#8 RANKED PLAYER IN THE COUNTRY (CLASS OF 2017)
STAR RANKING: 5 STARS
WEIGHT: 230 POUNDS
POSITION: POWER FORWARD
HIGH SCHOOL: OAK HILL ACADEMY IN VIRGINIA
CHOSE KANSAS OVER: INDIANA, SYRACUSE, USC AMONG MANY OTHERS
PLAYER SUMMARY: Bill Self has done as good a job as any coach in college basketball recruiting the last few years. The Kansas head coach has brought in multiple 5-star players. He has reeled in another top recruit for next season.
Billy Preston plays at perennial national power Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. The Los Angeles, CA native made the switch to Oak Hill to play under head coach Steve Smith, who is among the best high school coaches of all-time. Preston offers a very unique skill-set in his 6’10”, 230-pound body.
We recently saw Preston match-up against #2 overall prospect Michael Porter Jr. in a nationally televised game. Preston has 15 points in the first half and showed off his talents on the big stage. While evaluating the PF’s overall game, we see why he is so highly touted.
When he is on, there are only a handful of players in the class of 2017 that can match the versatility that he shows. He handles the ball very well for a big-man. He shows the rare ability to grab a defensive rebound and be a 1 man fast break. He is also a well above-average passer for a high school player his size. His passing and ball-handling really impressed us and will be big assets for him once he lands in Lawrence next fall.
The future Jayhawk has an excellent mid-range game. As we have mentioned in previous player profiles, the mid-range game is becoming a lost art. It is nice to see a player with his size have that shot in his offensive repertoire.
Preston is a very good overall athlete. He is very bouncy. He shows an excellent first step, which allows him to get to the rim in only a few strides. In our opinion, he has the perfect body and game to become a “stretch-4” in college and perhaps the NBA. He shows range out to the college 3-point line as we have seen him make it numerous times. However, he isn’t a consistent 3-point shooter at this stage.
For being 6’10, the 2017 McDonald’s All-American doesn’t have much of a low-post game. He is more of a perimeter player at this stage. We would like to see him develop at least 1-2 offensive moves down on the block. The talent and ability is there for him to do so. We believe Bill Self will make this a priority once he gets Preston on campus.
A knock on Preston is that he doesn’t always play hard. His high school team has numerous division 1 prospects on its team. Is this a reason why? What we do know is if you don’t play hard 100% of the time at Kansas, you don’t play.
In our opinion, the PF can and should be a better rebounder. He has had games this season where he only had 2 rebounds. For such an elite talent, that shouldn’t be the case.
Billy Preston has the skills and size needed to be a very good player for Kansas. He does things on the court that are rare for 6’10” players. There are also aspects of his game that need to be refined through hard-work. We do know that Bill Self and his coaching staff will do everything that is needed to make Preston fulfill his promise.
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF BILLY PRESTON
What type of impact do you think Preston will have at Kansas?
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