Thursday, July 6, 2017

Expectation Level Raised With Reeves

Anytime you solidify a commitment from a recruit of A.J. Reeves’ caliber, the expectation level rapidly rises.

 An electrifying guard with an advanced set of tools and prodigious above the rim game, Reeves chose Providence over high-profile and traditionally-potent programs such as Villanova, Virginia, and Louisville.

A top local product and the no.13 ranked small forward in the country, Reeves brings a consistent beyond the arc game, bouncy athleticism, and the prolific scoring capabilities which typically equate in a loud, quick-hit impact.

The 6-foot-5, 185-pound class of 2018 Reeves averaged 26 points per game this past season.

Playing for Mass Rivals AAU, Reeves has established himself as a true off-guard who creates myriad matchup issues.

Gauging the effectiveness and consistency of his stroke, nose for the rim, and ability to pick apart a defense, Reeves oozes of potential as a prolific scoring threat at the ensuing level.

“AJ is an elite scorer with the basketball, which most schools and colleges are in dire need of,” said Mass Rivals coach Vin Pastore.

“He’s going to be able to score the ball at the highest level of basketball right off the bat. His release is translatable to the highest level of basketball. He’s got a high release, a legitimate jump shot. He’s also got a multitude of talents. Pull-ups, mid-range, stepback jumper, he can get to the rim.”

 On Mass Rivals, Reeves creates a radiant 1-2 punch alongside Providence target David Duke, another high-profile prospect with a wealth of high-major offers on the table.

A local product, Duke lives a stone’s throw from Providence’s campus. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard has been a priority from the get-go.

Pastore cited the Friars' consistency in his recruiting of Reeves as a primary reason Reeves picked Providence.  

“I think Coach (Ed) Cooley spent the most time with A.J., he recruited him the hardest,” Pastore said.

“I think he made him feel that Providence was a place that A.J. could shine. Much of it was on Coach Brian Blaney, who really initiated a lot of the early recruiting along with coach Cooley. Like I Said, (Cooley) spent a lot of time seeing AJ play and staying in touch with him. They just put more time into him than the others. At the end of the day, young men are looking where they are loved and needed the most and Providence won the battle.”

Because of their on-court chemistry, Reeves’ commitment to Providence could help entice Duke.

 A rugged two-way guard, Duke has developed into an “elite level defender” whose stock continues to take off. Virginia, Florida, Kansas, and a variety of top-tier programs have offered Duke, a late bloomer on the recruiting market. Expect the Class of 2018 point guard to attract the blue bloods soon.

Duke’s acrobatic finishes and hard-driving acumen, Pastore explained, ultimately separates him from other guards of his make-up. He’s notably adept at finishing with his left hand and pulling off rarified finishes through traffic with his left.

“He reminds me a lot of Chris Dunn,” Pastore explained.

“He’s a legit lead guard who has a first step that is unbelievable, he finishes acrobatically and athletically at the rim. He’s an elite layup maker. Really, what I think separates David from about everyone in the country is very rarely do you find a kid who shines on both ends of the floor.”

There is also the fact that Duke is still a bit of an unknown commodity among the nation's superpowers.

 Conventional wisdom tells us that he’ll pack on a few more high-major offers this July, with the heavy-hitters in attendance.

“The best thing about David Duke is he’s new at being good,” Pastore said.

“His upside is crazy. A.J.’s been a good player for a long time, David Duke is just getting started.”