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Whitehead-Newton Package Deal a Valuable One

Isaiah Whitehead

Earlier this summer, two of the top players in the class of 2014 unleashed a plan on Twitter that insinuated they would be package deal.  Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, NY), ranked 35th by ESPN and Ja’Quan Newton (Philadelphia, PA), ranked 67th by ESPN are aware that they could make a huge impact on a program together. 

Whitehead is a 6’4” shooting guard that does it all.  He is a physical guard that is able to attack from anywhere on the floor and finish.  His speed and athleticism is unstoppable in transition, making him an extremely challenging match up for any opponent. 

Newton is a 6’2” point guard that is crafty with the ball and has the ability to blow past any defender.  He has an attacking mentality, making him a scoring threat and an superior facilitator.

Both Whitehead and Newton have said they enjoy playing with each other and feel that their games compliment each other.  They have the potential to be a dominant backcourt duo, but where will these two prospects end up?

Whitehead and Newton both have offers from Minnesota, Syracuse, Rutgers and Georgetown.  They plan on visiting Minnesota together in the near future to get a better feel of what the Golden Gophers have to offer. 

Syracuse has been persistent in their recruitment of Whitehead.  Syracuse plays an up-tempo offense that gives their guards a lot of freedom, something that caters to Whitehead’s strengths.  Whitehead would instantly become a major offensive contributor for head coach, Jim Boeheim. 

The Orangemen have also heavily pursued Newton, offering him the opportunity to play close to home.  Newton, who was also considering staying local and attending Villanova, is unlikely to pursue that option further due to the Wildcats recent commitment, point guard Phil Booth.

Newton has a scoring mentality and is always looking to attack, similar to Carter-Williams.  People have questioned Newton’s ability to be a lead guard because of his focus on scoring.  However, Carter-Williams constantly looked to attack, making him a focus of the defense and making it easier to find open teammates.

Aside from this list of schools, there is one school in particular that both recruits think would suit their games.; UCLA.  As new head coach, Steve Alford, debuts at UCLA this season, this would be quite the duo to build a program around. 

UCLA has struggled to find a true point guard to run the show for them and could benefit from having a floor general like Newton.  The Bruins have had players that can score, but have not consistently had somebody that can get those scorers the ball.  Newton’s basketball IQ and ability to read the defense to set up his teammates would be a great asset for the Bruins.

Newton’s speed and Whitehead’s ability to score in transition are a perfect fit for Alford’s up-tempo style of play.  He emphasizes attacking to score or draw the defense and kick to open shooters, also something that this pair of recruits would execute with perfection.   

Only time will tell if Whitehead and Newton will follow through with their package deal idea.  If the pair decides to play together, they will be one of the most dominant tandems in the league.