Indiana among seven finalists for 2017 point guard Tremont Waters

  • 07/14/2016 9:29 am in

One of the nation’s top point guards in the class of 2017, Tremont Waters, has Indiana as one of his seven finalists.

Waters, a 5-foot-11 guard from the South Kent School in Connecticut, announced his seven finalists last night on Twitter. His list includes Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn and Yale.

Waters is ranked No. 40 nationally in the 247Composite and the No. 10 point guard in the 2017 class.

At last week’s Nike EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam, he averaged 15 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game for Expressions Elite.

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  • Stromboli

    Awesome. Let’s hope he chooses to be a Hoosier!

  • Bill Graham

    I like his offensive set but I’m concerned about him being able to guard taller and stronger guards. I don’t want a repeat of the Syracuse game where Carter and Trice bullied Hulls and Ferrell all game.

  • IUJeff

    If he a true PG (facilitator first) then hope we get him. Hulls and Ferrell were scorers first, so shut them down, and you shut us down largely.
    Guys that are passes first will just drive on who is guarding them and draw the double, then get the ball to the open man.

  • Arch Puddington

    I take your point, but the situation to which you are referring was a wild extreme. Yogi was guarding a 6’6″ PG who went on to be NBA rookie of the year the next year, and Hulls, who was an undersized SG himself, was injured (and guarding a kid who was built like a linebacker). Over the course of Yogi’s 125+ games as Hoosier, he only got truly overpowered that one time, and in fact guarded much larger players on multiple occasions. And Tyler Ulis, even smaller than Yogi, was the SEC defensive player of the year. So while in a certain sense you’d like size at all positions, in the end a guy can either play or he can’t. I don’t know enough about this kid to say one way or the other, but one look at the names of the other schools recruiting him tells me all I need to know. Hard to see us beating out all of those schools, but I will hope he comes here nonetheless.

  • Bill Graham

    Well the 1.8 stls pg is encouraging…and he has Kansas, UK, and Duke offers so apparently worried about his defense…we just can’t pair him with an undersized shooting guard.

  • ForeverIU

    That Syracuse game was not a “wild extreme”; it wasn’t an anomaly in terms of what you encounter in single-elimination tournaments with top teams. PG size might not be important for winning a lot of games, but it is for winning crucial games.

  • Arch Puddington

    Count up the number of 6’6″ PG’s. Then count up the number of times in which the starting guards of one team were a combined 10″ taller than those of the other team (and healthy….). Then compare those totals to those of “all PGs” and “all games”. I am certain you will find that both represent less than 1% of the total set. If after that you’d like to still quibble over a term like “wild extreme”, I’ll be glad to debate.

  • Bill Graham

    The problem is that it puts us in a position to where we have to adjust. One 6-6 pg isn’t a problem…the problem happens when the SG is also 6-5 or 6-6 then the other team has a huge mismatch….
    Take MSU last year for example. (hypothetically if Water’s were older) he obviously wouldn’t have guarded Denzel at 6-5…but he could guard Trice at 6-2….but suppose we play Xavier and they have Sumner pg at 6-5 and Blueitt sg at 6-5….now we have to adjust our d and probably play a zone (unless they aren’t smart enough to post waters up)….
    I get Arch’s point most teams aren’t
    like Xavier with 6-5 at the 1 and 2…but if/when we play someone like that Waters is a much bigger liability than a 3 guard.
    *we just have to weigh our pros and cons… how much will we encounter an Xavier-like situation? And does Waters ball distribution outweigh his size?

  • ForeverIU

    First off, your choice of 10″ is arbitrary. Even a 4″ total advantage in size is still significant. So this would expand the data set. But let’s go with your 1%. This percentage is significant when you consider that NCAA tournament elite matchups are a very small percentage of games played during a season.

    Your use of the term “wild extreme” is not a small detail. You began your post with it, and it set your usual arrogant all-knowing tone. LOL.

  • ForeverIU

    I didn’t say it takes big guards to win big games. It’s about height differential. At 5-11 you are much more likely to encounter a significantly taller guard. If the numbers you supplied are averaged, it tells me that to be safe we should go with guards averaging around 6-2 and no less.

  • Bill Graham

    So just for my curiosity I decided to list the BIG pig’s next year to see how Water’s would match-up. I realize there is some age disparity NBA and graduations…but its just to get a glimpse of the potential issue (or lack thereof).
    *so since Waters is 5-11 I grouped this into 3 risk categories

    Iowa – Williams 6-6….big issue
    Ohio St – Lyle 6-5….big issue
    Wisconsin-Koenig 6-4….probably an issue for waters
    Nebr- Webster 6-4….probably an issue

    Penn St – Carr 6-3….borderline issue
    Mary – Trimble 6-3….borderline issue
    North – Mcintosh 6-3….borderline issue
    Rut- Sanders 6-3….borderline issue

    Illinois – Abrams 6-2….no problem
    Mich – Walton Jr 6-1….no problem
    Minn – Mason 6-1….no problem
    PU – Edwards 6-0….no problem
    MSU – Tum Tum 5-10….no problem

    The problem is 8 of the 14 BIG starting PG’s are 6-3 or taller…Can Water’s defend someone 4+ inches taller? I don’t know. I’m not saying he can or can’t…but its a concern. Now like my previous post…some of these teams have shorter sg’s so maybe switches are possible.

  • TomJameson

    Arch, shame on you for researching and producing facts and statistics to bear out your well thought out point. Those aren’t nearly as entertaining as just saying whatever comes to mind just to refute somebody. 🙂

    There will forever be a problem with facts to some folks.

  • Bill Graham

    Haha nice post Tom! You know how I feel about well-researched arguments!

  • Bill Graham

    Nice research Arch. Conference is a bit concerning though…although Melo, Sanders, and Koenig might be replaced with smaller guards…as of right now..the BIG’s guards are gigantic compared to Waters.

  • Arch Puddington

    My choice of 10″ was not arbitrary in the slightest. Using their public bios, Carter-Williams was 6″ taller than Yogi, and Triche was 4″ taller than Hulls. That adds up to 10″, and I am certain that that is a wild extreme. Even in tournament play. If you have evidence to the contrary — not just claims or suppositions, but actual data — feel free to rebut.

  • ForeverIU

    Don’t hide behind Arch. You are a very good cheerleader.

  • Arch Puddington

    Good posts, Bill, including some interesting data. Ther are more big guards in the B1G than I might have guessed. Still, we have won the conference twice in four years with a small PG, and as I noted earlier, Tyler Ulis was the defensive player of the year in the SEC. It takes a special talent, but small PG’s can and do succeed at the highest level. Again, I can’t speak to Waters personally, I’m just saying that his size does not by itself bother me.

  • ForeverIU

    Your use of data is amateurish. The fact that 10″ was the difference in THAT game, does not mean that a smaller difference would not have been equally significant. The simple point is that Bill used the Syracuse game as an example of significant height difference that lost us a crucial game in a single-elimination tournament. And what you are saying in very fancy statistical ways is that we should not be concerned about recruiting a 5-11 guard. This is the essence of what you are saying, and it goes against conventional wisdom.

  • Arch Puddington

    Well, since 3 of the last 5 national champions have had guards less than 6’2 (and 5 of the last 10 PG’s who have played the championship game) we would be ruling out championship caliber players on the basis of a single superficial metric. Coaches with names like Coach K and John Calipari are clearly willing to recruit smaller guards, and they seem to know what they’re doing.

    But I get it, you are not persuaded by data.

  • FKIM01

    BOOM

  • Oldguyy

    The concern may be for the taller player. Implicit in your analysis is the assumption that taller is better in a point guard, and that someone who is 4-5 inches shorter than another cannot reach his hand up to put it in front of a taller shooter’s eyes. I would take issue with both. Pomeroy looked at height some years back, and came to the conclusion that it correlates with improved defense mainly only in the center and power forward, and does not correlate with improved offense. Shorter players have inherent advantages in short-space quickness and ball-handling. They also tend to be better athletes since there are so many more men of their height to choose from (mitigated to some extent by the fact that men of more-normal heights tend to play other sports). Also, the advantage that taller players have (mainly close to the basket) is due to their usually also having greater standing reach, not height itself. If standing reach were available for all college players, it would be useful to redo Pomeroy’s analysis using that rather than height. Finally, last year Yogi at 6’0″ had little trouble with the taller players you mention.

  • Outoftheloop

    Hulls had a dislocated shoulder for the entire game!

  • CreamandCrimson

    The debate about whether or not IU should be recruiting, or should be concerned about, a point guard’s height being sub-6’2″ is interesting and probably worth thinking about a bit. Of course, it’s already devolving into some name-calling, but still, it seems like an interesting big picture topic.

    Anyway, I find myself thinking about how the recruitment of Waters is impacting the recruitment of Paul Scruggs and vice-versa. I imagine if one commits, the other won’t be coming. I wonder which one the coaching staff prefers (if they had their choice)? I wonder which one is the better fit? It’s all speculative but it’s an interesting story line, at least to me, within the recruiting class (which appears set to drag on for another six-eight months…sigh).

  • Outoftheloop

    Do you seriously think that Blueitt could stay in front of Yogi without help? I don’t!

  • CreamandCrimson

    I agree with your point about reach, or length, as it is often referred to today. I personally view length as one of the keys to defense, not necessarily height (although the two will often correlate).

  • inLinE6

    Hulls was more of shooter but Ferrell was definitely a passer first, although he looked so lost in that game. I put more blame on Crean for the Syracuse loss. I hope he has figured something out by now.

  • Bill Graham

    All excellent and well thought out points. Yes my primary concern is getting a hand up…or contesting shots on the drive…but as you stated there can be huge quickness differences. We saw this with Yogi. Some smaller guys take a defensive mindset too. We’ve seen guys like Michael Lewis lock down much bigger guards. If we get this kid he has to accept that mindset (and maybe he already does—highlight tapes rarely show steals and blocks). However at the end of the day I think we all would be a bit concerned sending a 5-11 pg to lock down someone 5+ inches taller….

  • Outoftheloop

    And as to the “big issue” group only Lyle will be a top PG nationally. So the conclusion is that size (height) is one of many factors, but only one! Does that surprise anyone?

  • Bill Graham

    I’m not sure if Usain Bolt could stay in front of Yogi! Lol. Good point and very similar to Oldguyy’s post…sometimes the defensive inadequacies are compensated for on the offensive end (via quickness)

  • inLinE6

    We were the top team. They were not. When you talked about top teams, that game still hurts!

  • TomJameson

    I’ve really enjoyed the “short PG” discussion. Arch, Bill, Oldguy, C&C .. Nicely done, and great facts. Actually enjoyed it and learned something at the same time. Yeehaw! lol

  • Bill Graham

    It surprises me that you mentioned Lyle because he is the slowest of all the BIG pg’s….In my opinion Melo, Mason, and Sanders are the most talented (Koenig’s mostly a shooter). I personally have always preferred traditional lineups…with a smaller pg that mainly facilitates (think John Stockton and Tom Coverdale—I think Water’s fits that category)…
    but we still have to take into account that the NCAA style of play is changing…pg’s are evolving into bigger driving scoring guards….and its not every team but we have to have a defensive plan for guys like Melo and Sanders that drive aggressively…I’m just not sure Water’s is the guy to guard them…but as I’ve said before it doesn’t mean he can’t be moved.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I said it the other day on another post and I’ll say it again, your spats with fellow ITH’ers gets me through the work day! LOL

  • Bill Graham

    Now all we need is Baby Cakes to show up and turn this group disagreement into a civil war!!!

  • Bill Graham

    I agree…It was so frustrating to watch Remy sit the bench (arguably our best defender and he was 6-3)!!!!
    I was grabbing a bit to eat downtown and I saw him two months later decked out in Xavier gear….man I’m still mad at CTC for not putting him in to guard Trice or Williams.

  • ForeverIU

    You can thank Jameson. He’s the one who picked on me, via Arch!

  • Bill Graham

    All the more reason why Remy should have played.

  • inLinE6

    Our best defender was definitely Oladipo. Remy showed some slashes but was raw in his first season. He may provide some sparks on the defensive end, but I thought we needed more points in that game to win. It was a low scoring game, and many of our passes got blocked on the perimeter. Very frustrating.

  • Bill Graham

    Ya, a tandem of Vic and Remy might have actually been better than Yogi and Hulls for that particular game. Overall I’ve never been too impressed with CTC’s defensive (in-game) adjustments. He did an excellent job this year of adjusting at half-time…but he still struggles during gameplay…I’m not trying to stir the pot with this…but this is what I heard from a fairly reliable source (not to be named for privacy purposes)…but apparently before that game Cheaney recommended several defensive adjustments to CTC…but CTC basically replied with, “Well thanks but thats not what we’re going to do.” -The common belief is that this was the final straw for Cheaney…
    *may or may not be true but I do believe my source is pretty reliable.

  • Bill Graham

    Thanks Tom. I enjoy good banter on here. Yourself, Oldguyy and Arch always do a good job of backing up arguments with stats and facts. Usually June and July are the heaviest months for arguing on ITH. Its nice to have a civilized discussion with facts on both sides.

  • Bill Graham

    Do you think that combo guards (like Scruggs) look at a Water’s commitment and shrug it off as “Oh well at least I can still play the 2 or split time at the 1 and 2)….or is it a deal breaker even for combo guards?

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Well, not that anybody asked me, but FWIW…..I’d be fine with another 5’11” PG if they were focused on (and actually WERE) being tenacious defenders. Muggsy Bogues……………mic drop.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I really don’t know and I’m sure it differs for every player. I doubt it would be a deal breaker for most but it should factor into a player’s thinking. After all, it would impact the role on the team and that should be of pretty large importance to a player and his ultimate decision. I’ve seen Scruggs play a lot of games and I really enjoy his game. He’s not my favorite player in this class but I do think he’ll be very good at the D1 level and I think he could be a very good player for IU. I happen to think he’s a guy that is best suited to having the ball in his hands as a lead guard. Could he develop a perimeter game that would allow him to be a very good perimeter shooting threat? Absolutely. But right now, I think he does his best work with the ball in his hands. I don’t know Waters’ game nearly as well but it certainly appears he’s in the same boat and would be best suited as a lead guard. Can two lead guards co-exist? Sure. It could ultimately be very good for both of them. Would a Waters or Scruggs commitment enhance/hinder/have no impact on IU’s appeal for the other? I think hinder would be the most likely option with “have no impact” as a close second. There’s also a chance IU would stop heavily pursuing the other if one of them committed because there are other types of players they want to bring in with the available scholarships. Who knows? (not me!)

    I love roster and lineup construction talks and thoughts but the recruiting part and the uncertainty is definitely not part of the head coaching position that I would envy.

  • ForeverIU

    If that’s the case, then why are 5-11 guards such a rarity?

  • Bill Graham

    Good points all around. I think for centers its a big hindrance…how many elite centers go to the same school?? but like you said guards and forwards can usually co-exist…I think most of Hoosier Nation sides with you on Scrugg’s being the better get…This 17 class is the best our state has looked in a long time. I’d love to get Wilkes and Scrugg’s!

  • HuntinHoosier86

    LOL! Yep, either him or the d-bag that has Kelvin Sampson as his user picture.

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t know why insisting on an additional 2 inches got so many people upset. It’s not like I’m talking about your wieners. LOL.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    If THAT’S where this is going………..count me in for adding two inches…

  • SCHoosier

    Two more inches of bovine caw-caw:)

  • Ole Man

    Porter isn’t coming here.