Last weekend, Pro Insight covered the Top Dog Camp and caught up with Desmond Claude of St. Thomas More School (CT) and Expressions Elite (MA). Claude was named MVP of the camp and scored at will during the 1-on-1 session and live games.
A 6’5 point guard, Claude has seen his stock soar this summer after playing well at the NEPSAC Showcase and being named the SENE Conference Player of the Year in 2020. He excels as a multi-level scorer and prides himself on being a versatile player who can contribute to winning in different ways.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Claude talked about his well-rounded game, the point guards he emulates, his current recruitment, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Desmond Claude, from Oakdale, Connecticut:
Pro Insight: How was your experience at the Top Dog Camp?
Desmond Claude: It was fun, it was a good level of competition. I just had to do what I do, you know, kill [laughs]. Everybody had fun playing but overall it was fun, I really enjoyed it.
PI: For those that haven’t seen you play, can you describe your strengths on the court?
DC: Well, I’m a point guard so I can facilitate really good. I can score. I do all the little things like rebound, all the extra stuff that normally point guards wouldn’t do. But since I’m a tall point guard, I try to do everything. I play solid defense and I help. I shoot the ball really good. That’s what I do best.
PI: What areas of your game are you working on to improve going forward?
DC: Pretty much everything, right now I feel like I need to work on everything. Being more consistent with shooting, little bit of finishing, making more accurate passes. Overall, I think I need to work on everything.
PI: Have you always played point guard?
DC: I didn’t always play the point. Some coaches that I played for didn’t want me at the point because I was able to score the ball good, so I was a 2. But when I worked out and when I watched game film, I worked out like a point guard. So, I think when it was my time to step up, I did a really good job. But I’ve been playing the point guard for a good amount of time now.
PI: Is there anyone in the college or pro game that you try to emulate?
DC: For the NBA, Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, Ja Morant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul. I pretty much watch all point guards that are really successful, but I try to watch tall point guards especially. Also Dejounte Murray with the Spurs. I try to watch a lot of point guards so I can mimic my game after them and do what they do to make it.
PI: What schools have been after you the most recently during your recruitment?
DC: It’s been a good amount of schools: Rutgers, Marquette, Xavier, a lot of Big East and Big Ten schools. There’s more still coming in, but I’m going to wait and be patient with that.
PI: When you do make that decision, what are you looking for in a school?
DC: Overall if it is a good fit. If they have players like me or have recruited players like me. Trust from the coach, if the coach says he’s going to do something then if he actually does it when I get there. Obviously I’m going to work hard, I’m not expecting anything to be given to me, but I just want a fair chance and a fair opportunity.
PI: With the way the landscape is changing, what do you think about the G-League or other professional paths?
DC: That has crossed my mind a little bit, but I’m mostly focused on going to college and getting my degree. I think it will help me develop into a pro. Physically I’ll have time to add to my game and I want to enjoy the experience at college.
PI: Outside of basketball, what would you want to do for a career?
DC: There’s many things. I like business like digital marketing. Everything is social media right now so I think if I do digital marketing, I could make good money doing that.