2010 Predictions Breakout Prospects
Each and every year a new set of players manage to distinguish themselves in the eyes of evaluators and college coaches, consequently seeing their recruiting get a major bump.
In 2009 guys like Billy Baron, Ricardo Ledo, Dennis Clifford, Steven Glowiak, Chris Fitzgerald, Kaleb Tarczewski, Melsahn Basabe, Anthony Ireland, Isaiah Salafia, Shabazz Napier, Michael Carter-Williams, Marcus Grant, and Zach Auguste are all going out with a lot more hype than they had going in.
Looking forward to the coming year, the class of 2011 will have the most upward mobility as college coaches shift their focus to the new rising seniors. But of course some exceptionally talented youngsters will manage to garner attention early in the process meaning 2012 and 2013 will have some players shoot up the charts as well.
Here is a look at some guys who we believe are showing signs of being breakout prospects in 2010.
Expecting Big Things
These four players have all the tools to attract recruiting interest from the highest levels of college basketball in 2010.
Trahson Burrell, St. Thomas More School (CT), 2011: His game has improved by leaps and bounds since arriving at St. Thomas More in the September and with a new perimeter stroke to match his length and point forward type skills he will get high level attention for sure.
Keith Coleman, Lee Academy (ME), 2011: He is a physical specimen with the body of a linebacker, the bounce of a high jumper, and the feet of a dancer. He may not be a great basketball player yet but the summer is tailor made for kids like this. Our prediction – he’ll have recruitment up and down the east coast by September.
Eric Katenda, Cheshire Academy (CT), 2011: With his size, length, mobility, and athleticism we were surprised more schools didn’t take notice last summer. He is off to a fast start for Cheshire Academy and even shooting the ball to the three-point line.
Clyde Smith, Hotchkiss (CT), 2012: The latest Hotchkiss protégé doesn’t have the explosiveness of Morris or the power of Wilson but his basketball skills may be ahead of both of them and the kid already has the swagger of a great player.
Just Getting Started
These players have shown signs of being ready to breakout and we expect them to continue in that process in the coming year.
Patrick Ackerman, Worcester Academy (MA), 2011: He is on coaches’ radar screens after a breakout performance at the National Prep Showcase. He will have plenty of opportunities to further impress as coaches love to keep tabs on guys that are six-eleven with a nice touch.
Pat Connaughton, St. John’s Prep (MA), 2011: There’s often times a delay between a player taking his game to a new level and college coaches really beginning to take notice. Connaughton has done his part and we expect it won’t be long before coaches catch on in higher volume.
Michael Laplante, St. Andrew’s (RI), 2011: Laplante had a big summer two years ago but has been quiet since. He’s shown us some new tools to start his junior season and we wouldn’t be surprised if we started hearing his name more consistently this summer.
Georges Niang, Tilton School (MA), 2012: Last season he was a young, but valuable, role player for a Tilton squad that claimed a national championship. This year he has emerged as a go-to scorer for the Rams with a throwback low post arsenal.
Others: Demitry Coronell, East Boston HS (MA), 2011; Evan Cummins, Northfield Mount Hermon, (MA) 2012; Jerome Harris, East Catholic HS (CT), 2011; Kyle Kager, Deerfield Academy, (MA) 2011: Kyle Umemba, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, (MA) 2011;
Putting it all Together
These players have all the tools necessarily to be successful and we expect to see them start to put it together this year.
Rohan Brown, East Catholic HS (CT), 2011: He missed a good portion of last year’s AAU circuit with injury but Brown has grown a little bit, filled out his frame, enhanced his skill set while maintaining that same high energy level that makes him effective on both ends of the floor.
Cedric Kuakumensah, Worcester North HS (MA), 2011: A long and athletic player with some developing skills facing the basket, Kuakamensah could be the next in a growing line of face-up big men from the Mass Rivals to be division I bound.
Vince Van Nes, Northfield Mount Hermon (MA), 2011: When the British big man first arrived in the United States it was with lofty expectations. Understandably, he needed some time to adjust to the speed and physicality of the American game, with that process now in its decline look for Van Ness to make his impact felt in 2010.
Chris Braley, Nokomis HS (ME), 2012: The Hyland comparisons are running wild in the north as Braley exhibits the same shot making ability and work ethic as Maine’s best player. While the sophomore has a lot of work to go before he justifies that comparison, his long arms and solid frame give him some physical tools “the kid” never had.
Stefon Williams, Kent School (CT), 2012: Long, lefty, and mobile, Williams is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. He runs, jumps, and is active on both ends of the floor. He will continue to improve as he grows, and grows into his body.
Olivier Paul Betu, Worcester Academy (MA), 2012: A little bit of a wizard with the basketball, people in Worcester are making lofty comparisons to a poor man’s Chris Paul. It may be hard to live up to those expectations but Betu sees things and makes plays that others simply can’t.
Javon Williams, Nashua North HS (NH), 2012: Williams has yet to separate from the dozens of other talented guards in 2012 but what will eventually set him apart are his physical tools. He has good explosion with his first step and leaping ability to go along with a strong body and the foundation for a sound skill set.
Others: Tevin Falzon, Newton North HS (MA), 2011; Shaquille Jones, Hope HS (RI), 2012; Ethan ODay, E.O. Smith HS (CT), 2011; Nick Pendergast, Kent School (CT), 2011; Keegan Pieri, Camden Hills (ME), 2011; Jimmy Zenevitch, Central Catholic HS (MA), 2011;
Very few current freshmen are on college radars yet and even if they are those schools are focusing the majority of their time and energy on older players. Inevitably, a few prospects in 2013 will become priority guys this year and we believe that Kuran Iverson (Northwest Catholic HS, CT), Noah Vonleh (Haverhill HS, MA); Goodluck Okonoboh (Tilton School, NH); & Wayne Selden (O’Bryant HS, MA) are the guys who possess both the current domination of their own age bracket and the long term potential to entice college coaches at this early date.