No this isn't another dig at the underbelly of AAU agents and handlers, something already spotlighted by Gary Williams and covered multiple times by the Washington Post, ESPN, etc.
This post is about the actual quality of players produced by the AAU system. After sitting through countless AAU games and local high school summer league games, it is more apparent than ever to me and those whose opinion I respect that the predominant style of play in AAU games (run-n-gun, open court, helter skelter, one-on-one moves, very little team play) has created a generation of kids who are skilled individual players but poor team players. Becase everyone thinks they are the next Michael, Kobe, Lebron, etc. they want to dominate the ball, and make a move every time they get the ball, and even though they can get away with it on AAU teams, once they return to their high school teams it doesn't work because their high school coaches realize that there is only one ball and it needs to be shared. Not to mention the fact that when the run-n-gun style of summer goes away and is replaced by the slower paced games of high school, possession becomes more important and the ragged play encouraged in AAU simply doesn't work as well in real league games against good completiton that is acutally trying on defense.
So my point is that AAU has helped kids' one-on-one skills, but hurt team play. And I would argue that even though the individual one-on-one skills of players has progressed to a higher level in todays game (thanks in large part to cross-overs and stop-and-go moves that were illegal back in the day, and really still are if refs actually called palming the basketball), the truth is that the game itself has suffered because of the one-on-one style of all the players.
Pass first point guards? Very rare. Everyone wants to drive to the basket, or shoot the 3, and if it works on their AAU team it only reinforces bad habits. My kid plays in the WCAC, so I watch some high level summer games. And I am simply sick of seeing me-first players forcing shots after penetrating into the lane. Show some respect for the posession of the basketball. Just because you get into the lane doesn't mean you need to force up a shot. Play as a team and share the baskeball.
Old School Basketball Guy