Boston, MA - The 2013 AAU season is young, and thus, there is a need for tune up tournaments prior to top events run by Nike, Hoop Group, Under Armour, Adidas and many more this spring. The Recruit Scoop covered the BABC Tip-Off this weekend, which was full of some very talented recruits in the classes of 2014 and 2015 from the New England area. Here's a rundown of the top performers on hand.
The class of 2015 was well represented at the Tip-Off with Terance Mann, Bruce Brown and Bobby Martin Jr..
Mann is the son of Northeastern women's basketball coach Daynia La-Farce and a talented wing prospect at Tilton School (NH). The future of the Tilton program, Mann spent his entire sophomore year matching up against Kansas-bound All-American Wayne Selden every day in practice where he was tested. While he isn't as explosive or strong as Selden, they share many similarities from when Selden was a sophomore. Both thrive off attacking the rim and are elite outlet passers, but Mann, just as Selden needed to and did, needs to improve on the consistency of his jump shot. Mann holds an offer from Boston College, and had one from the Georgia Southern staff prior to their firing. Interest is also coming in from Florida, Georgetown, West Virginia, Towson, Iowa and, of course, Northeastern. Mann hopes to take visits to Boston College and Georgetown in May.
Brown is an interesting situation because he is a big point guard, but his handle is probably the biggest thing holding him back from breaking out as one of the elite floor generals in his region. Once he improves upon that and his jumper, the 6-foot-3 Wakefield (MA) product could have a very special future ahead. Brown can score at will when attacking the rim, is great at absorbing contact and finishes. He is a smart basketball player with plenty of athleticism who should pick up a lot of college buzz once he receives the exposure. Only Boston College, UMass and Northeastern have inquired thus far. An aggressive player, and fierce competitor, the sophomore is going to have a very good AAU campaign.
Martin Jr. is the son of an All-American as his father played at Pittsburgh and professionally overseas for 16 years. Currently, the Nobles & Greenough (MA) product isn't the same size as his father just yet, but he is an impressive power forward at 6-foot-5. Deceivingly athletic and versatile for his body, Martin Jr. had a high basketball IQ, is extremely aggressive in the post and on the perimeter and has some solid post moves that help assert himself on the block. Ideally, he could develop into an interesting combo forward with perimeter and post skills. No offers have been presented his way yet, but Vanderbilt, Florida, Temple, Boston College, Boston, Richmond and Pittsburgh are among the schools who have reached out early on. With his size and post-play in AAU, he does remind some of NBA player DaJuan Blair.
Colson Refining Game & Body
Following in the footsteps of his father - a standout player at Rhode Island and former Boston College assistant - Bonzie Colson Jr. is making strides in his development. The class of 2014 6-foot-7 power forward from St. Andrew's (RI) is becoming more versatile, despite his typical face up power forward role. Colson is losing weight, adding muscle in his upper body, and has improved on his ability to attack the rim off the dribble while in transition. As he could still grow a few more inches, he has similar features to Iowa State freshman Georges Niang, however he is more athletic, but hasn't established a prominent jump shot like Niang. Never the less, Colson's performance in the EYBL on the U17 scene could make or break his campaign to earn more high-major offers, and break into the Rivals150.
Currently holding offers from Quinnipiac, Boston, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Vermont, Siena, Fairfield, George Washington and others, many schools are keeping their eye on Colson's development, growth and rapidly improving skill set. UConn, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Drexel, Wichita State, La Salle and Northeastern are among the schools tracking him. While no schools stand out in his mind just yet, he admits that George Washington's staff has been the best at keeping in constant contact.
With a load of upside on his plateau, Colson can control how highly recruited he will be. His wingspan is staggering, and if he grows a few more inches, schools will be all over him nationally.
With the recent trend in mid-major schools reeking havoc and playing the role of Cinderella in the NCAA Tournament, mid-major prospects hold a lot of weight as they look to attend the school that can be the next Florida Gulf Coast or Wichita State.
There may be few better shooters in the class of 2014 than Tyler Nelson, whose father is a scout for the Utah Jazz. A 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Central Catholic (MA), Nelson has a high basketball IQ, and is also a good decision maker on both sides of the ball. While George Mason is recruiting him the hardest, they have yet to offer, while UMass-Lowell and Dartmouth have. Boston, Quinnipiac and Brown are also demonstrating interest. The junior plans on taking the majority of his college visits during the summer.
While playing at Wilbraham & Monson (MA) this season, 2015 guard Curtis Cobb didn't earn enough playing time to raise his stock. His only offer, Manhattan, noticed his potential with his length, ability to attack the rim and create for others. Cobb, who holds interest from Tulsa, Houston, Providence, Seton Hall, Harvard and Maryland, must work on finishing at the rim and solidifying his jump shot. He creates scoring opportunities but doesn't always capitalize on them. His teammate, an undersized, but bulky, 2015 power forward Marcel Pettway, is in the same boat, but with moderate interest from Pittsburgh, St. John's and UConn.
An interesting 2014 prospect is Henry Bolton out of St. Andrew's (RI), who can score in a number of different ways by using his strength, shooting and getting to the basket. He must, however, work on his shot selection and make better decisions in not forcing certain shots at times. Rhode Island, Boston, Wagner, Colgate and Lehigh have offered Bolton, thus far, with Florida International, Rutgers and Virginia interested. The 6-foot-1 guard admits he is being tracked the hardest by Wagner, but is in no hurry to make up his mind.
A defensive oriented, and always active post player, 2014 Marianapolis Prep (CT) power forward Bobby Ahearn's work ethic during games is simply impressive. With an improving jumper, the 6-foot-6 forward's game is continuing to get better. Holy Cross and Penn are his lone offers, thus far, to go along with interest from Delaware, Brown, Vermont, Colgate, Bucknell, Lehigh, Wagner, New Hampshire, Tulsa, Binghamton, Boston, Davidson, Dartmouth and others. Ahearn is hearing primarily from Patriot League schools, which would fit his style of play on the defensive end of the ball, extremely well, especially if he continues to work on his jumper.
The two wild cards of the Tip-Off had to be 2015 Tilton (NH) point guard Johnny Joseph and 2015 Notre Dame Prep (MA) forward Tyree Robinson. Joseph is only 5-foot-8, but runs the show on offense and is quite crafty by using his size and speed to his advantage. Wichita State has shown a lot of early interest, along with some interest from Detroit, George Mason, Boston and Boston College. Robinson is an extremely athletic combo forward, who plays terrific, intense defense. He blocks shots and forces turnovers with his efforts. It's still very early for him, but Robinson mentioned Drexel, Northeastern, UNC-Greensboro, Old Dominion, Iowa, Iowa State, Detroit, Arizona and others as some who have shown interest.
For the latest in college basketball recruiting, head to TheRecruitScoop.com for the latest details and notes on offers, visits, commitments and more. To contact Alex Kline, you can reach him by email at MaryKlineClassic@gmail.com or on Twitter at TheRecruitScoop.