The shooting guard position is the spot that teams count on for scoring and to take over when the squad needs to make a run. So much skill and practice goes into becoming a player that teammates and coaches can count on to score points.
Besides the physical tools, confidence may be as vital as any skill for a great shooting guard. Does he have the makeup to take and make game-winning shots? Does he possess the self-confidence to shoot another open shot after missing consecutive attempts? Will he make the big free throw to close out a game?
Below are five keys that are vital to being an elite shooting guard, with a look at which prospects from the Class of 2014 best demonstrate each of those traits.
1. Create their own shot
Why it’s important: The ability to create a shot in transition, half-court sets or on a broken play separates the elite shooting guards from their peers. The best 2-guards are ideally players who can score in as many ways as possible from all three locations on the floor: behind the 3-point arc, the midrange area and in the paint. Producing points from the foul line is also a significant part of the total package. Every great team needs a player with the gift to create scoring opportunities for himself or others at any point during the game.
Who does it best:
Rashad Vaughn: Vaughn has a natural knack for putting the ball in the basket, and he does so with a high skill level, confidence and a soft touch. He can change gears in a moment’s notice, get his shot off in traffic and make difficult shots as he produces points on the move, off the bounce or from a stationary position. As his volume of shots lessens and his shooting percentage increases, he will stand out even more. With his combination of deep range on his jumper and creative pull-ups, drives and finishes, Vaughn is one of the most lethal scorers in the nation. And when he does have a passing opportunity, he can see it and make the pass.