One of the great facets of AAU basketball is that under the radar kids from all across the country have an opportunity to blow up in a matter of a week. One good showing during the July evaluation period in front of the right coaches can have a huge impact on a prospects collegiate outlook. One such prospect that elevated his play last season in high school ball and this summer on the AAU circuit is 2013 point guard prospect Graham Woodward. The Edina, Minneapolis product went from fringe D1 player to a virtual lock and is now hearing from some high-major programs. We recently caught up with Tom Krosschell, Executive Director of Graham's AAU Club Minnesota Pump N' Run. He outlined what has made Woodward's play so special this past summer.
"As the point guard of our Minnesota Pump N Run 17u team he consistently got his teammates involved early in games. He is a tough, gritty player and he pushed those attributes over to his teammates," Krosschell said. "In tight, critcal games Graham was always at his best. He is an extremely intelligent basketball player and a great leader which I think are essential qualities of a good point guard."
read on following the jump for more on Graham's game and recruitment...
The 6', 170 lbs prospect is described by many outlets as a guy that simply knows how to win and get the job done. While that characteristic is so vital to any prospects success, Graham backs up his intangibles with a very solid skill set on the basketball court and continues to improve his game.
"Graham has always been an excellent shooter and his pull-up jump shot in transition is a thing of beauty. He worked hard to improve his passing and overall court vision which was very evident throughout the spring and summer seasons. He also worked hard on improving his defense and that is a very under-rated part of his overall game," explained Krosschell.
As we indicated earlier, Woodward's recruitment has gotten extremely busy and we would guess that it is not really close to being done.
"With Wofford just offering, Graham now has over a dozen D1 schools that have offered and they all have been very active in his recruitment. Washington State, Penn State, Dayton, Evansville and Drake have inquired recently and are all taking a hard look at Graham," said Krosschell.
In the 2013 cycle, Gonzaga has really targeted any point guard prospects except for a quick stint pursuing Kendal Harris. We've seen several 'point guard of the future' prospects arise in the '14 and '15 cycle but Woodward is definitely an intriguing prospect that the Zags' staff has taken notice of.
"Gonzaga inquired about Graham immediately after the adidas Super 64 tournament in Las Vegas," said Krosschell. "Coach Tommy Lloyd has been the lead recruiter for the Zags up to this point."
It will be very interesting to see which and how many high-major programs offer Graham and how Gonzaga decides to pursue him. Since Graham also excels in the classroom, I would not be stunned to see him wind up in the Ivy ranks (I mean, could you really blame him?) as he already holds offers from Yale and Princeton. Regardless of where he winds up, it sounds like Graham Woodward is the type of player you can expect to hear from leading a squad come March. For Gonzaga, that might just be enough to seriously pursue him.