I’ve been a student of the game since forever. Throughout my playing days, I was allocated to the point guard position because of my skill set (ball handling), size, and my approach to the game. I always wanted to win and my coaches always wanted to win so I’d say we were always on the same page.
I was respected as a floor general because I would always go above and beyond for victory and if there was a situation where I needed to sacrifice or harness my game, I had no problem doing it because I would do whatever it takes to win!
I think Virginia has a similar player now with London Perrantes and you’re seeing some of that with Justin Anderson’s injury. I had the pleasure of playing against London during the past couple of summers and also working out with him. Since day one when he stepped foot on Grounds, I knew he was going to be a special player!
I always tell the kids I train or mentor that “you do not have to be the biggest, strongest, fastest, or most athletic to be effective.” If you have a rhythm and pace that the defender can’t get a beat on, then you can go anywhere on the floor you want with the ball. I learned this from Steve Nash. He is the slowest man I’ve ever matched up with next to Greg Paulus – ha ha! But Steve had exceptional core strength and was extremely heady as a player. He’d make you go wherever he wanted you to go and there was nothing you could do about it. He’d also get to any spot on the floor whenever he felt like it.
I feel as though London has some of those same qualities like Steve Nash. He plays with exceptional pace and his vision is something to be desired. I remember his first year while playing pick-up games, I’d pick him up full court and harass him every play. This has always been one of my strong qualities. London was never bothered and he got to where he wanted on the floor. I couldn’t get one steal or disrupt his offense. I knew then this kid was special.
London, like I said, is blessed! I’m sure he watches a ton of basketball so he’s a student of the game. He picks his spots very wisely and very seldom does he force the issue. His demeanor, I believe, is his most valuable attribute. No matter if his squad is up 10 or down 10, you’d never know which with his cool body language. This is extremely important as a floor general. You never want your troops rattled and often as a leader, the players you’re leading tend to take on the personality of the leader.
The area he needs to work on the most is on-ball defense. You can’t have it all, right? Ha ha! London is a very bright kid, though. I see gradual improvements to his on-ball defense. He gives the ball handler space if he’s quick and he closes the gap on slower guards too. There is no replacement for foot speed when it comes to defense, but just like he’s a crafty offensive threat, I think with time he will learn to be a crafty defender too.
No matter how you look at it, though, London Perrantes is one of the best floor generals in America. He’s definitely an extension of the coaching staff on the floor and a sure fire leader. He understands time and score and plays with beautiful rhythm.
London has been the straw that stirs the drink for the Hoos for the past two years. The average couch potato fan cannot appreciate how valuable he is to the team! He brings a ton of intangibles and often times his contributions do not show up on the stat sheet and are not visible to the untrained eye.
The key to success at the college level is to have a dominant backcourt. Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes, in my opinion, make up the toughest traditional back court in America.
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