Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wilson To Visit Florida This Weekend, URI and UCF Are Currently Front Runners Photo

Containing the necessary tool-set to flourish in a furious-paced system, A.J. Wilson will entertain immediate expectations at Elev8 (Delray Beach, Fla.) this season.

A wiry 6-foot-6 forward, Wilson's aerial game and fleet-of-foot readies him for the speedball attack.

The junior's Division-I weight is suddenly tipping the mid to high-major scales.

Central Florida, Rhode Island, and most recently Florida have been in persistent pursuit of the D.C. native.

With newly-minted Gators assistant Darris Nichols expressing interest, Wilson will take an unofficial visit to Florida this weekend.

"Central Florida, Rhode Island, and Florida, they're all doing a great job right now," said Wilson.

 "I'm undecided. I'm focusing on basketball and improving my game, getting stronger everyday."

Bolstered by D.C. area recruiting presence David Cox, Rhode Island has offered.

Central Florida, two hours away in Orlando, has also hurled an offer on the table.

Florida appears to be waiting in the wings.

Charlotte, Nevada, Penn State, and VCU have also offered Wilson.

Wide open, Wilson said he's not counting anyone out or slicing down the list just yet.

 Nichols arrived in Gainesville following a one-year stay with Louisiana Tech.

He cut his NCAA teeth on the memorable John Beilein-coached West Virginia team nearly a decade ago.

 That squad, piloted by 6-foot-11 3-point assailant Kevin Pittsnogle and deceptively athletic guard Mike Gansey, both NBA hopefuls, revitalized the program.

Nichols is recruiting several of Wilson's Elev8 teammates, including 6-foot-10 forward/center Levi Cook.

 Cook, who de-committed from hometown West Virginia last year, is being courted by programs such as Providence, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, and VCU.

 At Elev8, Wilson will empower the most to-be-determined component of his game.

"He actually shoots the ball better than a lot of people know of," Elev8 head coach Chad Myers explained.

"His mechanics are really good. We want to give him confidence to shoot open shots. We want to give him confidence to make shots. On top of that, obviously, we want to make him a better ball handler. Being able to make plays, whether it's just one or two dribbles against the man, is another area of focus."

The program's strength of schedule will rapidly increase, after earning a berth in the national tournament in 2014-15.

The system has converted into more of free-flowing motion offense, with added emphasis on accelerating the tempo on made buckets, missed buckets, and live turnovers.

Given this style, Wilson has the opportunity to get up and down the floor, take advantage of seams, and utilize his above-the-rim game.

Packing muscle onto a leafy 180-pound frame is a primary focus for Wilson.

Versatility at the four slot, high-energy, and consistent improvement on a once-lacking jumper has catapulted Wilson's NCAA profile.

Should he develop muscle and handle the rigors of prep basketball, you're looking at a  high-major target.

"His recruitment is kind of all over the place," said Myers, acknowledging Central Florida and Rhode Island as current front-runners.

"All of the high majors are kind of flirting with him right now."

These ensuing 12 months should answer a great deal of questions circling Wilson's game. He's still raw, still growing, still reeking more of potential than polish and prominence.

"If you take what (Wilson) is right now, the blank canvas that he is, he's the type of guy who can slide in and be a surprise figure at the high-major level," said Elev8 Director of Basketball Development and NBA trainer Cody Toppert.

"From a potential standpoint, he's a high-major college basketball player at the BCS level. He brings a level of versatility to the four position that's in alignment with the way the game is going today. He's got the ability to set a screen, pop, and then make a secondary play. He has to continue to work on his jump shot but he's got pretty solid form at this point."