While Apple Valley, Minn., senior Tyus Jones is considered the top high school point guard, here are five (mostly) little men at the Nike Peach Jam basketball tournament in North Augusta, S.C., who will likely have a big impact in college.
1. Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Cal Supreme.
The diminutive (he's listed as 5-9 and 148 pounds) senior from Loyola (Los Angeles) is a blur on the court and leads all players at the Peach Jam with an average of 10.2 assists a game. Though he's the traditional pass-first guard, he has enough of a shot to keep opponents honest and is quick enough to get in the lane with frequency.
2. Tyler Ulis, Meanstreets (Illinois).
Another really small, really quick guard. His listed height and weight is 5-8 and 145 pounds, but the Marion Catholic (Chicago Heights, Ill.) senior is willing to mix it up. Through five games, he was averaging 19.8 points and 7.8 assists a game, including a 22-point, 17-assist effort in a loss to Howard Pulley on Thursday, playing against Jones.
3. Malik Newman, Jackson Tigers.
This may be cheating, because the 6-4, 170-pound senior from Callaway (Jackson) is seen more as a shooting guard and there's no question he loves to shoot. However, he possesses the ballhandling skills to be a college point guard. He's among the top scorers at Peach Jam with a 22.2 per-game average through five games and has 13 three-pointers. He has great court vision and can get into the lane nearly at will.
4. Robert Johnson, Boo Williams.
The 6-3, 190-pound senior from Benedictine (Richmond, Va.) could play either guard spot, but he has the instincts and quickness needed at the point, plus he's a solid three-point shooter. He's been getting more recruiting attention as the summer goes on. He's averaging 20.2 points per game, including 18 three pointers and has been a monster on defense.
5. Lourawls Nairn, Mokan Elite (Kansas and Missouri).
Another short guard (listed as 5-10), the Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kan.).senior has an awesome first step (and second and third steps) to go with his awesome first name. He's among the leaders at 8.4 assists a game through five games.
Three of the five are shorter than 6-foot.
"The reason you're seeing more small point guards in college is because they win," said recruiting analyst Van Coleman.
Smaller point guards are often top recruits because there's no substitute for quickness.
"These guys are fast and they can get by people, which is why you see the smaller point guards," Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. "Most of the game is speed now, so everybody has to pick up on that."
Georgetown coach John Thompson III said the rise of shorter point guards is not necessarily a trend.
"Are there some smaller guys who are very, very, good? Absolutely," Thompson said. "But I think there's some bigger guys who can play the point too. I don't think it's a trend."