness is in this kids DNA.  Even when he was not having his best game, he still was locked in when his team needed him most.  Players like that are hard to come by.  When 2020 rolls around, schools will not find a more resilient guard than Melvion Flanagan.  He will make a school in the lower divisions happy they chose him.