One team with a torrent of young talent on the AAU circuit is the Sports University All Stars.
The New Jersey-based All-stars feature a bevy of top-stratum Division-I recruits from St. Anthony’s and St. Benedict’s, perennial powers in the Garden State.
Derek Williams, a 6-foot-6 wing who creates matchup problems with his handle and perimeter shooting, is heating up on the recruiting radar. As the summer progressed, so did Williams’ game. The result?
He’s induced drool from a vast array of college coaches.
A senior at St. Anthony’s, Williams is being actively pursued by a number of schools, including Providence, Seton Hall, Virginia, South Carolina, Temple, and Boston University.
A productive summer which saw him take cats off the dribble and attack the cup at will has paid dividends for the New York native.
“Derek had a very good summer,” explained Sports University coach Brian Coleman, who’s also an assistant under the legendary coach Hurley at St. Anthony’s.
“We worked a lot with him on shooting the ball from the perimeter, he’s become a really good three-point shooter. He can handle the ball. You know, he’s very strong inside. He’s also going to create matchup difficulties when smaller guys are trying to guard him from the outside.”
Coleman continued, “We’ve kind of narrowed his (college choices) down, but a lot of schools are still showing interest. Providence is in his top-5, Seton Hall is definitely still in his top list.”
D-Will's footwork is top-tier, but his quickness could use a tune-up. This is one obstacle he must hurdle in order to get to that grand stage.
“If he can get two more inches, and just get his lateral movement down, he’s only got to do one year of college. He’ll be a one-and-done,” said Sports University coach Eddie Bright, who cut himself short before going into a hyperbole.
He's an emotional dude. Bright’s commitment to molding young minds is of highest order.
The IZOD-sponsored AAU squad touts an elite coaching staff, headlined by Darryl Dawkins, the former backboard-shattering professional who shined with the Philadelphia 76ers back in the day. The All Stars recently had the services of Ira Bowman, the former NBA player who is now at NJIT. Bowman's position as the strength and conditioning coach for the All Stars would bode well, before he bolted for the low Division-I program nearby.
Another player whose come out of the woodwork and announced his presence with his superior scoring is Elijah Carter. Carter is currently getting looks from Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Providence.
“Eli is a scorer first, he’s a combo guard but I’m trying to make him into a point,” Coleman said.
Notre Dame showed major interest in Carter at first, but their recruitment of the 6-foot-2 scoring guard has tailed off recently.
Why? All-world guard Kyrie Irving, who’s widely recognized as one of the nation’s elite prospects.
“They (Notre Dame) really wanted Kyrie Irving,” Coleman explained.
“I think Kyrie and Eli are real similar players. I think that if they can’t get Kyrie, they’re going to get Eli. Kyrie was really first on their list.”
With Irving favoring Duke and Indiana, the idea of the Irish netting the St. Patrick’s star seems far-fetched.
Irving, whose cyborg-like game, schoolboy smarts, and personality has quickly made him one of the nation’s most highly sought-after items on the recruiting market, hoops with Sports University in the fall. Expect to see Irving rolling with the All Stars at IS8 this fall.
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