Vernon Hamilton: The Next Ed Scott?

by - Correspondent -
Photo courtesy of Clint Jackson.

CLEMSON -- The Clemson basketball team will suffer a significant personnel loss when senior Edward Scott graduates after this year. Of course, the Tigers will be a different team without the services of one of the top point guards in college basketball, but 2003 signee Vernon Hamilton(#86 HoopScoop 2003 ranking) from Benedictine High in Richmond, VA will look to make his mark.

With rising sophomore Shawan Robinson as the only other point guard on the team, Hamilton will get significant playing time as a true freshman. He like his predecessor Scott will enter college as a pure point guard with a questionable long range jump shot; however, he is an excellent passer, ballhandler, and defender on the perimeter.

"I've probably seen Hamilton more than any other recruiting analyst in the country because I live in Richmond,” said Clint Jackson of “He's gotten so much stronger in the past year and has an electric first step with the ball. His nickname is "Third Degree Vern" for his quick first step off the dribble. He will have no problem competing with the best pointmen in the ACC because of his quickness, strength and ability to pass.

If there's room for improvement in Vern's game -- it's his outside jump shot, but that's also gotten more consistent over the past year. I love the kids game and he's a terrific kid as well. Very articulate, energetic and intelligent. You can tell that he comes from a great family."

Hamilton has improved his scoring average from 15.3 points per game as a junior to a current average of 24 points as a senior, along with averages of 7.7 assists, 6.2 rebounds, and 3 steals per game.

Hamilton gets into the lane, sees the floor well, makes the pass or finishes the shot. After scoring 28 points and leading Benedictine to its first ever state title with a 74-71 victory over Blue Ridge, Hamilton was named tournament MVP. After the game, Hamilton reflects on his basketball skills, "My ballhandling, I pretty much have that down, and the capability of driving to the basket," he said. "Now it's up to my jump shot to make my game complete."

Hamilton also had interest from Utah, Depaul, N.C.State, Wake Forest, FSU, VCU, and West Virginia.

Hamilton's highlights:

12/06/02-scored 31pts in a 76-70 victory over Hermitage(Rebel Invitational), including 14 in the final period.

12/07/02-scored 20pts and was subsequently named MVP of the Rebel Invitational, in a 66-54 victory over Douglas Freeman.

12/12/02-scored 24pts in a 77-62 victory over top ranked George Wythe.

02/02/03-scored 25pts(21 in first half) in a two point lost to #6(USA Today)ranked Montrose Christian. Montrose is coached by the legendary Stu Vetter, Vetter coached former Clemson tigers Andrius Jurkunas, Mohammed Woni, and Tony Christie.

02/09/03-scored 33pts in a 64-62 lost to Roanoke Catholic, including 15 in the final period.

02/23/03-scored 23pts in a 81-70 victory over Roanoke Catholic, including 16 in the final period.

Hamilton Quick facts: This super athlete was a first team 2001 Times-Dispatch All-Metro wide receiver/defensive back, the #7 rated junior football player in the state of Virginia, and the #35 rated rising senior football player in Virginia by

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