Friday, April 25, 2014

RCDS Guard Green Earning Ivy, Patriot League Interest

Heading into the 2013-14 campaign, few prognosticators and self-proclaimed gurus had Rye Country Day guard Salim Green canvassed among Hudson Valley's elite.

Now, 23 points per game, countless pressure cooker free throws, and a 31-point eruption (en route to a 57-50 win at Kingswood-Oxford) later, there's no confusion surrounding Green's Division-I stock or place among Westchester County's top-stratum guards.

Within a matter of months, Green has evolved into a household name.

Green, who has improved his ball handling and unfurled a refined stepback, has interest from Quinnipiac, Bucknell, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Lehigh, and most recently Dartmouth.

Akin to a seven-year-old's Christmas gift list, the list is still growing, growing, and growing.

Known for shredding defenders off the bounce and a polished catch-and-stick game, Green formed a deadly tandem with high-scoring guard Tyler Fernandez (1,526 points in four years).

Fernandez, out of Elmsford, will play baseball at Cornell. Green, who holds a 3.6 GPA, appears to be headed down a similar prep-to-Ivy League path.

The Yonkers native closed the door on several games with poised free throw shooting.

During the Kingswood-Oxford game, he hit a program record 22 straight free throws.

Green's ability to get bird's eye view of the rim, levitating above the draping hands of shot contesters, now renders him one of Westchester County's premiere hard-to-guard threats.

"He really elevates, which allows him to shoot a very high percentage shot even when a defender is in his space," said Andy Borman, who coaches Green with House Of Sports on the AAU circuit.

"Salim is not a volume shooter, he doesn't require a lot of shots to get what he needs. He's the type of kid who is always going to put more points on the board than shot attempts. You know, a lot of these guys you look at, they got 20 points but they took 30 shots. That's really not him."

That bodes well for House of Sports, which will compete before a buffet line of NCAA coaches at this weekend's Hall of Fame New England Championships at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

Embodying the team principles ingrained by Borman, avoiding the selfishness that has hampered the AAU scene, House of Sports anticipates 20-21 Division-I coaches keeping tabs on them throughout pool play.

Coaches from Marquette and Seton Hall, in consistent pursuit of 6-foot-9, 250-pound behemoth Jonathon Nwankwo, are slated to be on hand this weekend.

Nwankwo solidifies a frontline which also includes Kai Mitchell, a workhorse who can now lean on a dependable mid-range game.

 Mitchell, a 6-foot-6 brute who plays the five-spot during the high school season, has adjusted to playing both forward spots on the AAU circuit.

This has made the junior more appealing to Division-I coaches, who will be out in droves throughout this weekend's tournament.

This is one of the integral events during the NCAA LIVE period, attracting Division-I coaches from across the nation.

Get there early and book a hotel room while you still can.

You will likely see a number of hippie kids kicking hackey sacks in the street and chatting into cell phones while sporting their Greatful Dead t-shirts.

 Those are the Wesleyan students. Don't worry, you are at the right place.

Green, whose love for the game blossomed while playing in the New Rochelle-based midget leagues, has played for Team Frenji and Gauchos.

 At House of Sports, he has found his niche as a cerebral guard.

Scoring off the dribble, darting around traffic and permeating the teeth of the defense has empowered his scoring efficiency.

Playing alongside Rickey McGill, who received an offer from Drexel this morning, has accelerated Green's producion rate.

When defenders tighten up on Green, the driving lanes open. When defenders sag off him, it allows him to showcase the high-rising jumper.

"A defender gets up in some players, and now their shot gets rushed. Because Salim gets that seperation, it doesn't affect him," Borman explained.

That much was evident during the Wildcats' 68-56 win over King on Jan.14.

Green went on a buckets binge, scoring 19 of his 26 points in the first half, evoking double teams before the Vikings switched to a 3-2 zone.

"It doesn't matter if a guy is playing help-and-recover," noted Borman.

"Or if a guy is right in him, he can get the jumper off very effectively. They are both such different players, but Salim helps Rickey as much as Rickey helps Salim."

McGill, who Borman describes as a ferocious game-changer, the source who glues this patchwork into one, has growing interest since decommitting to Manhattan.