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October 30, 2006

Small forwards all scorers


Much has been written about Rivals.com Elite Team small forwards Kyle Singler, Bill Walker and Donte Green. Rivals.com now takes a close look at exactly what this trio of stars brings to the court.

How do they score their points?

Kyle Singler scores the ball in a variety of ways. He shoots 3-pointers well, and he also attacks the rim with authority off the dribble. When he is not threatening the defense with his perimeter game, Singler knows how to use a screen effectively and shoots the mid-range jumper off the curl very well. He is also very good scorer when using back-to-the-basket moves in either the mid-post or low post.

Bill Walker is at his best as a scorer when he is running the lanes on the fast break. With phenomenal explosiveness and body control, he is nearly unstoppable when he attacks the rim with a head of steam. Not much of a long-range shooter, Walker does have the ballhandling skills to get to the basket in one-on-one situations. He can also work his way into the mid-range, where he can elevate over his defender for an ever-improving pull-up jumper.

Donte Green is quite similar to Singler with his ability to shoot the 3-pointer and score off the dribble. Green might not attack the rim as well as Singler, but he does have a quick pull-up jumper and is effective scoring off spin moves. Green also shoots a smooth turnaround jumper on the baseline.

What do they do well on offense besides score?

Singler, who is truly a point forward, is a terrific ballhandler and passer. Not only can he help struggling guards get the ball up the court, he's capable of just taking over the point guard position himself. Never phased by pressure or trapping defenses, Singler is the type of player you can run the offense through either in the high post or on the wing.

Walker is a much better ballhandler and passer than he gets credit for in most circles. Even when breaking his man down on the dribble, he is always ready to make the quick pass to a cutting teammate. Walker could do a better job moving without the ball to involve himself in the game.

Green moves well with the ball, although not with the precision of Singler. A poised passer out of the double team in the low post, Green is also dangerous passing the ball off his slashing drives to the basket.

Do they impact the game on defense?

Singler's ability to guard almost any player is one of his greatest assests to a team. His agile feet and above-average strength give him success against bigger opponents down low. On the perimeter, his length allows him to pressure the ball without overextending, and he has a feel for taking the best angles to cut off the dribble.

Walker can simply dominate his man defensively. His aggressive attitude and overall athleticism give him the capability to shut down the top perimeter scorer on any team. In college, Walker will learn to better utilize his athleticism to impact the game when his man doesn't have the ball.

Green does his best work defensively away from the ball - where he is quick to come over and block a shot or dart into a passing lane for a steal. Best guarding the ball away from the basket, he can run into trouble down low against a stronger opponent. He does have a tendency to get into foul trouble against physical players.

What are the best and worst parts of their games?

Singler's versatility on both sides of the ball is the best part of his game. He can guard almost any player, and with the ball in his hands he is a true triple threat. Without any glaring weakness, Singler has room to improve as a one-on-one scorer off the dribble.

Walker's top-shelf athleticism allows him to make plays that are unthinkable for everyone else on the court. Look for Walker to use that athleticism to be a defensive stopper at Kansas State. As a scorer, he needs to become a better 3-point shooter and develop a back-to-the-basket game. In general, he needs to improve as a player when he does not have the ball in his hands and is not guarding the ball.

Green's versatility as a scorer makes him a headache to guard. He is a guy that can go from hitting 3-pointers off the dribble to hitting turnaround jumpers from the low post. The biggest concern with his game is his lack of physicality on defense.



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