Jacob Gilyard hails from a small private school in Kansas City, The Barstow School. I played the first varsity game ever for Barstow when they became co-educational. But, before you call me out on my home-school bias, I will readily admit that there is no similarity between the type of ball Barstow plays with Gilyard at the point and Barstow’s first hoops team.
Gilyard makes our ‘short list’ of favorite 2017 recruits.
As a small school, Barstow has taken on all comers, big and small, over the past four years with astounding success. Barstow is coached by former Kansas University great, shooting guard Billy Thomas, who played under Roy Williams and Bill Self at KU. Thomas played professionally for 13 years in both the NBA and overseas before landing at the high school five years ago. Thomas has developed some great talent at Barstow, a local power despite its small size. Jacob Gilyard has been the beneficiary of Thomas’ coaching pedigree, especially when it comes to playing point guard at a high level.
Gilyard is a true point guard and he guided Barstow to a state championship his sophomore year and again to the state finals last year. He is a fast decision maker and plays fast, DU head coach Rodney Billups’ preferred style. His numbers are good – and he makes everyone around him better. Former teammates are headed to the University of Nebraska and North Carolina – and they can thank Jacob Gilyard for the assist. He actually has many of the same skills possessed by Rodney Billups – court vision, decision making, quickness, relentless effort, and high character. He scores in double digits, can dish, and make everyone else on the floor better.
See for yourself:
Gilyard also plays for KC RUN GMC, one of the strongest and best-coached AAU teams in the land. Gilyard is used to playing against some of the best players in the country – and that is just practice! Other schools have noticed Gilyard’s skills such as Drake, Missouri State, UC-Davis, Buffalo, Southern Illinois, ORU, Montana State, LIU Brooklyn, Richmond, American, Portland, UMKC, and UAB. And of course, Denver!
For those who believe DU should be looking for front line help, your opinion makes great sense. But a talented 4-year point guard with these skills is nearly impossible to pass up if available. Especially with Billups’ up-tempo game plan.
As for ‘fit’ with the Denver Pioneers, one can only imagine what a backcourt would look like with Jacob Gilyard and Joe Rosga triggering the offense. That tandem would arguably be the best in the Summit League and rival many Power Five conference starters. Also, academically Jacob would likely be a perfect academic fit at the University of Denver and prosper with DU’s unique small class size. In Midwest terms, Denver is a relatively short trip from Kansas City and is the strongest private university in the central US – along with Northwestern. So, it would be logical that the University of Denver is squarely on Gilyard’s radar.
Silky smooth point guard Jacob Gilyard makes our 2017 prospect ‘short list’ with a strong assist from Billy Thomas and KC RUN GMC.