A floor general

Phil Pressey can sky

Wednesday marked the first day of the early signing period for the 2009 recruiting class. While Trent Johnson and his staff aren't finished pursuing 2009 prospects, they have been actively recruiting 2010 prospects for months and one of the top players on their wish list is Phil Pressey from Dallas, Texas.

At 5-10, 165 pounds, Pressey is currently the No. 3 rated point guard in the country for the 2010 class. He is heading into his junior season at Episcopal School of Dallas and is looking to improve on a sophomore campaign in which he averaged 15 points and 8 assists a game.


The Eagles played their first game of the 2008-09 schedule on Tuesday and they pulled out a 72-55 win over Bishop Lynch. Pressey said he scored 21 points and dished out 10 assists in the win and he hopes that was a sign of things to come for his team.


“I think we’ll win our league this season,” Pressey said. “We have some tournaments coming up against some of the bigger schools in our area, so it will be interesting to see how we do against them.”


Pressey also has some personal goals he is trying to accomplish this year.


“I want to improve my defense and lead the league in steals,” he said. “Right now I’m a good floor general and I make all my teammates happy. I’m more of a distributor, but I can score when I need to.


“Most of my points come from driving to the hole,” Pressey continued. “I very rarely settle for jump shots, and when I do it because I want to shoot it, not because the defense is making me. That’s another area I’d like to improve though, my mid range game and shooting off the dribble.”

Given his diminutive size and the way he describes himself as a player, some would say Pressey sounds like a younger version of Chris Paul. Well it just so happens that his dad Paul is a former NBA player and currently an assistant coach for the New Orleans Hornets, and Pressey has gotten to spend some time with the all-star point guard on more than one occasion.


With his basketball pedigree it’s no surprise that Pressey is considered one of the top juniors in America. It’s also not surprising that a player with his skills is being courted by several top schools from around the country.


“I hear a lot from schools like Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, Florida and Georgia. Connecticut too, they are the only school from up north I really like,” said the 5-star prospect. “I have offers from all the schools I’m interested in except Kansas and Oklahoma.”


It’s been a while since LSU has had a point guard of Pressey’s caliber, and it seems Trent Johnson is making an extra effort to end that dry spell.


“Coach Johnson tells me he would put the ball in my hands,” Pressey said. “He is looking for a good point guard in 2010, and if I were to come he would put the ball in my hands and I’d be able to play my freshman year. I’m looking for playing time, so that’s a positive for LSU.”


Johnson’s efforts thus far have gotten Pressey’s attention, as he seems to be forming a bond with the Tigers’ new headman.


“The only thing my dad really told me about recruiting so far is to make sure I have a connection with the head coach and I feel comfortable with him,” Pressey said. “I feel like I’ve started getting a little connection with coach Johnson just with talking to him on the phone. He’s a real laid back guy and easy to talk to.


“I like LSU a lot,” he continued. “I am supposed to go down there for a visit, but I’m not sure when. I’ll have to get a copy of the schedule to see what games I can go to.”


While he has not yet began to narrow down his college choices, Pressey already has a pretty good idea of the criteria he will be using to evaluate the schools he is considering.


“I’m looking for playing time right away,” he said. “I want to go somewhere that gets up and down the court. I like going off pick and rolls in the half-court, but transition is a big part of my game. I also like playing in big arenas, and I just want to see what the campus is like in general.”


Pressey hopes to be able to take visits to most of the schools he is considering in the near future as he plans to take several unofficial trips over the coming months.

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