It's a disadvantage but, perhaps, Pike High School senior Zavier Turner's greatest advantage, too.
In a sport where size always matters, he stands 5-9 and weighs 175 pounds.
"They're always going to say smaller guards can't play major Division I basketball," Turner said. "I take joy and pride in proving people wrong. I like to show, despite my size and height, I'm going to give you one of the best games you've ever played against somebody."
Turner is not the only one.
Major Division I college basketball coaches may shy away from players of his stature but area high school coaches have embraced what players such as Turner can do:
* Turner, a Ball State signee, is averaging 16.5 points and 3.9 assists for the Class 4A No. 5 Red Devils (19-3), who open sectional play against Perry Meridian at Decatur Central on Tuesday.
* Carmel won the 4A state title last season and is No. 1 in the Sagarin Ratings with 5-9 Michael Volovic, who will attend Butler as a walk-on, at point guard. The Greyhounds (18-2) will play Zionsville on Tuesday in the sectional they're hosting.
* P.J. Thompson, a 5-91/2 junior averaging 24.0 points per game, has Brebeuf at No. 11 in the 3A Sagarin Ratings and will play at No. 1 Mt. Vernon on Tuesday. He has offers from Ball State, Indiana State, Miami of Ohio, IUPUI, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Toledo, Dartmouth and DePaul.
* Fishers' 5-11 Jaylon Brown, an Evansville signee, has helped the Tigers earn the 16th spot in the 4A Sagarin Ratings and will play Westfield at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Carmel.
They have different styles. Turner's a point guard. Volovic the defensive stopper. Thompson is a prolific scorer. Brown a leaper. But listen to their coaches talk and a similar attribute emerges: a fierce intensity developed to overcome their height.
"If you're a small guard, you have to have heart," Turner said. "You have to have that go-getter spirit. If not, they're going to run over you."
Volovic said he actually looked up to Turner as a role model. The two played have together during the summer as well as competing against each other since their youth basketball days.
"With how hard I work I think it's always going to allow me to play up to my potential," Volovic said. "Being low to the ground, I can do things other players can't. I handle the ball well and that's important.
"I don't think I'm overlooked but I'm always the littlest player on the court. When that happens, I also want to show I'm one of the top players on the court."
Carmel coach Scott Heady said Volovic is one of the best point guard defenders he has seen in a long time.
"It's like a who's who of the guys he's guarded the last two years," Heady said. "He's been tremendous and the reason we win."
One of the Greyhounds' losses came to Fishers (14-6) and Brown, who leads the Tigers with a 17-point average. A 38-inch vertical leap allows him to play bigger than his height.
"Jaylon likes to think he's 6-foot but he's 5-11 on a good day," Fishers coach Joe Leonard said."He gets about three dunks a game and they're all highlight ones."
Thompson has another edge. His father, LaSalle, was a 5-10 Indiana All-Star from Pike who played at Indiana State and Ball State.
"He taught me some little tricks to get by and some things to do," Thompson said.
Thompson, who has missed the last two games for the Braves (11-9) with an ankle injury, said he will be ready for Tuesday's game.
And whenever the season ends, Thompson will be back working on the court and in the weight room.
"To get where I want to be, in Division I college basketball, you have to be stronger and more in shape than anyone else," he said. "I don't pay attention to (his size) too much. I don't look at it as a disadvantage. I just do what it takes for my team to win. The big thing for me is playing with confidence and knowing and acting like I'm one of the best players on the court."