Despite not being the most highly rated player on the floor-- according to the recruiting services at leastEric Wallace was in our eyes certainly the most impressive player we saw in the game between Hargrave Military Academy and Winchendon.
In terms of pure athleticism, it wouldnt be a stretch to say that hes one of the top players here. Wallace has all the explosiveness youd like to see from a small forward, and best of all, he makes great use of it in every opportunity he has. On top of that, he has a great body that looks fairly ready for Big 10 competition almost right off the bat. He put it all together nicely today in a very a well rounded, super active effortplaying outstanding defense, coming up with a couple of very impressive rebounds out of his area, and finishing nicely around the basket when the opportunity presented itself. When asked to switch on the perimeter onto a smaller player off a pick and roll, he showed his excellent footwork and mentality by staying in front of his man fairly easily and forcing them into some difficult shots.
Offensively, Wallace did most of his damage in transition, coming off cuts and on the offensive glass, although he certainly wasnt a focal point in his teams offense. Hes an unselfish player who doesnt quite fit into the me against the world style of play we found here for the most part, and seemed to have no problem at all making excellent passes to open teammates. Hes generally an extremely smart player who shows a terrific demeanor on the floor.
In terms of weaknesses, Wallace still has a ways to go before he can be considered a fulltime wing at a big time program like Ohio State. His ball-handling is extremely poor, being too upright, dribbling the ball very high, and starting right down at it as he takes it down the floor. His jump-shot looks good, with solid form and especially nice arc, but it was anything but consistent today from mid-range or the free throw line.
All in all Wallace is anything but a finished product, but his physical tools combined with his intelligence and attitude leads you to believe that hell develop nicely under Thad Matta at Ohio State.