Who says the New York Guard isn't important in the NCAA's?
Guards from all over the country have made quite the impact during the 2011 NCAA tourney.
Some critics have claimed that New York hasn't been as noticeable in recent years. In 2011, that thought process has surely changed while this year's group of guards have had quite the impact. Not only have they led their respective teams deep in the NCAA's this year, but some will have a serious impact in the immediate future.
Let's take a closer look these five guards who also come from five different parts of New York.
Harlem's own Momo Jones
With a nickname like MoMo, Lamont Jones had both the swagger and grit known from guards produced from Harlem.
After leaving Rice HS for Oak Hill Academy, Jones honed his skills with backcourt mate Deron Lamb. Jones is a solid in-your-face defender who sees the floor extremely well. His 10 points a game will surely jump with teammate and future lottery pick Derrick Williams off to the NBA.
The 6', 190lb Jones score-first type guard will have plenty of shots to hoist in the near future but should continue to work on running a team and his three-point shooting. Arizona went deep into tourney with MoMo at the realm. Scored a season high of 27 versus the University of California. Watch out West Coast, here comes MoMo.
Brooklyn's own E. Walker
The 5'8" Walker is the poster boy for raw speed.
When he is pushing the ball up the floor, there are only a few other guards in the nation who can match his quickness. In his first three years, the Brooklyn native has seen his numbers gradually improve each year. His current average of almost 15 points a game while shooting 39 percent from three-point range and three assists will be counted on next year.
Walker is a true floor leader who sometimes thinks shoot first, but with his explosive first step and ability to penetrate, who is to complain. Might be the smallest of the group listed but plays a very big game as he led Florida to the Elite Eight in the 2011 NCAA tournament.
Queens own Doron Lamb
The 6'4" Queens' product has made quite an impression in the Bluegrass State in his first year, and none are happier than Kentucky coach John Calipari.
He now has a prolific scorer with a very strong mid-range game to go with it. His freshman numbers of 12.3 points per game while shooting almost 50 percent from both the field and three-point range will have his coaches salivating for the 2011-12 season to start to see how his game progresses. Had a season-high of 32, so you know he can score in bunches.
With the departure of several Wildcats to the NBA possibly, Lamb should become a major force in the SEC next year and hopefully lead Kentucky past the Elite Eight it got to this year.
Glen falls legend Jimmer
The legend of Jimmer started in Glens Falls, New York, where most NY hoopsters are thinking of going up there for high school basketball supremacy in their respective divisions.
The all-time scorer in his high school career took his talents to BYU and here too did Jimmer create a new and improved legend. Armed with unlimited range, the 6'2" guard has given opposing coaches nightmares of jump shots from all over the court. Jimmer is not only limited to shooting as opponents who played him close found out as he blew by them for uncontested layups. Seems to shoot better with a defender close by and has a great IQ for the game.
To shine at the next level, Jimmer must lower his turnovers and learn to be more of a point guard. Many compare him to JJ Redick, but Redick has neither the handle nor range of the BYU sniper. Fredette had an amazing 2011 NCAA tournament, and NBA GMs sure took notice overlooking the thoughts of whether or not he's athletic or quick enough for the NBA.
Bronx (Soundview) hero Kemba
One of the main reasons for UCONN's title season was that Kemba started the season on fire and ended it the same way. Teams threw multiple defenses at Walker but to little or no avail.
The lighting quick six-footer from the Bronx just seemed to be in a year-long zone when it came to scoring and hitting big shots for his team. Some might call Kemba a shoot-first or too undersized for the NBA, but these critics can never measure the heart or toughness of a champion. Walker plays very hard all the time and uses his athleticism and clutch play to overwhelm opponents.
The NBA will soon find out that Walker's 24 points a game was no farce, and he should be able to excel at the next level. Kemba's ability to get to the basket and dish will help in the NBA's style of play.