Franz Beard’s Basketball Confidential

Kenny Boynton let his game do all the talking this week. Since April, one recruiting service or another has touted guards like John Wall (6-3, 180, Raleigh, NC Word of God Academy, #7 ESPN Top 100) or Abdul Gaddy (6-3, 170, Tacoma, WA Bellarmine Prep, #14 ESPN Top 100) or Dominic Cheek (6-5, 175, Jersey City, NJ St. Antony’s, #5 ESPN Top 100) or Leslie McDonald (6-5, 200, Memphis, TN Briarcrest Christian, #8 ESPN Top 100). Those are all very good players, no doubt about it, but what Boynton did at Reebok U this week clearly established him as the true top gun among guards.

It hasn’t been just one facet of Boynton’s game that has stood out this week. It is the fact that he has such a handle on every single aspect that might have very well established him as the top player in the country no matter the position. Boynton can score points by the bucketloads, either from the outside where he’s lethal, or as he proved Tuesday night with a game-winning dunk with 1.1 seconds to go. He’s also proven that he can find the open teammate, handle the ball against pressure and make smart decisions. If there is one area of Boynton’s game that has been overlooked it is his defense and he stepped it up there at Reebok.

Boynton (6-2, 180, Plantation, FL American Heritage, #3 ESPN Top 100) is proving wrong the skeptics who have said he can’t survive unless he’s taking all the shots. There is no question that he can fit into a team framework and thrive. He’s got that ability to make every one of his teammates better when he takes the court.

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.