Sometimes when a player doesn't score more than 20 points or dish out more than 10 assists people who don't really know the game fail to recognize the impact a player can have without recording big numbers in those two areas. This is most especially true of the point guard position. A great point guard leads by example, makes those around him better, controls the tempo of the game, never takes a possession off and has the ability to knock down an open jumper. Most college coaches will tell you that finding a point guard who can do all those things is almost impossible to find. Especially in an environment where kids think that scoring points is the only way to help their team win.
With the success of VCU's Joey Rodriguez, USC's Jio Fontan, NC State's Javier Gonzales and Akron's Alex Abreu a lot of high major school are taking a close look at Montrose Christian Class of 2011 PG, Carmelo Betancourt. Puerto Rico has a long history of producing really good points guards and finally major colleges are recognizing that an undersized, high IQ point guard can be an asset.
Betancourt has been putting up numbers since he was a little kid in Puerto Rico. He recognized that in order for him to continue to get better and prove that he is a high major point guard he needed to go to a school that would test him and push him everyday. Betancourt selected powerhouse Montrose Christian recognizing that he would be sharing the ball with All American Tyrone Johnson who signed with Villanova. He understood that his stats would not be anywhere close to what they would be if he went to a different school or stayed in Puerto Rico but Betancourt wanted to compete against the best everyday and prepare himself for the next level. He knew that being battled tested and playing for a program like Montrose would benefit him in the long run. Betancourt wanted a challenge and at Montrose he knew he would have to fight for playing time but this experience would prepare him for the next level.
"I have so much respect for Melo as he is not the type of kid who is willing accept mediocrity. Melo could have stayed in PR and averaged 30 a game but he knew that he wasn't going to get any better playing in a league where he is the best player. He could have signed with several really good mid major programs. Melo wanted to keep his options open much like we did with Gary Browne and allow coaches to come in and see him workout after the season is over. Gary Browne will be making a verbal commitment to West Virginia next week. His season ended about a month ago and he benefitted from coaches seeing him workout so Melo will have a similar opportunity once his season ends to do the same", said Todd Washington, Founder of PR Playmakers and mentor to both Betancourt and Browne.
Betancourt and Montrose play today on ESPN2 at 3:30pm against New York City Public School Champs, Boys and Girls High School. This is the semifinals of the ESPN Rise, National High School Invitational. For those of you who have not seen him play you are in for a treat. Betancourt is the next undersized PG to rep Puerto Rico in a big way! The question is not if he is going to show up at the next level but where.