Vaux's Jordan shows why he's getting national attention as recruit

Rysheed Jordan, who will be a senior this fall at Vaux Roberts, is entertaining offers from several top college programs. photo from reebok breakout camp
Rysheed Jordan, who will be a senior this fall at Vaux Roberts, is entertaining offers from several top college programs. photo from reebok breakout camp
Posted: July 18, 2012

WITH HIS EYES locked on the rim, North Philly's Rysheed Jordan approached his defender with the ball in his right hand. Using an inside-out dribble, Jordan blew by him in an instant, his remarkable first step on full display.

He pulled up in front of an approaching shot blocker and launched a floater off the glass. Splash.

Jordan, a soon-to-be senior point guard at Vaux Roberts, was one of about 150 high school players to participate in the Reebok Breakout Camp at Philadelphia University last week. The camp is an invitational showcase featuring many of the best players in the country, therefore attracting a horde of the college coaching elite.

Last year, Jordan's performance at the Reebok camp raised his recruiting stock nationwide. The 6-4 Jordan is now ranked as the 16th best player in the country by Rivals.com and will be the best player in Philadelphia next year.

Sometimes one play can tell you a lot about a player. For Jordan, his floater displayed two of his best features — quickness and explosive athleticism.

The defender was consensus top-five recruit Andrew Harrison from Texas, and the play provided a small glimpse into why Jordan has amassed more than 15 scholarship offers from the nation's top college programs. His suitors include locals Temple, Villanova and La Salle, as well as such national powerhouses as Kansas, UCLA, Georgetown and Syracuse.

"I make a point to play better against this level of competition," Jordan said. "The key is to play harder, especially against people that are ranked higher than me, so we can decide it on the court."

At Vaux Roberts, Jordan does it all. He scores, he defends and, most important, he creates. He carries the label of a "combo guard," probably because of his height and ability to finish. But he says he is a true point guard at heart, something that is obvious when he is paired with other elite talent in summer play.

"That is the perfect description," recruiting analyst Allen Rubin said of Jordan's ability to stand out with great players around him. Rubin has scouted Philly-area players for Hoop Scoop for 20 years. "For his high school team, he has to do the bulk of the scoring. When he is around other great players, you see how good he can be."

"Better players understand the game," Jordan said. "I like scoring, but I am pass-first. I can try to work more as a distributor."

Harrison's team included his twin, Aaron, also a topflight recruit, which made their clash with Jordan's team the game of the day.

In addition to his athleticism and ideal size, Jordan's length makes him a stellar defender. Unfortunately, it was the sixth game in 2 days for the teams. While most of the players dragged, Jordan picked up Harrison at half court and played tenacious defense on every possession, despite a lopsided score.

"I just want to show my team that they got to work hard, no matter what, even if we're down big," he said.

The true key for Jordan's future will be the development of his jump shot. His current workout routine includes putting up at least 500 to 600 shots a day. For a player with his quickness, it is common for the outside shot to be the last piece of the puzzle. Why shoot when you can get to the rim at will?

Jordan says that he is whittling down his list of college destinations and hopes to decide in the fall. His list remains long, mainly because he is open to almost any system, given only one requirement.

"A coach that will put the ball in my hands," he said. "Local doesn't play a part in where I go, really. I'm up for anything. I don't need a big conference either, just a coach that will let me control the floor."

His favorite player is Dwyane Wade, whose game probably resembled Jordan's in high school. While that comparison is obviously premature, Jordan has the tools to become a stud.

"He could be the next great point guard out of Philadelphia," Rubin said. "He is in the same class as Kyle Lowry, Mustafa Shakur, Sean Singletary, Maalik Wayns, all of those guys."

Contact Alex Lee at leea@phillynews.com.

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