Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ntambwe To Attend Scotland Campus Sports

Joel Ntambwe will spend his senior year at Scotland Campus Sports in Scotland, Pa. just outside of Maryland. 
 A versatile 6-foot-8, 205-pound guard/forward, Ntambwe recently decided on the second-year program. 
“I wanted to go to a place where I would best be prepared for the next level," said Ntambwe, who became a major target of Providence coach Ed Cooley while at Forest Trails Academy (N.C.) his junior season. 
"I think Scotland Campus would give me the best advantage as far as using me the right way and fully utilizing the skill I have to offer. It's the best choice to prepare me for the NCAA, whichever program I wind up at."
Cooley and countless other coaches envision still-growing potential in Ntambwe. 

The intrigue is traceable to Ntambwe's unique combination of length,  height, and advanced guard skill-set.

 Ntambwe's rare skill-set creates matchup issues for small guards and bigger forwards. He's as effective and witty a passer as you'll find at 6-foot-8, a fluid source. 

Ntambwe's capabilities in putting the ball on the floor and triggering the uptempo game ultimately solidified has status as point forward this past season. 

Rhode Island recently offered Ntambwe. Rams head coach Dan Hurley is deeply tied into Ntambwe's people, having known Ntambwe's legal guardian Dave Caputo for over 20 years. 

Florida State, West VirginiaWichita State, Tennessee, UConnWake Forest, Arkansas, Duquesne, Tulsa, and a litany of others have plunked down offers. 

Ntambwe scored 22 points during a wild, final game of the prestigious CYP tournament in Port Chester. 
His production at CYP catapulted him to the All-Tournament team alongside high-profile recruits such as Jose Alvarado (Georgia Tech), Aaron Wheeler (Purdue), and 6-foot-7 Jawaun Daniels out of New Jersey. 
A pivotal factor surrounding Ntambwe's decision to attend Scotland Campus Sports is his relationship with Chris Chaney

The two text frequently. Chaney has made it clear he wants Ntambwe, one of his more highly-touted recruits, to inherit some ownership of the team. Chaney envisions a unique threat in Ntambwe, who guards four different positions effectively. At the same time, he can adapt to multiple offensive roles.

Ntambwe was intrigued when learning of the draft picks and impactful four-year high-major players Chaney has finely-tuned during his illustrious prep career.
Chaney has won three National Coach of the Year awards, three prep national championships, and three Maryland state championships. Chaney currently owns more wins than any active high school or prep coach in his age range.  Chaney has traveled the world for clinics and high-level basketball camps, which bodes well in recruiting international talent. 

A list of former and current standouts such as Hassan Whiteside (Marshall/NBA), Shawne Williams (Memphis/NBA), Renaldo Balkman (South Carolina/NBA) Jeremy Hazell (Seton Hall/overseas), Bobby Maze (Tennessee/overseas) and Dwight Hardy (St. John's/overseas) have developed under Chaney's disciplined, hard-edged style of basketball. 

From Maryland originally, Chaney has enforced a system which eliminates any reliance on star power. On the aforementioned Laurinburg Prep (N.C.) national championship team, there were 17 different leading scorers throughout the year. By sacrificing individual totals for team glory and ingraining the championship-or-bust mentality in everyone's brain, the team bought in collectively. 

Chaney emphasizes a thorough uptempo attack and offensive balance. 

Should the slightest morsel of selfishness rear its head, expect Chaney to make swift lineup adjustments. He's an old school coach built on old school principles and accountability. 

 "Playing the game the right way," as Chaney noted, is what he's preached with an iron fist these years.  Work ethic and focus are bedrock principles. 
In becoming more well-versed on Chaney's career, Ntambwe decided on Scotland Campus Sports as his final destination. 
“Coach (Chris) Chaney has won at the highest level of prep basketball and has had a bunch of kids who have played at the high-major level and gotten better," Ntambwe said.
"We've talked to a lot of people and really nobody had the same experience in constantly getting under the radar recruits to sign with big time colleges like coach Chaney did. He's produced a lot of NBA players, which is my end goal after college. Given all that Chaney has attained and the countless college coaching connections he's established, Scotland Campus was the best choice for myself and my growth as a basketball player. He also has a staff of proven winners, so this would be the best fit for me in my last year of basketball at this level.”

Chaney arrived at Scotland after cracking the nation's top-10 at DME Academy (Daytona Beach, FL). Last season, Chaney took a largely unknown group of recruits and helped them to upset victories over Mount Zion Academy (Md.) twice and Montverde Academy's post-graduate team in Orlando. Players such as Holland product Lawrence Slim, Jaylen Jordan, Chris Parker, and a bevy of others played with a chip on their shoulder. The result was a 23-7 campaign.

Ntambwe flew largely under the radar this past season, playing an obscure schedule yet thriving as a multi-dimensional forward known for his hustle and versatility. 

Conventional wisdom would indicate Providence is the surefire leader for Ntambwe. 

Ed Cooley appears to be sold on Ntambwe's passing acumen and ability to see the floor. Scotland Campus Sports coach Chaney is tight with Friars assistant coach Brian Blaney

Ntambwe, who has said he will take his time regarding his college decision, wanted to weigh his stock amongst the heavy hitters during the Live Period. While he has earned interest from Louisville (newly-appointed assistant coach Jordan Fair has been consistent), the Cardinals have yet to offer. 

Providence recently altered the perception of the culture by solidifying a commitment from A.J. Reeves, a versatile and hot-shooting four-star recruit at small forward. The Friars also made steady headlines by getting Makai Ashton-Langford, another product of Reeves' Mass Rivals AAU program. 

 Ntambwe has drawn comparisons to former Providence forward Geoff McDermott, who played point forward and led the Big East in rebounding at one point. Others liken him to Lamar Odom during his Christ The King (N.Y.) heyday, citing his natural tendency to put the ball on the deck, create his own shot off the dribble, and score at all three levels.

"There's no doubt Joel has had a great last couple of years and he's one of those kids who is on the up," Chaney said. 

"The main thing with Joel is we need to tighten up the screws a bit and work at all compartments of his game so that he's college ready right away. As talented as he is, one thing we've discussed thoroughly is how hard he's going to have to work. He's going to have the opportunity to do a lot for us, really be an all-around player, we want to make sure he's leading right away. Mainly it's going to come down to his work ethic, which is what I think separates our program from the others out there." 

Playing in the hothouse proving ground that is the Grind Session will certainly gauge Ntambwe's development.

 Ntambwe's obscurity these past few seasons can be traced to his lack of competition during a tumultuous situation at Forest Trail. 

"If you want to be the best, you have to play against the best, it's as simple as that," Chaney said. 

"The Grind Session has really been putting together some great events, laced with some of the best talent in the country. Part of it is really going to attract post graduate programs. It's going to give Joel and a number of our players a chance to show out on a colossal stage with 50-60+ Division-I coaches in attendance. It's a challenge we believe he's ready for."