MBB : Jefferson considering all college options; has interest in SU

first_img Published on October 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Amile Jefferson is taking his time. The senior power forward at Friends’ Central (Pa.) School is exploring every possibility before deciding where to play college basketball.With a final list of 10 or 11 schools he’s choosing from, Jefferson, a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com, has had a lot to consider this fall. And he’ll have even more to think about after he takes all of his official visits and meets with college coaches.‘There’s something different about every school that he’s visited or every coach that he’s talked to that he finds appealing,’ Friends’ Central head coach Jason Polykoff said. ‘So what he needs to do is, when it’s all said and done and he’s visited every school, is kind of sit down and see what situation’s the best situation for him both athletically, academically, socially.’Jefferson, the No. 12 power forward in his class, is currently in the midst of making official visits to schools and meeting with coaches. He’s already taken unofficial visits to North Carolina State, Villanova, Temple and Maryland, and he took an official visit to Ohio State last weekend, Polykoff said. The head coach said Jefferson also plans to visit Connecticut and is interested in Syracuse, among others.Cedric Jones coaches Jefferson’s AAU team, Team Philly, and said Jefferson met with Stanford on Tuesday. Polykoff said four more colleges were meeting with him at home or in school on Wednesday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDue to his focus on the recruiting process, Jefferson was unavailable for comment.The power forward has caught the attention of so many schools because of his athletic build, ability to finish in the lane and his knowledge of the game. He averaged 19.5 points and 11 rebounds last season for the Phoenix. Jefferson continued to impress against top competition over the summer at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp and LeBron James Skills Academy, solidifying himself as a top recruit.‘I think he’s probably the best baseline forward in the country,’ said Dave Telep, senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. ‘And for being such a not very physical guy, he is a tremendous finisher.’Those qualities have Syracuse interested in the 6-foot-7, 185-pound forward. And Jefferson is also intrigued by what the Orange has to offer.Adding to the appeal is the fact that Friends’ Central alumnus Hakim Warrick played for Syracuse, helping the Orange win the 2003 national championship before moving on to the NBA. Polykoff said the school’s rich history in basketball and its strong academic reputation grabbed Jefferson’s attention.Jefferson got a chance to play with Warrick on the ‘Friends’ Central Alumni’ team in the Delaware County Pro-Am League over the summer. And Jefferson has been able to ask Warrick about his experience at Syracuse.‘Amile’s gotten a chance to talk to him about the school (Syracuse) and ask the pertinent questions: What’s it like to play there and balance academics with athletics? The important questions,’ Polykoff said. ‘So I mean that’s helped because he knows somebody that’s in the inside that he could talk to.’Polykoff, who played with Warrick at Friends’ Central, said his old teammate and Jefferson are built the exact same way — both are long, lean and athletic.But the similarities end there. Their games are completely different.‘Hakim was a high-flyer, dunking from the foul line, getting rebounds and throwing out to the outlet,’ Polykoff said. ‘Amile is more under control. He’ll play with his back to the basket. He’ll give you an up-and-under.’Jefferson’s crafty play stems from his knowledge and understanding of the game. Jones, his AAU coach, said his basketball IQ is higher than anyone’s he has ever coached. Jefferson has had the right way to play the game drilled into him since he started playing for Jones in the fourth grade.‘We always preach, ‘Think the game, think the game, think the game,’ from when they were in the fourth and fifth grade,’ Jones said.Following that philosophy, Jefferson quickly learned the difference between a good shot and a bad shot in certain situations. He learned how to recognize mismatches on the floor and to attack them instantly.Now in high school, Polykoff gives Jefferson the freedom to change the team’s defense based on what he sees and feels on the court. On offense, his feel for the game is often on display.On one play against Abington Friends School last year, Jefferson was surrounded by three players. He calmly used a ball fake to shake one defender, and a shot fake sent a second defender in the air. Jefferson was left one-on-one in the post for an easy two points.‘That’s one of those plays where you just look and you go, ‘Wow, that’s pretty athletic and pretty creative,” Polykoff said. ‘ … That’s something that only a few guys can do.’And as he does on the court, Jefferson is taking in everything around him during the recruiting process before making his move.‘Everyone knows he’s a good kid, and it’s not like he’s looking for a one-track to the NBA,’ Polykoff said. ‘He’s looking for a school that supplies academics, athletics and social life that is a fit for him, just like he does most things.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *