CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Becoming the unquestioned go-to scoring option and leader of George Washington's boys basketball team has left senior guard Luke Eddy to walk a razor-thin line.
When to shoot, when not to shoot. When to take the ball to the rim, when to shoot open jumpers. When to take the game into his own hands and when to distribute and get teammates involved.
These are dilemmas that face Eddy nearly every time he brings the ball over halfcourt, but so far he's walked the tightrope beautifully while leading the ever-improving Patriots through a successful first half of the season.
Eddy leads the Mountain State Athletic Conference in scoring (26.6 points per game) and has George Washington off to an 8-3 start, a mark that's borderline overachieving considering how much the Patriots lost to graduation and injuries from last season.
Indeed, he hasn't faltered while walking this on-court balance beam, and GW and coach Rick Greene are reaping the benefits.
"I think it's probably a little bit of a struggle," Greene said. "It'd be easy for him to think, 'I feel better with me going to do this,' but he really doesn't do that. If we hit a spot where we're struggling, he might go to the rim, but from day one until now, that's probably been one of his biggest improvements on the year. He's not forcing it; he's letting the game come to him.
"He doesn't panic, he plays for 32 minutes and realizes that he's going to get his looks and get to the line."
Eddy prefers to look at it from a simpler point of view.
"Basically every time I have the ball in my hands, I try to create something," Eddy said. "Whether it's a shot for me or a shot for someone else, it doesn't matter. If [a teammate] has a better look than me, I have no problem getting them the ball. I'm going to be playing point guard on the next level and that's my job."
The next level will come at Elon University in Greensboro, N.C., a place where Green fully expects Eddy to thrive.
"I think he's going to be fine," Greene said. "He's very intelligent - it's literally like having another coach on the floor. I think he'll be fine. He's long and he's stronger than people give him credit for. I think he's going to make a quick adjustment to that level - he's got all the qualities."
GW came within a point of claiming its second straight state championship last year with Eddy playing a huge role, but then there were other options like Dustin Crouser (injury), Tino diTrapano (graduation), Darian Williams (graduation) and Thomas Francke (graduation) to help shoulder the load.
It's not that the Patriots aren't talented this year, but most of the other players on GW's roster, outside of fellow senior Austin Breeden, hadn't logged significant varsity time before this season and are still settling into roles within Greene's system. Breeden, in fact, was the top returning scorer aside from Eddy with a mere 55 points all season.