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David Edole

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  2017     Previous season  

TRANSFORMED FARRINGTON ADJUSTS TO POINT GUARD ROLE AT DME - Dec 26, 2018


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DAVID EDOLE
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Malcolm
Farrington
By Zach Smart

During Malcolm Farrington (195-G-99)'s first ever performance on a prestigious stage, one featuring a glut of highly lauded national recruits, it was the then-unknown junior who authored arguably the most significant impact.

This was back in Nov. of 2016, a much-anticipated SIAA Veteran's Day opener between Farrington's then-Conrad Academy team of Orlando and Elijah Weaver-led Oldsmar Christian.

With his deft and consistent outside touch, the unheralded Farrington had darted his way to a starting lineup containing freakishly athletic, drive-first 6-foot-4 guard Luguentz Dort (now at Arizona State and a projected 2019 NBA first round pick), 6-foot-10 interior cog Austin Wiley (Auburn/2019 NBA draft prospect), and 5-foot-11 guard David Sloan (currently one of the top JUCO guards in the country at John A. Logan).

Then a 6-foot-4 off guard, Farrington utilized a spaced out floor and spotted up for a game-best 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. Farrington's 18 points and timely treys proved to be the monumental factor, catapulting Conrad to a 70-62 victory at The Rock School in Gainesville.

Farrington's poise as a knockdown man was imperative in Conrad's ability to regroup, as they nearly squandered a 16-point halftime lead.

At the start of the season, most projected Farrington to find his niche as a supplementary piece, an additional scoring leg who could provide that necessary spark while guys like Dort and Sloan provided a bulk of the heavy lifting, utilizing an advanced offensive arsenal.

Farrington's presence, however, wasn't just steadying the ship as much as it was upgrading the boat. He piled up several other scalding shooting performances, including a 6-for-7 first half onslaught during Conrad's loss to a Wesleyan Christian (N.C.) team featuring Jaylen Hoard (now at Wake Forest averaging 15.6 PPG and 7.4 boards) and Aaron Wiggins (now at Maryland).

Farrington's rapid evolution as a tactical scorer and the team's best outside shooter shifted expectations for his niche accordingly. He netted four first half 3-pointers and scored 22 points against Tennessee Prep Academy during an Orlando Grind Session evident, his scoring engine prevalent throughout.

No longer the unlikely source out of the aforementioned highly-touted core, Farrington scored 20 points on the strength of six 3-pointers en route to a 74-70 win over SIAA foe Potter's House. His knack for hitting timely shots and providing a calming influence off the ball created a unique balance in a guard-heavy lineup.

Fast forward to December of 2018.

DME Academy's Farrington is no longer playing second fiddle to anyone. Having developed a bullish frame and an instinctive style on both sides of the ball, the Arkansas State-commit is averaging 22.6 points per game on the competitive Grind Session circuit and a team-best 19.6 PPG under head coach Dan Mondragon.

In the past two years, very few players in Florida have undergone a similar seismic transformation as Farrington.

Farrington has developed a college-ready body throughout this time period, packing on the muscle necessary for driving into the teeth of defenses and willfully absorbing the inevitable punishment from 7-foot rim protectors.

Shedding any pigeonholed label of 'shooter,' Farrington has toted a smoother and more proficient game with his newfound capabilities attacking the basket in ambidextrous fashion.

Following an eruption-like summer of 2018 in, one in which his 3-point shooting onslaughts ramped up his Division-I profile while he notably improved with defensive hounding, Farrington forged a tight bond with Arkansas State head coach Mike Balado, assistant coach Mike Scutero, and the entire staff.

Farrington solidified his commitment to Arkansas State in the fall, sold on his vision and the trust established between himself and the coaching staff. There were no cheesy one-liners. There was no agonizingly redundant, used car salesman-esque tactics. This coaching staff was straightforward and didn't embellish an iota of the plan in place for Farrington.

'For one, they were the first school to start recruiting me when nobody else was,' said Farrington of his decision.

'So there is loyalty in that. The coaching staff showed me love, they showed me how I would fit in their system. They gave me their vision on how I would improve over time. There's a nice school, a nice campus, I see it going in the right direction. When you have that feeling that something is really going right and feel this opportunity is tailor cut for you, you have to jump at it. They are really personable as well, the whole staff.'

Farrington said the emergence of the program, which now boasts electrifying and high-scoring 6-foot guard Ty Cockfield, was also appealing. He got the notion of an up-and-coming institution with upside and growth, a program that could earn a tournament berth during his stay there.

Farrington's ramped up strength and explosiveness are most translatable with his capabilities in finishing through contact. The Florida native's advanced offensive arsenal has grown steadily through his incorporation of a nifty floater, a reliable step-back jumper, and crafty open court finishing.

A coach at Conrad once joked that Farrington has 'an electric shocker on his ankle that goes off every time he steps in front of the 3-point line.' No longer leaning on the long ball, Farrington makes it a mental note not to settle. Still, he's had several games of four+ 3-pointers this season.

And in yet another phase of this transformed product's development, Farrington is now adapting to being DME's primary ball handler. He's played point guard growing up, but never really ran a team before in this capacity.

'I would say I have gotten a lot better at being a ball-dominant guard and that's what has made it easy for me to become a point guard,' Farrington said.

'You know when I was at Conrad we had two really ball dominant guards in Luguentz Dort and David Sloan. They had the ball in their hands a majority of the time. So, my main purpose was really just catch and shoot. Over the years, I've been working on my game. I've been working on my body. I've been working on my game between the ears, the IQ factor. Improving everything overall. Getting my handles tighter has come with that.'

It also came with the territory of transitioning to point guard on as a battle-tested senior leader on a youthful DME high school team.

How did Farrington prepare for the role on the fly?

'Honestly, just living in the household of my father (Ken Farrington), who was a point guard in his heyday, that helped me learn. The main thing was getting the ball in my hands, having the experience at the point guard position. When you jump into something you've never really done before, you are not going to be great at it everyday. But over time, you get the feel for it. That's what helped me the most. Getting the reps at the 1.'

This new game management attribute was on display at the JUCO All American Jamboree in Apopka, Fla., back in October.

With the ball in his hands, Farrington was able to penetrate and kick. Boasting a more dieseled-up frame, he engineered a personal scoring run by knifing his way to the rim gracefully and taking the contact. He hit a deep straight-away 3-pointer and was easily the most seasoned guy on the court at certain sequences, with Balado and Scutero taking it all in. Farrington's all around game and that knack for crunch time scoring, which was evident even back during the Conrad days, has been prevalent. He's now a Top-10 guard in the state of Florida.

The wheels of wonder have begun to turn on how Farrington dropped out of the Grind Top 9. He went from Top 3 to completely out altogether, which has elicited some confusion. It's clear through Farrington's demeaner and never rattled mentality that individual accolades are meaningless to the combination guard.

A lot can happen over the course of two years, especially when the day to day grind becomes a livelihood. Imagine what's next…   




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