Daeshun Ruffin isn’t the type of player that can ignite the intimidation factor in defenders in pregame shoot around.
He’s just 5-foot-10 and he’s not doing “Zion Williamson” windmills in the layup line, but, by the end of most games, Ruffin is also the type player responsible for snatching opposing players’ confidence.
“I’m used to people sleeping on me,” said Ruffin, an Auburn commit. “That doesn’t even bother me anymore; it just makes me play with an edge and that helps me on the court.”
Ruffin is clear that opinions regarding who the top point guard in the country are subjective, but if a ranking system for the size of the proverbial chip one’s shoulder ever manifested, he’s confident that he’d hold down the top spot.
RELATED: Cade Cunningham releases top 10
“I think when you’re a smaller guard you have to have that chip,” said Ruffin, a rising junior. “Coming in to this EYBL season my goal was to get the most exposure possible. I didn’t just want to prove that I could play with the best players, I wanted to prove that I was one of them.”
Now that the Nike EYBL regular season has concluded, Ruffin has accomplished both goals, sitting at No. 2 overall in scoring in the Nike EYBL, averaging 25.8 points a game to go along with 5.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals for MEBO Team Hood (Mississippi).
Ruffin had the most talked about performance of the Nike EYBL season during the last session in Dallas when he dropped 51 points in a loss to Renaissance (New York).
“Daeshun is one of the most dynamic players in the country regardless of class,” said Portland Trailblazers shooting guard Rodney Hood, who sponsors MEBO Team Hood. “He has proven to be one of the elite guards and should easily be in the Top 10 on everyone’s list.”
He’s been a consistent tear for the last year.
Last season at Callaway High School (Jackson, Mississippi), Ruffin averaged 26 points, 4.6 rebounds and three assists a game.
“I feel like I’m the best point guard in the country,” Ruffin said. “I’m not being cocky, I just have to feel like that. That mindset is why I’ve been able to produce. I know it’ll take time, but my goal is for that to be something everyone agrees on.”
To that end, Ruffin doesn’t like to get locked in to labels.
“I can score, but I can do a lot more than that,” Ruffin said. “I’m the player that will do whatever it takes to win. Whatever the team needs, I’m gonna be the guy to get it done.”
His blue-collar work ethic starts at the gym where Ruffin said he doesn’t work hard, “I work to exhaustion.”
“Just working hard isn’t gonna get it done,” Ruffin said. “Most players work hard, so I can’t be like most players. I go hard; like really hard. I can see that it’s all paying off.”
That much has been evident all spring; good luck finding a player who can honestly say they were able to even stay in front of Ruffin let alone impede his progress on the offensive end.
“I just want to be known as one of the best players,” Ruffin said. “I’ve had a strong start to the summer, but I don’t have everyone’s attention yet. That just means I have more work to do and that’s how I want it.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY