June 02, 2011
For the second consecutive year, there were no California players selected to the McDonald’s High School All-American game. There is no denying that there has been a recent talent swoon in California but the class of 2012 is about to change that trend. Dynamic guards, talented swingmen and dominant big men highlight an incredibly deep class and Cali High Sports looks at the best of the best in our countdown of the top 20 players for 2012.
We continue our countdown with Bakersfield point guard Tyrone Wallace, a player who has all the size and skill to be a potentially dominant player.
#8 Tyrone Wallace
Position: Point Guard
Schools Considering: Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Florida State, Gonzaga, Oregon
A new breed of point guard is developing. In this day and age top-level point guards need to be able play above the rim (Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, likely #1 pick Kyrie Irving) while lateral quickness is more important then ever. Tyrone Wallace fits the mold of this new type of point guard and has the ability to do it all with so much room to improve his game.
The first thing that stands out about Wallace is his size. At 6’4 with a great wingspan Wallace towers over most point guards and has the ideal body type of a dominant 1. But Wallace isn’t just a tall guard forced to play the point, he is a natural at the position who just happens to be 6’4. He is a magnificent ball handler, a willing passer with excellent court vision and a deadly athlete who can score in bunches.
Wallace is a great ball handler who has improved to the point where he can drive to the bucket using both hands. You can’t shade Tyrone in a certain direction and he has actually made going to his off hand one of his strengths. He is so quick and has an array of stutter steps and fakes that keep defenders off-balance and his quick footwork and lethal first step allow him to instantly attack a defender off the dribble if his man shows any sign of weakness. Tyrone attacks exactly the way a point guard should: once he beats his man he waits for help to come and then passes the ball to the weak point of the defense. He does a good job of striking that balance between attacking and passing and knows how to initiate the offense in half court sets.
As a passer, Tyrone has great court vision and is adept at hitting cutters in stride. Tyrone knows how to put the ball in a teammates sweet spot so his shooters can pull up in rhythm and his big men can catch passes easily on the low block. At Bakersfield Tyrone is relied on mainly as a scorer but in AAU tournaments and with his club team he has shown he knows how to feed great scorers.
As a playmaker and scorer himself, Tyrone can really put the ball in the basket. His range extends all the way to the three-point line and his a very solid mid-range game. He can shoot off the dribble going towards either hand and his high release point and quick stroke make it so that you can’t give him any operating space. Tyrone’s strong body and size help him score easily at the basket. He has the speed and handles to get by his man and into the lane and once there can finish through contact and has a nice arsenal of floaters, bank shots and crafty layups.
Tyrone’s size and lateral quickness naturally make him a great defender. He has the versatility to guard 2 guards as well and shows a real willingness to play hard on the defensive end. He crashes the boards extremely well for a point guard, highlighted by the fact that he grabbed more then six boards a game for Bakersfield as a junior.
Tyrone Wallace is an elite point guard who has All-American potential.
The next level?: Tyrone boasts strong offers while he has a huge number of elite programs that are interested but haven’t yet offered. Of the schools on his offer list, Arizona State, Cal and Oregon seem to be the best fits. Colorado already has two great lead guards with their 2011 class in Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie and it isn’t known if Wallace would want to move across the country to play at Florida State, especially when Pac-12 basketball is just as competitive right now as ACC basketball.
Arizona State coach Herb Sendek likes having big athletes at the guard positions and is going to need players of Wallace’s caliber to compete with Sean Miller’s program at Arizona and with Gary Franklin’s mid-season departure last year, Mike Montgomery could use a big, scoring point guard like Wallace. Oregon is rebuilding its program with elite athletes and Wallace certainly fits that mold.
Look for Tyrone to wait before he makes a decision but he is the type of player that could help shift Pac-12 balance.
Cali High Grade: 93