The golden class: Emptying the notebook

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February 24, 2010

1:26 AM

I wanted to write a blog post on my piece on the incoming men’s basketball recruiting class because even with approximately 2,700 words, I felt like I just barely scratched the surface on the work that went into this year’s class.

Some of the stuff left out of part one will appear in the second feature on men’s basketball, which will run in a couple of weeks. Other stuff I couldn’t fit into the feature, so I’ll put it in here:

-From what I gathered, the Tribe was very close to landing Bloomington South forward Erik Fromm, who eventually committed to Butler. It seems that Fromm was all set to come to William and Mary, then Butler got involved late in the process and Fromm decided he didn’t want to play so far from home.

-J.R. Homes, head coach at Bloomington South and father of Tribe assistant coach Jonathan Holmes, said the Tribe didn’t have any advantage in recruiting Fromm because of his relationship with his son and that. As he does for all his players, J.R. Holmes said he tried to only get as involved as the player and did what was best for the player.

-I actually talked to J.R. Holmes before Jonathan Holmes, leading to this exchange when I brought up the conversation.

Me: “I didn’t want it to be weird that I talked to your dad before you.”

Holmes: “Nah, it’s fine. He told me you called and I asked ‘What did you say?’ and he said ‘I just told him you were a chump.’”

-The Tribe was also very interested in Josh Henderson, a 6’11” center from Roanoke, Va. who eventually committed to Vanderbilt. Henderson also received offers from Virginia, Wake Forrest and Davidson. It’s a good sign in recruiting when not only are you bringing in talent, but also the kids you are missing out on are landing in successful, high-major programs.

-I came away impressed with all four players I talked to over the phone. All seemed intelligent, articulate and had a sense of humor. Fred Heldring in particular came off really well. I would be very surprised if does not fit in right away both on the court and on campus. Here’s a video of Heldring which gives you a little sense of his personality:

-Brandon Britt on playing pickup against some of the William and Mary guys earlier this year:

“I had fun. I did good actually. At one point, I was coming down and hitting every shot. Sean McCurdy was guarding me and he’s real competitive. So, and I don’t know if it was him or not, but I was playing and I get hit in the eye. I couldn’t see who it was out of the corner of my eye but I came up for the Hofstra game and [McCurdy] came over and said, ‘How’s your eye doing?’”

-Julian Boatner on Jonathan Holmes:

“He’s a pretty fun guy. Especially being from Bloomington North, he’ll give me all sorts of crap. He says when we play Bloomington South I can put up 20 and as long as they get the win, he doesn’t care. He says he’s a better shooter than me and he can light me up.”

-J.R. Holmes had very little to do with Julian Boatner’s recruiting process as well. He says he told his son about Boatner, but both the younger and older Holmes are quick to point out that Boatner was someone the Tribe already had interest in. Boatner says he has talked to J.R. Holmes, but that it was only small talk.

-Boatner on the coaching staff:

“They are all really good guys. They are very energetic, very personable. Coach Christian, he seems like a big kid. He likes video games, he listens to rap music; he’s just easy to relate to. Coach Wilkins, seems like the old man of the staff [laughing].

-One of the things I felt bad about leaving out of the article was Wilkins role in the recruiting process. In addition to being a very good X-O’s coach, Wilkins recruits the Northeast for William and Mary.

-I wanted to point out that although the class consists of two post players and two guards, really all four players are different. Without having seen any of the four of them play, and just going on how they and they coaching staff described their game, here’s how I envision them:

Heldring is more the prototypical center with increased shooting range. He’s 230 pounds with what Britt described as a “college body already” and his prototype seems to be Marcus Kitts with more range on his jumper.

Rusthoven is only 210 pounds and can play pretty much any position from the 2 to the 4. His prototype seems to be Quinn McDowell or Danny Sumner, tweener type forwards that can play anywhere from in the paint to the three point line.

Boatner seems to be a Matt Janning-type guard, a scoring guard comfortable pulling up from 15 feet. Boatner has played both the point and two guard in high school, this year he is playing off the ball more, and describes himself as not the most athletic of guards but able to get his shot off.

Britt is more a Chase Allen-type guard, although smaller at 6’0”. Britt is very comfortable making plays driving to the basket, although he also is a good shooter, as evidenced by his 10 3-pointers in one game last year.

Again, this is only my opinion from what I’ve gathered. Also, I am not saying Tim Rusthoven is as good as Quinn McDowell or Britt as good as Chase Allen. Those guys are starters in the CAA. I just wanted to use them as examples of the style of game I think they play.

Well, that’s about everything. Stayed tuned for part two on the men’s basketball program, which should run in the next couple of weeks.

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