Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Faces On the Heights

Each recruiting season brings new surprises and new hope to every school in the country. Hope that one of their prized freshman will be the one that will develop into a superstar and lead the team to the promise land. This past week was the beginning of the early signing period for college basketball, and with that, our beloved BC Eagles have signed 3 new players that we hope will bring excitement and passion to Conte Forum.

Today, we'll meet the 3 new guys, and give you a window into what they'll bring to the table for the next 4 seasons.

Brady Heslip-Shooting/Point Guard
Burlington, ON Canada
6'2"/170 lbs


Heslip was one of the hottest recruits on the circuit this past summer following his dazzling display for Grassroots Canada (AAU). Heslip had been largely overlooked because of his 2 5-star teammates (Cory Joseph, Myck Kabongo) who played in the back court with him. His opportunities to score were limited, but when he got the chance to display his talent, he took advantage and had received several mid-major offers including East Carolina. But with Joseph and Kabongo off in other events during the summer, Heslip showed scouts how dynamic of a scorer he is. The Canadian averaged nearly 30 points a game in various tournaments in different parts of the United States by being able to shoot effectively from anywhere on the court.

His smooth stroke, ability to play multiple positions, and high basketball IQ were what drew scouts in and soon the offers came pouring in with Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Cincinnati being just a few of the teams that showed major interest. But after visiting with coach Al Skinner, Heslip chose to commit to the Eagles. His shooting ability and versatility are what will make him an effective player in the ACC over the next few seasons. He's currently enrolled at a prep school in New Hampshire and will be enrolled at BC in January.

What They're Saying:

“Brady is a true example of determination-meets-work-ethics-meets-opportunity-meets-dream. B.C. has a tradition of letting their point guards shoot the ball and they showed a lot of interest, so he should have a good career there.”
-Ro Russell, AAU Coach

Kevin Noreen
-Small Forward
Minneapolis, MN USA
6'8"/220 lbs


Kevin Noreen is a 6'8" swingman out of Minnesota who this season will try and break the all-time state scoring record (he's about 600 points shy). Noreen is an exceptionally versatile forward with great size and the ball skills to match it. Reports are that he is still growing and could potentially reach the 6'10" mark, potentially making him one of the best size/skill players that BC has ever recruited. Initially, Noreen was being recruited mostly by local area schools like Marquette, Green Bay, etc. But he, like Brady Heslip got a big boost this past summer while playing on the AAU circuit (ironically, they were at the same Super 64 tournament), which led to him being recruited actively by NC State, Gonzaga, and his hometown Minnesota. One thing that drew Noreen to the Eagles though were the academics. Kevin takes his studies very seriously and while on a campus visit back in April he found that the school fit very well with his personal values from an education and athletic standpoint.

Kevin's skill set is very wide ranging as he's been able to adapt his game depending on his opponent. The wiry forward shows good touch from the outside and from the mid-range and also has some back to the basket skills, though his post game is a little raw. At his size, his best attribute is his ability to put the ball on the floor and go around opposing defenders. As he develops into his body and hones his skills, he could become one of the more versatile players in the ACC. BC rarely has been able to acquire players with the combination of skill and size that Noreen possesses.

What They're Saying:

"I just want to win. Scoring is my role on the team but I want to be a team player."
-Kevin Noreen
(Sounds like he'll fit in very well here)

Papa Samba Ndao
-Power Forward
Montverde, FL USA
6'9"/190 lbs


Perhaps the most intriguing prospect for Al Skinner and the BC Eagles is Ndao. The Senegalese power forward is exceptionally raw in terms of his abilities, but his athleticism is off the charts and his potential is limitless. He's mostly a perimeter player presently as he lacks real bulk and back to the basket skills, but with time, patience, and a lot of hard work over the next few years, Ndao should develop into perhaps the most explosive athlete the Eagles have had since Sean Williams. His best attributes at this point are his ball handling and his finishing ability. He's able to drive by players his own size, and is able to out-muscle most smaller forwards who try to match his speed. As he develops, he'll become a legitimate match-up nightmare for other teams.

Currently playing for the prestigious Montverde Academy in Florida, Ndao was invited to play for the U-18 team for his home country of Senegal based on his performances playing at the Nike Hoops Challenge and Nike World Challenge. Those events are reserved for some of the best high school basketball players in the country and Ndao accounted himself very well.

What They're Saying:

“Papa has a wealth of potential; I think his best basketball is ahead of him. I am really pleased with his decision to attend Boston College He has been in our program for three years, and has worked very hard athletically and academically to put himself in this position to accept this scholarship offer. Papa is in his second year in being a captain of our team, and he continues to improve in every aspect of his game."
-Kevin Sutton, Montverde Academy Head Coach

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