BY MIKE DeCOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
INDIANAPOLIS -- This is as good a place as any for Xavier to look for its next point guard. Of the 198 players on the Nike All-America Camp roster, 56 play the position.
"We're looking for a leader, a guy who when he's on the court, his team wins," said XU assistant coach Mark Schmidt said. "He has to have good quickness and intelligence, understand what needs to be done. We want a scoring point guard. . . . We don't want somebody that lets the other team play 5-on-4."
Although the talent at the Nike Camp includes some of the best prospects in the nation, the action is a few steps removed from pickup games. This could make it difficult to identify a point guard who will be a team leader.
"The way we play is up-and-down, and these games are up-and-down," Schmidt said. "So for our purpose, you can find guys."
Like all the basketball programs at the top level of the NCAA's Division I, Xavier sent its coaches here and to the adidas ABCD Camp this week to check out the nation's top prospects.
Most players are invited to one camp or the other, which serve as the opening of the NCAA's summer evaluation period for basketball recruiting.
With senior forward Darnell Williams likely to redshirt this season because of his knee injury, the Musketeers will not be as desperate for wing talent.
Coach Skip Prosser now says his top priority in recruiting is to find a point guard. Gary Lumpkin is a senior this season, and XU will need someone to compete with sophomore Maurice McAfee.
Majestic Mapp, a sturdy 6-foot-2 senior from St. Raymond's High in the Bronx, N.Y., is one of the nation's best. Mapp understands how to turn four teammates into a team, almost always delivering the ball where it needs to go. His one weakness, passing the ball inside, is not a priority in the Xavier system.
Mapp is no secret to college coaches, though, which means Xavier will have a tough time beating out the many Big East and Atlantic Coast Conference schools also interested.
Mapp's good friend, Kenny Satterfield of New York's St. Ignatius Rice High, might be a more realistic target for Xavier. Satterfield has been primarily a shooting guard in high school and could play either shooting guard or point guard in college.
Satterfield said he's interested in Xavier, North Carolina State, Texas, Clemson, Cincinnati and several Big East schools. Xavier would consider switching Satterfield to point guard.
"I really like the style they play," Satterfield said of the Musketeers. "They play really hard, and they move the ball up and down the court."
There are just enough outstanding prospects at point guard for Xavier to grab an excellent one without having to beat out all the perennial powers. Mapp, Jason Williams of New Jersey, Tony Robertson of Providence, Jason Gardner of Indianapolis, and Kevin Gaines of Las Vegas will be among those who get the most attention. There are others, though, such as Chaungene Ward of Memphis or Janavor Weatherspoon of Camden, Del., who could fill Xavier's need.
SEASON IN STORIES