Say hello to Bill Edwards, Jr.
Edwards signed a letter of intent to continue his career at Penn State University. He announced his intention, this morning, May 5, at a ceremony in the high school media center. Edwards, a 6-foot-7 forward, also took official visits to Central Florida and Miami University before deciding on Penn State.
Edwards averaged 17.8 points per game this season, leading the Middies to a 19-3 record and top five state ranking. He shared player of the year honors in the Greater Miami Conference and was a first-team, All-Ohio selection.
FYI, Edwards' height is listed as anywhere between 6'4" and 6'7", depending on the source. He comes from a rather accomplished basketball family. Hid dad, Bill Sr., played at Wright State and spent a few of his son's early years playing in Europe:
Standing near the top of the key, Bill Jr. is an imposing presence. But he doesn't stay stationary. When he's not swishing 3s, he's driving into the lane, finishing with floaters, flipping two-handed, alley-oop passes to his teammates, firing bullet-passes on the money, and banging inside for stickbacks.
"People wonder the last couple years why we play him outside so much," Jemison said. "He's the best player we have at seeing the floor and seeing everybody. There's not many big guys who handle the ball as well as he does."
"I lived in France, Italy and Greece, and met all kinds of professional players like Peja Stojakovic (New Orleans Hornets) and Andrei Kirilenko (Utah Jazz). It was great growing up in a basketball background and being able to be around those guys."
Brian Snow of Rivals.com says, "He's real developed and very well-schooled. There's really nothing on the court he can't do. It's just that (scouts) want him to do it consistently, and he's finally doing it. He can shoot out to 3-point range, but is probably at his best going to the rim. He's very powerful and can really pass the ball. He's very smart. He knows to make the right pass and can handle the ball in space and under pressure. He can really just fill up a stat sheet."
ESPN's Scouts Inc. says, "July, 2008: Edwards had a great tournament (2008 Adidas Take Five), playing with consistent effort throughout the event. He demonstrated a willingness to help his team win and did whatever it took to be successful. This lefty has a nice set of skills beginning with his ballhandling. Edwards can take bigger, slower defenders off the dribble and get to the basket. He utilized his pull-up jumper in the lane as he attacked the basket. What really stood out is that he shot the ball well from the beyond the arc -- he also knocked down a few 3s in transition. If he sees a smaller defender on him, he will post him up and score. He is not afraid to go to the offensive glass and rebound. He also gets to the free-throw line for some of his points. Defensively, he has an understanding of help-side defense and will step in and take the charge. Edwards has great basketball genes; his dad Bill Edwards, Sr. was a great player at Wright State University. Edwards always needs to be aggressive on the court and play with intensity every possession. If he does that, he will reach his potential."