The teams that bust up the bracket in March are usually teams that do their deep dive homework on the recruiting trail and land players that fit their programs the very best.
Every year on the HoopSeen platform, we see such programs do just that thing. Our Justin Young looks at three players who could play a big role in post-season magic for three non-major schools.
I always try to stay non-biased in all of my work - online or to college coaches. I think I’ve made a good career based on that line of thinking. But I gotta come clear here - I am a giant Brody Peebles fan. Always have been. He’s a straight up bucket-getter and he’s pumped them in during his prep career on the HoopSeen stage maybe more than anyone. Ever.
So when he picked a school like Liberty, it made a lot of sense. The Flames need flamethrowers and he’s one of the best. Peebles is a quick-trigger bucket maker and should have his presence felt right away.
Peebles is a good-shooter with ice in his veins. His game should thrive in the Atlantic Sun and playing with big wings who can slash, Peebles should be able to have clean looks from the wing. If you can score, you can score just about anywhere. As he’s progressed in preps, we’ve seen his game grow, too. Why won’t that continue at the college level?
If you’ve watched Mark Byington’s teams at Georgia Southern during his tenure in Statesboro, you know he has a thing for guards who can score and make shots. Now that he’s at James Madison, he and his staff stayed true to the recruiting grounds that have proven to be valuable for so long.
Andrew McConnell is a smart pick up for JMU. For one, he’s a big-time shot-maker. Two, he’s supremely confident when he has the ball in his hands. Three, he’s good enough to play good minutes at the point guard spot. But, ultimately, guys with the skillset that McConnell has thrive for Byington. Just ask Tookie Brown or Quan Jackson or Mike Hughes or Jelani Hewitt.
McConnell’s shot-making ability is one of the best in the class of 2021. What a fit he is for James Madison.
So how do you build a mid-major contender? There’s a formula to the science of recruiting high school players. Furman has a great strategy. The Paladins land terrific players that shine on the independent travel circuit. They find guys who win and are well-coached in high school. They seek after guys who not only have on-court success but also possess a high ceiling to further their development in college.
Their strategy has worked once again in the class of 2021. We saw Jaylen Pegues a lot on our truncated 2020 travel platform. The Hillsboro (TN) guard was outstanding for PSB Nashville, thriving with the black and yellow team throughout the summer.
Pegeus was a top performer at the Best of the South, Atlanta Jam and Be The Beast Always Live Showcase this season. He makes the game look easy. Not only can he score, rebound and pass, he’s a versatile guard on the defensive end of the floor. A full package guard with a winning resume? Yep, that sounds like the kind of players that thrive in Greenville under Bob Richey.