NERR-TV Unsigned Senior Spotlight - Available Guards
The success of the NERR-TV Unsigned Senior Virtual Showcase is undeniable.
All 50 prospects in the class of 2020 that participated last spring went on to see recruitment from new schools, with more than 25 generating interest from scholarship level schools.
In 2021, we’re profiled 46 players so far, 19 of whom are already off the board after early-decision admission, which is a huge accomplishment in a recruiting cycle like we’ve seen this year. In fact, 40% of all D3 commitments in the New England region have come from players who participated in the virtual showcase, with the entire group committing to high academic schools.
Nonetheless, there remains a significant amount of talent left on the board in the 2021 class.
We’ll begin by diving into the unsigned guards, either conventional point guards or more modern-day lead guards, before expanding to wings and bigs tomorrow.
Matt Constant, St. Andrew’s (RI) – Constant’s work-ethic and commitment to the game have been exceptionally rare since he was in middle school. He’s not only sustained that dedication over the years, but both impacted winning throughout his four seasons of prep school basketball and simultaneously added to his individual game at each step along the way. Now, he’s physically strong, a tough shot-maker, and proven winner with a virtually unmatched passion for the game.
Mike Iuzzolino, First Love Christian (PA) – Iuzzolino made a big impression in his only season in New England, establishing himself as a key threat for a Canterbury team that won the NEPSAC Class B championship. The son and namesake of a D1 coach and former NBA player, Iuzzolino grew up emulating the work-ethic and tenacity that led to his father’s success. He’s an elite shooter and total gym rat who can play on or off the ball, has a definite swagger about his game, and holds D1 offers.
Jayden Brown, Immaculate Conception (NJ) – If you follow New Jersey high school basketball, you’ve heard Brown’s name over the years. He was an instant contributor as an underclassman, been a staple of one of the state’s top high school teams since, and established himself as an elite shooter. So while he’s had wide-ranging division I interest over the years, he remains open to all suitors as the pandemic has limited his visibility to college coaches in recent months.
Jake Daly, Kent School (CT) – Daly can play on and off the ball. At 6-foot-5, some of that is going to happen organically as smaller guys tend to gravitate towards the ball. There probably isn’t a better passer on this list though. His ability to see the floor and deliver the ball is uncommon, especially at his size. So while he still has to keep building up his body and developing the rest of his game, there’s a reason why he already has a D2 offer to his name.
Matt Boen, Mansfield HS (MA) – How is he still a sleeper? We’ve been asking ourselves that same question. Boen is an athletic southpaw who plays both ends of the floor and has a naturally dynamic style. He just makes things happen, both offensively and defensively. Whether it comes in the class of 2021, or after a post-graduate year to 2022, he’s a prospect who shows all the markers of a scholarship level recruit.
Josh Ehikhamhen, Tilton (NH) – He’s a prime example of a prospect that would have more buzz in a normal year. The New Mission alum is a budding big guard who has developed the skills to transition from the wing. He’s strong, athletic, and, at 6-foot-3, a match-up problem in the backcourt. He competes with a high-motor, is an aggressive defender who flourishes in trapping and pressing styles, and continues to improve at each step in the process.
Pure Point Guards
Anthony Clayton, Avon Old Farms (CT) – Reliable, experienced, and vastly improved. “Ace” has run the show since his arrival at Avon Old Farms and is an extension of his head coach on the floor. He’s made himself into a consistent three-point shooter and hard-nosed defender who can play at multiple tempos. There’s also a natural presence in him that is extremely rare for players at this stage. He’s a natural leader who is authentic in that role and gets his teammates to respond to him.
Ben Merritt, Kingswood-Oxford (CT) – Merritt is a throwback, the type of pure point guard who can not only run a team now but would have been relied upon to do so 20 years ago, when the position was much different. He’s a pass-first player who runs the team and moves the ball, but also has a beautiful shooting stroke that allows him to consistently bury threes within the flow of the offense. Described as the “consummate teammate and leader,” he’s got the intangibles to match as well.
Connor Knowles, Saint Paul Diocesan (MA) – He could have gone in any number of categories. He’s under-the-radar relative to where he would have been in a normal summer, a true point guard, but also loaded with intangibles. Knowles checks a lot of boxes, but what we like most about him is that he will run the team first and foremost, but can also be relied on to create off the bounce with his tight and shifty handle coupled by a strong body to absorb contact.
Brett Hutchison, Canterbury (CT) – 5’10 – Hutchison is a player we’ve watched for years. From NMH to Notre Dame West Haven and now Canterbury, perhaps the best word to describe him is gritty. He’s a tenacious competitor with a constant motor on both ends of the floor. All he’s done over those years is win too, at every level of competition, while simultaneously showing the skills to match his intangibles. He makes shots, can handle it, and get after opposing guards defensively.
Tommy Lorenzetti, St. Paul Catholic (CT) – “In my almost 30 years as a varsity basketball coach, I may not have had a more dedicated, self-motived, hard-working player as Tommy.” That’s what St. Paul head coach Steve Phelps told us over the summer. A few months later, when the Be Seen Tour visited CT Passion we got to see for ourselves. But Lorenzetti doesn’t just have great habits, he’s got game too! He’s tight with his handle and a definite playmaker who can create for himself and others.
Darius Boben, Storm King (NY) – After a storied career at James I. O’Neil High School in West Point, Boben is now spending a post-graduate year at Storm King. While he’s put-up huge numbers over the years, it may be his versatility and the numerous ways he can impact the game beyond scoring that will be most appealing to coaches at the next level. He’s a true two-way player and committed defender, outstanding perimeter rebounder, and very willing passer. He’s also physically talented with length, strength, & athleticism.