Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ivy League Eyeing Townsend

Matt Townsend's emergence as one of the county's elite forwards on the hardwood has run parallel with his immense success in the classroom.

The Greeley junior is averaging 18.1 points on the New York State Section I/Class A circuit and has materialized into a sought after product on the Ivy League recruiting agora.

A slew of Ivy League schools--Yale, Harvard, and Penn to name a few--have expressed considerable interest in the blossoming 6-foot-6 forward.

Though it's still quite early in Townsend's process of recruitment, Yale head coach James Jones has been in active pursuit of Townsend.

Jones seems to have the upper hand thus far, as he's making the biggest push for the 4.0 student with a feathery jumper.

A one-time Ivy League Coach of the Year, Jones has trekked down to glitzy Chappaqua, N.Y. to see Townsend play while keeping tabs on his production throughout the season.

Yale Associate Head Coach Curtis Wilson has also kept consistent contact with the big fella, who's opened up his mid-range game and has been handling the rock more this season.

“A bunch of Ivy League schools have shown interest, Yale, Harvard, Brown, those were the top couple," said Townsend, who poured in a game-high 17 points during the Quakers' 59-40 dismantling of Somers Friday.

"Princeton too. I visited Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Penn. I guess it’s still early, I’m weighing my options.”

Townsend has visited Yale multiple times, including this weekend as he took in the Bulldogs' Jan.30 conference battle against Princeton.

The kid who's on the path to join Greeley's exclusive 1,000-point club by the first half of his senior year said he was impressed by Yale's campus and the John Lee Ampitheater, Yale's home court.

The Ampitheater is a seductive recruiting tool for any mid-level prospect, being one of the most unique places in the nation to play a game. It features an old-school type setting with 2,800 seats--1,300 of which are pull-out bleachers.

The stands surround the central court--a la the Roman Colisseum--and Yale's fanbase comes in clusters, maintaining a perenially hostile atmosphere.

Townsend's teammates Gibby and Teddy Graves are the sons of Earl "Butch" Graves, who had a storied career with the Bulldogs.

Butch Graves, who was a member of Skull & Bones, Yale's powerful secretive society, is Yale's all-time leading scorer. He enjoyed a brief NBA career following college.

Stay tuned for this feature on Townsend in The Examiner News-Westchester