Tuesday, April 26, 2011
From scorer to distributor
By Dave Telep ESPN Recruiting
After completing his third season of high school basketball, it's time for Gabe York (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran) to prove himself again. When you're a 6-foot-1 scoring machine in the process of undergoing a position switch, sometimes the questions come in waves.
Regardless, York's traveling team coach, Etop Udo-Ema, knows the spring means another chance for York to re-prove himself.
"With his size, he has to prove it," the Compton Magic coach said. "Last year [college] guys liked him, but he was a little undersized. A lot of people say he settles for jump shots but he gets to the rack whenever he wants."
Gabe York said that Marquette's Buzz Williams has done the best job recruiting him, but it's early.
Udo-Ema isn't embellishing. York is a scoring maven. An elite leaper for his size, York is armed with an electric ability to score and a jump shot that is as dialed in as it is deep.
"At his high school," Udo-Ema said, "he's a scoring guard; he's a mercenary with points."
For York, scoring points has never been a problem. What he's trying to do is go from scoring points to playing the point. It's a transition that he knows he's got to eventually make. It's also one that he struggles with.
"Sometimes, when I see a shot I know I can make, then I see an open guy," York said. "I have to make the unselfish play all the time. Now I have to get everyone into the game instead of just myself."
"His handle is good enough," Udo-Ema said. "He has to work on his decision making because he's so used to being a scorer and I think he's very good at it. Some think he's undersized for a 2-guard. But let's not forget how explosive he is."
Interest in York ranges from coast to coast and while no one has forgotten how good a scorer he is, some programs may need a gentle nudge or reminder that he's going to impact a program. That reminder may come in the form of York's school list. While he says most of the Pac-12 is recruiting him, he's also extremely open to hopping on a plane for college.
Buzz Williams and Marquette must have sensed that early because the Golden Eagles are well positioned to make a run at him. York said Williams has done the best job with him so far.
"He's been really cool with me. Sometimes when I'm talking to coaches I can tell they're reading it off a sheet of paper instead of just talking to me," York said. "I think [Williams] and [Washington coach] Lorenzo Romar are the two that really stood out."
Notre Dame, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville and Oklahoma have his attention. York is about to embark on a spring break visit spree that will take him to Marquette and Notre Dame. He may hit up Washington and Georgetown in the near future.
York is a high-major prospect and at the recent Real Deal In The Rock that became abundantly clear. There's reason to believe he's on the cusp of turning in a huge spring and parlaying it into an even bigger summer.
"Gabe has a chip on his shoulder," Udo-Ema said. "I really think, and I know he's my guy, but he's one of the most under-appreciated guys in the country."
Time will tell, but so far so good.
Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.