Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Uno En Uno With, Ty Jerome Iona Prep
Heavy is the head for 6-foot-3, Virginia-bound guard Ty Jerome.
Playing a cerebral brand of basketball, spearheading his team with and without the basketball in his hands, Jerome's flair for the end game helped propel New Heights AAU to a 45-3 record.
Jerome's acumen quarterbacking Iona Prep's movement-centric offense has been evident.
Whipping around deft and deep passes and putting some zip on the ball, Jerome has helped accelerate the Gaels' breakneck run-and-gun game.
Jerome proved his stock's worth this summer, playing with an innate nose for the open man.
His knack for delivering the right pass and steering the pressure cooker with clutch shots allowed his basketball IQ to garner more and more attention across the country.
Several game-winners and timely 3-pointers amid rising pressure put Jerome on a different stratosphere.
The 17-year-old's basketball know-how enabled him to become a calming influence. Iona Prep bounced back from an erratic and irregular performance in a loss to St. Ray's, scoring an 80-64 win over upstart Saunders at the Harry Jefferson Showcase tournament this weekend. Jerome submitted a game-best 27 points and snared 10 rebounds.
Columbia, George Washington, Harvard, Rutgers, Hofstra, Creighton, Temple, and Notre Same all upped their interest in June. Holding a 96 GPA at one of the area's top-stratum academic schools certainly didn't hurt.
A text message from Greg McDermott made Jerome's day, also instilling a mountain of motivation.
Ultimately, it was the tight bonds at the University of Virginia that pushed Jerome to finalize his decision.
Virginia head coach Tony Bennet was in persistent pursuit of the heady point guard all summer.
A lead guard himself during his heyday, Bennett played with the Charlotte Hornets teams of the early 1990s, operating an offense featuring a young Larry Johnson, UConn legend Scottie Burrell, and dimunuitive guard Muggsy Bogues.
Jerome On The Team Identity And Aspirations
From this start, we learned how good we can be if we do things the right way. I think most importantly, we just need to play hard, tough, confident and have fun. We need to enjoy all of this. We are very motivated to win a championship...who isn't? But, we just want to focus on winning the next game right now. The regular season's wins or losses don't matter in March. They don't even matter the day after the game.
Every game starts on defense for us. If we rebound and play defense, which we are capable of, we can be very good. Our offense feeds off our defense. When we rebound and push the ball, we are hard to guard and it's easy to share the ball in transition.
On Choosing Virginia
The facilities, coaching staff, and team sold me on the school right away. The facilities are off the charts. The coaches are unbelievable and they are very confident in my ability. And, the team chemistry is off the charts as well. They are a family on and off the court and I can't wait to be a part of that.
On Areas of Improvement
I worked at getting stronger and faster. I made a big jump physically from last year and it's visible on the court. I still have a lot more improving to do in those categories.
On Team Focus
All of the role players are just as important as myself, Tom (Capuano) and Matt (Ryan). We are a team and we win and lose as a team. People on our team may have different roles but everyone is equally as important.