Point guard isn’t simply a position on the basketball court.
To Julian Jacobs, playing the “one” spot represents an art form and a fraternity that must be protected.
“I’m very unselfish. My teammates like playing with me, and what defines me is that I always compete,” Jacobs said. “I do whatever it takes to win. If I have a bad game but we win, I’ll take the win.”
Jacobs wields a killer crossover and a knack for finding the open man, but it might not compare to the find a college coach could have on the recruiting trail.
Jacobs, who plans to play his junior season next year at Desert Pines after transferring from Eldorado, said he has scholarship offers from Santa Clara, Saint Mary’s and Utah.
UNLV, Arizona, Notre Dame, San Francisco, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia Tech have shown interest in Jacobs.
With a growing 6-foot-2-inch frame, a 3.4 cumulative grade-point average and a genuine team mindset, Jacobs is emerging as a must-see prospect.
“He’s a guy who everyone wants to play with,” said Michael Uzan, who coached Jacobs at Eldorado last season. “You know if you do what you’re supposed to on the court, he’s going to get you the ball. He’s a team guy and it shows. He’ll share a candy bar with you and split it five ways.”
Jacobs showed off his floor vision and passing during an 8 a.m. game Saturday, dishing out six assists to help his Las Vegas Prospects 16s team rally for a 73-69 win over D.C. Assault (Md.) in the adidas Super 64 tournament at Centennial.
Jacobs had only five points on 2-for-5 shooting, but he’s a kid who might consider “volume shooter” two dirty words. Instead, he’s meticulously honing his jump shot in practice for college.
“At the next level, I’ve got to be able to knock that down because it’s not as easy to get in the lane,” he said. “I’ve got to be a pretty good jump shooter and knock the open shot down.”
The Prospects program sending local guards to the Division I level has become as routine as parents yelling at summer referees.
Current college players who came through the program include Mojave’s Anthony Marshall (UNLV), Bishop Gorman’s Johnathan Loyd (Oregon) and Canyon Springs’ Michael Thompson (Boise State).
“Those are a lot of my favorite players, and I’m trying to keep the tradition going,” Jacobs said. “I look up to those players, and I’m just trying to keep the Prospects up there as far as guards.”
As a sophomore, Jacobs averaged 9.6 points and a team-high 4.2 assists on his way to second-team All-Northeast League honors. He was a key cog in a team that went 23-8 and saw its season end with a one-point loss to Sierra Vista in the Class 4A state play-in game.
While some players jack up bad shots in summer events to try to run up their scoring totals, Jacobs knows more eyes will be on his team the deeper it advances in the tournament. And that starts with him at the controls.
“We’re trying to get a lot of looks by winning,” Jacobs said. “That’s going to help us. We want to show that we can compete with the best and that we’re one of the elite teams here.”
It’s a philosophy that doesn’t surprise Uzan, who said Jacobs’ recruiting stock could be on the verge of soaring.
“He asks a lot of questions about the game, inquisitive questions,” Uzan said. “His IQ for the game is there. He’s just an outstanding kid.”