Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Kenny Anderson shares a last name and a position with Kyle Anderson.
Like Kenny, Kyle is a highly recruited point guard out of the New York/New Jersey area.
But that’s about where the comparisons end.
The No. 2 pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, Kenny stands 6 feet tall.
The No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2012, Kyle is 6-8 and growing.
Kenny was a prototypical New York City point guard: quick, tough, fearless, able to break down defenders off the dribble.
Kyle is something altogether different. He has been knocked as “slow-footed” and is better known for setting up teammates with a terrific pass or making the smart slow-motion play than for ankle-breaking crossovers or drive-by dunks.
Still, Kenny believes Kyle has what it takes to follow him into the NBA.
“Yes, yes, I really believe so,” Kenny told SNY.tv exclusively after Kyle was named co-MVP of the Frankie Williams Charity Classic Thursday night at the Theodore D. Young Community Center. “He’s that talented.”
In terms of playing style only, Kenny said Kyle reminds him of troubled former New York playground legend Lloyd Daniels, who stood 6-7.
In a game that featured a slew of future Division 1 players, Kyle stood out by notching 20 points to lead the White team to a 106-105 victory.
Like all great point guards, he seems to see the game develop before many of his opponents and teammates do.
While he sometimes appears to be moving in slow-motion, he is also able to measure the precise angle needed for a cut or a pass.
“I don’t think the game really requires much speed,” Kyle said. “I just work on being able to know how to play the game. I think I have more of a thinking game.”
Kenny believes once Kyle gets to college, he can work on improving his foot speed.
“I think he’s going to learn,” Kenny said. “He played with [St. Anthony] Coach [Bob] Hurley, so I think next year’s a big year for improving. Physically, he’s great. He’s big, he can see the floor, he can pass, he’s a very smart player.
“But he has to get quicker and I guess he will. He has to get in better shape.”
Darryl Walker, who played at Power Memorial and then at Loyola Maryland, said Kyle should get faster and stronger as he grows older.
“As he sheds that baby weight and his body matures and he becomes stronger, he’ll naturally become faster,” Walker said.
“People are hung up on quick/slow, quick/slow,” he added. “Mark Jackson was not the fastest guy in the world. He played 17 years and he had a great career. Play your speed and use your brains and play angles, and you’ll have a lot of success.”
While some schools are recruiting Kyle as a point guard, and others as a point forward, Kenny says coaches shouldn’t get caught up in numbers and positions when evaluating Kyle.
He’s a basketball player. And a good one.
“Forget that one stuff,” Kenny said. “I think he can play it from time to time. Maybe some three, but play one from time to time.”
Kyle is not overly focused on colleges right now, but has listed Seton Hall, St. John’s, Arizona, UCLA, Xavier, Georgetown and Florida among those on his mind.
He took an unofficial to UCLA on Monday with his mother while in Los Angeles for the Nike EYBL stop.
“It went well,” he said. “I saw the campus and everything. I liked it.”
Kyle has consistently said that Seton Hall is doing the best job recruiting him because they “keep the phone calls short.”
Asked if a possible commitment by Arizona transfer Lamont “Momo” Jones to Seton Hall would impact his decision since both play the same position, Kyle said it would not.
“That would be a good plus,” he said. “Momo’s a good player with NCAA Tournament experience.”
As first reported here earlier, Jones is also considering Iona, Hofstra, UMass, Pittsburgh, South Florida and Marquette.
Still, Anderson has indicated that he would like the school he chooses to have available playing time at the point guard position.
Asked if that was a key factor, he said, “Yes.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.