Despite playing just two seasons with the Bulldogs, George made a lasting impression, inking his name into the school record books. A quality perimeter shooter, his ability to draw contact resulted in numerous trips to the foul line for the sophomore, where he was almost automatic. He made 90.9% of his free throws last season, setting a Fresno State record.
Professional scouts noticed, especially since he has shown the ability to play either shooting guard or small forward. That versatility should make him a valuable piece to an NBA team's rotation. In the history of the program, four Bulldogs have been selected in the first round, highlighted by a pair of first round draft picks in 2002 when Melvin Ely was selected 12th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Most recently, head coach Steve Cleveland's system cultivated the skills of Dominic McGuire into a consistent and critical contributor in the NBA. Fresno State takes pride in the fact that talent evaluators all agree - George will carry on the success that defines the storied tradition of Bulldog Basketball.
In addition to establishing a new school season-record for free throw percentage, his 80.3% success rate at the foul line during his career ranks fifth in Bulldogs annals. George also showed excellent range with his jump shot, as his three-point field goal percentage of .396 also placed fifth in Fresno State history.
Recruiters began to take notice of George's scoring ability during his junior year at Pete Knight High School. That season, he averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
During his senior season, he averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals per game.
George competed in CIF Championship game as team captain. He was named Golden League Most Valuable Player, Antelope Valley Press Player of the Year and was a member of the Daily News 2007-08 All-Area Boys' basketball team. He was also a participant in the Battle of the Valley All-Star Game.
George turned down scholarship offers from Georgetown, Penn State, San Diego State and Pepperdine to enroll at Fresno State in 2008-09. He quickly developed into a dynamic, game-changing long-range shooter who made an immediate impact as the core of the foundation for the Bulldogs. He ranked as one of the top 15 freshmen scorers in the NCAA, averaging 14.3 points per game, as he was one of only two Bulldogs to start all 34 games.
During his freshman campaign, he led the team with an average 6.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 47.0% percent from the field. He also recorded the third-best season three-point field goal percentage (63-141, 44.6%) in Bulldog history while also averaging 2.0 assists per game. His performance would earn him an invitation to the Under-19 USA Basketball Training Camp in June, 2009.
As a sophomore, George earned All-American third-team honors, in addition to receiving All-Western Conference recognition. He set the school season-record, making 90.9% of his free throws, the seventh-best percentage in WAC annals. He increased his rebound average to 7.2 boards per game, as he collected 487 points (16.8 ppg), shooting 42.4% from the field while making his three-pointers at a 35.3% clip.
On March 31, George informed the Fresno State coaching staff that he had applied for early entry to the 2010 NBA Draft, forgoing his final two seasons of college eligibility. "I just want to get started on workouts and get started with the whole process," he said. "It can only make me better. Hopefully, I can have good draft workouts and make it into the lottery (first 14 spots)."
Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland said he supports George's decision to test the waters.
Cleveland said all is really unknown at this point, "(but) clearly he's a young man who has the attention of NBA teams."
Positives: George has a lanky frame with minimal body fat (5%) Has a good wingspan for a two-guard type (6'11"), along with an adequate standing reach (8'11") Very athletic mover on the court, getting very good elevation to insure completing his shot over the outstretched arms of a defender Does a very good job of drawing contact on the way to the rim and is a deadly shooter from the foul line (set the school record by hitting on 90.9% of his tries last year) Also displays valid NBA-caliber long range skills (fifth in school history by making 39.5% of his three-pointers) Shows good form and a quick release point taking mid-range jumpers Mature for a young player, doing a nice job of using his lateral movement to stay in front of the shooter and is not the type who can be easily fooled by the opponent's hesitation moves or fakes Despite his wiry frame and marginal strength, he shows the body control and balance, along with a good concept for angling, to slip under bigger opponents for put-backs from the offensive glass and will not hesitate to crash the boards on the defensive end (led the team in rebounds both seasons at the school) Has a smooth gliding motion to the basket and has the quick first step needed to get separation off the dribble to make an uncontested shot Even with his lack of power, he shows tremendous explosiveness to the rim Best as a scorer in transition and when spotting up, doing a nice job of maintaining proper position down low One of the better small forwards when it comes to rebounding, using his reach and elevation to get up and over the opponent to grab the ball Generates a good drive to the basket, muscling his way through the crowd to pull up, set his feet and execute a nice lay-up Uses his hops well to finish the transition plays with a forceful jam Stays low in his stance and keeps his hands active in pressure defense, doing a very good job of altering shots or taking his man off the dribble Gets good position to force his opponent out of the passing lanes Has the ability to handle defensive rotations and shows the foot speed to stay with the smaller guards When facing off vs. the slower forwards, he uses an explosive first step to separate and slash to the basket Is all over the offensive boards in attempts to execute the put-backs or get the rebound With his elevation and glide to the basket, he is very effective at drawing contact Shows the foot speed to get in front on the fast break and is a viable scoring option to finish in transition or play in the open court.
Negatives: Has good court quickness and length to play small forward, but his obvious lack of strength (five reps at 185-pound bench) might cause him to struggle defending vs. more physical frontcourt types Has good court quickness, but needs to show a more consistent motor (seems to go through the motions when not involved in the play) Was more caught up in creating his own shot (not that good at it) rather than trying to feed the ball off to a teammate with a better opportunity last year (went from making 47% of his field goals and 44.7% of his three-pointers as a freshman to 42.4%/35.3% as a sophomore) Can draw contact to the rim, but seemed to be more enamored parking on the perimeter and taking three-point chances Needs to show better focus, as he will disappear for long stretches (see 12/6 San Diego, 12/28 Colorado State and 2/27 San Jose State games) Has to develop a better handle on the ball and struggles with his shot when pulling off the dribble Takes too many off-balanced shots and needs to show better ball distribution skills, especially if he is to earn minutes at the two-guard slot (fails to locate the open man and will simply keep the ball and drive into a crowd) Can put the ball on the floor for a few dribbles, but lacks precision when trying to pass the sphere (could be the reason he takes too many shots himself) Unless he bulks up and gets stronger, his frame might not be able to withstand punishing contact at the next level Showed a high release point and good quickness getting off his shot as a freshman, but as he became too focused on taking three-pointers last season, his release was very deliberate, allowing the defense to position in attempts to alter his shot Never really faced top level competition at Fresno State and seemed bored when having to play in lopsided contests (would like to see more consistent intensity from the player).
Compares To: TRACY McGRADY, New York -- Like McGrady (when healthy), George is a versatile player who has the quickness you look for in a shooting guard, trapped in a small forward's body. He does a good job of drawing contact and is an almost automatic when he gets to the charity stripe. He is not the greatest ball handler and will get into a rhythm where he falls in love with his perimeter shot and needs to improve his passing skills, as he is better served looking for a better scoring option than to take so many ill-advised shots himself.
--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas
All-American third-team and Sophomore All-American second-team selection by The NBA Draft Report Added second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors from the league's coaches Received an invitation to the Under-19 USA Basketball Training Camp and was named the west coast's West's Most Entertaining Player by Sports Illustrated One of two players to start all 29 games, leading the team in scoring with 487 points (16.8 ppg), as he made 42.4% of his field goals (154 of 363), including 35.3% from three-point range (59 of 167) Set the school season-record by hitting on 90.9% of his free throws (120 of 132) Missed the second half of the 1/21/10 Utah State game and the next four contests due to a right ankle sprain Collected 210 rebounds (7.2 rpg) with 88 assists (3.0 apg), 24 blocked shots (0.8 bpg) and his 64 steals (2.2 spg) rank eighth on the school season-record list Scored in double figures 25 times, reaching the 20-point mark in nine contests Registered four double-double performances and had at least 10 successful free throws in three contests, including 15 made vs. Nevada, one short of the FSU game-record.
Freshman All-American third-team pick by The NBA Draft Report Earned ESPN's Sportscenter's No. 1 "Play of the Day" for Nov. 18, 2009 with an emphatic one-handed slam dunk on the road at Saint Mary's College during ESPN's College Hoops Tip Off Special One of two Bulldogs to start all 34 games Ranked as one of the top 15 freshmen scorers in the NCAA, as he averaged 14.3 points (487 total), a team-high 6.2 rebounds (212), and a team-high 1.7 steals (34) per game while shooting 47.0% from the field Recorded the third-best season three-point field goal percentage (63-141, 44.6%) in Bulldog history Led the team with six double-doubles On the season, he led the WAC in minutes played (1,176), finished second in the league in three-point shooting (63-141, 44.7%), steals (59) and steals per game (1.74), third in minutes played per game (34.59), fifth in defensive rebounds (149) and three-pointers made (63), sixth in three-pointers made per game (1.85), seventh in rebounds (212), eighth in defensive rebounds per game (4.38), ninth in points scored (487) and scoring per game (14.3), and 10th in blocked shots (34) and blocks per game (1.00).
George started every game (63) that he played in at Fresno State, finishing fifth in school history in three-point field goal percentage (39.6) and free throw percentage (80.3) In 2009-10, George connected on 90.9% of his free throws, topping the previous school season-record of 88.6% by Wayne Kemp (1972-73) His 64 steals as a sophomore rank eighth on the Bulldog annual record chart His career-high 30 points vs. New Mexico State in 2010 was the most by a Bulldog in a game since Quinton Hosley tallied 35 vs. Nevada in 2006 His 15 free throws made vs. Nevada in 2010 was one short of tying Hosley's school game-record of 16 vs. Montana State in 2006.
Attended Pete Knight (Palmdale, Cal.) High School Averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game as a junior During his senior season, he averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals per game Competed in CIF Championship game as team captain Named Golden League Most Valuable Player, Antelope Valley Press Player of the Year, and was a member of the Daily News 2007-08 All-Area Boys' basketball team Also a participant in the Battle of the Valley All-Star Game.
General Studies major Son of Paulette and Paul George Has two older sisters - Teiosha, who played basketball at Pepperdine, and Portala, who played volleyball for Cal State-San Bernardino Participant and volunteer for "Read to Achieve" Born 5/02/90 Resides in Palmdale, Calif.
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