One of the best and arguably most complete shooting guards in the country, regardless of class, is ESPN 100 SG Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Scarborough, Ontario/Huntington Prep), who is No. 23 overall in the rankings.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Rathan-Mayes is a shooting guard in every sense of the word. In my opinion, he is a triple-threat scorer, which is the best kind of bucket-getter. He can score in transition by getting to the rim, where he finishes through contact. He can also stop and pop or spot up along the arc. In the half-court set, he can knock down 3-pointers by spacing on the side of dribble penetration and come off screens or from ball reversal.
Most importantly, his midrange game is smooth and efficient. Jumpers inside the arc off the catch or dribble going right or left are no problem for him. He also makes floaters with touch and body control.
Rathan-Mayes has trimmed his list to three schools: Florida State, Illinois and Connecticut. Let's examine what it would mean for each school to land this elite scoring machine.
Florida State, where Rathan-Mayes has already visited unofficially: Rathan-Mayes would provide veteran coach Leonard Hamilton with a wing scorer who would excel in the Seminoles' transition game and be a go-to shooter off screens. He would represent a great option within set plays, and Hamilton would give Rathan-Mayes chances to seize opportunities to go make scoring plays when he has a matchup in his favor.
Recruiting advantage: It is important to remember that Rathan-Mayes' father, Tharon Mayes, played for the Seminoles and went on to the NBA in stints with the Sixers and Clippers, along with a playing career in Europe.
Illinois, where Rathan-Mayes will be on campus this weekend for an official visit: He would give first-year head coach John Groce his highest-ranked recruit to date to go along with two other ESPN 100 performers in combination guard Kendrick Nunn (Chicago/Simeon) and wing Malcolm Hill (Belleville, Ill./Belleville East). Add Rathan-Mayes to this perimeter and the Fighting Illini will have the fire power to put up big numbers in Groce's spread ball screen attack, and he will let these thoroughbred horses run on the break.
Recruiting advantage: Reportedly Rathan-Mayes' family has been very receptive to Illinois.
Connecticut, where Rathan-Mayes is scheduled for his final official next weekend: He could be that marquee recruit who gives new head coach Kevin Ollie his first big-time commit to reassure Huskies fans that high-level recruits will continue to come to Storrs even through legendary coach Jim Calhoun has retired.
Recruiting advantage: Rathan-Mayes' father lives in nearby New Haven, Conn.
Rathan-Mayes has said he will announce his decision Oct. 13, and it will be very interesting to see how the recruitment plays out. One thing is for sure, though. Fans of the Seminoles, Fighting Illini or Huskies will have fun watching a shooting guard who can flat-out change the scoreboard in a hurry and in a variety of ways.