When he was younger and smaller, Charlie Duysen would maneuver around his basketball opponents. Now at 6-foot-4, the Marin Catholic High and Lakeshow talent has added an inside power game to his offensive repertoire. Call the leading scorer -- 21.8 points per game -- in the Marin County Athletic League Mr. Inside/Outside.
"I played point guard as I was growing up but I grew a couple of inches in high school," Duysen recalled. So I had the ballhandling skills and then I became taller and lengthier than most guards and that allowed me to be stronger inside." This season, he is shooting 55% overall, 42% from beyond the three-point line, alongside 95 rebounds, 73 assists and 40 steals in 16 games.
Marin Catholic Mike Saia echoes his player's assessment.
"Charlie thinks and plays with the skill of a point. He's a smart basketball player who does a lot of things very well, if not spectacular."
Such versatility poses a dilemma for coaches opposing Saia as they need to decide "who to guard him with."
Plus, the junior is also someone who "can rebound and go" according to Saia so an outlet pass isn't required for the Wildcats to get the ball down the floor.
Lakeshow Coach Joe Fuca has this assessment: "Charlie is a interesting player. He reminds of Larry Bird: tall and can do everything. He is a winner on and off the court and likes to have the ball in the clutch. He can shoot the three and score near the basket and plays at his own pace offensively and doesn't let the defense dictate what he does. Charlie is also athletic and will be heavily recruited this spring by the Ivy League, the Big West and the West Coast Conference."
One of the Marin Catholic team captains -- the sole underclassman -- Duysen accepts the role and the resulting responsibility as he puts it of "an outspoken leader and go-to player."
Duysen calls "my current coach, Mike Saia, my biggest basketball influence. because he's smart and respected." In place at the Kentfield school since the summer of 2010, Saia's basketball pedigree includes time as a college referee.
Duysen's further adaptability is demonstrated when the puts on the Lakeshow uniform: "I'm a rebounder and spotup shooter, doing whatever is best for the team."
The Wildcats stand 9-7 overall, 4-1 in the Marin County Athletic League. As Duysen noted, "we played a tough pre-season schedule with St. Joseph Notre Dame, Moreau Catholic and St. Ignatius" among the opponents Marin Catholic faced. Crespi out of southern California is another.
Asked to recall his best basketball moment, Duysen offered "probably last year when I was a sophomore on varsity and we won the league championship. Our crosstown rival Drake beat us twice during the season but we beat them for the championship." That score was 60-48 as the Wildcats finished 25-9 overall, 10-4 in league.
Academics are no concern as "I'm taking some AP courses and my parents have always pushed me to do my best in school," Duysen said.
Smart, skilled and a leader, it sounds like whoever lands Duysen will be getting a veritable coach on the floor.