Vaught’s note: This is a story I wrote months ago after talking to ESPN basketball recruiting director Paul Biancardi at the McDonald’s All-American game about future Wildcat Tyler Herro — who was not picked to play in that game. I’m not quite sure everyone — including me — knew just how insightful and accurate Biancardi was then about the UK freshman guard who was outstanding in four games in the Bahamas. That’s why I thought I would post this story again — unchanged from its original format — with Biancardi’s thoughts from April.
By LARRY VAUGHT
At the McDonald’s All-American Game in March, ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi told me Kentucky fans were going to be surprised by Wisconsin guard Tyler Herro.
He was not picked to play in that game, but Biancardi felt he should have been and the early practice reports from Kentucky have noted how well Herro has played.
“He is a three-level scorer but maybe the best in this recruiting class in terms of a pull-up and midrange game,” Biancardi said. “Inside the arc and outside the paint he is as strong as anybody in this class scoring-wise.
“He is not blessed as the greatest athlete on the roster. Vertically he is okay. He just has to be more positionally smart about things and understand gaps between him and the ball. But he will have great shot blockers behind him in Nick (Richards) and E.J. (Montgomery) that can protect mistakes he might make.
“Defense is as much mindset and knowledge as athleticism. Anybody can be a good defender if they have the physical measurable and the mindset to play defense. He has both to go along with great shooting ability. I think he’s really going to surprise a lot of folks, including some Kentucky fans.”