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Recruiting Insider: The NPSI Showcase: What it Means, Why it’s Useful

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Brian Flinn

This is Part 3 of a 3 part series on the latest college basketball recruiting news in the Rhode Island area. A huge thank you to Brian Flinn of Future150.com for providing some invaluable recruiting updates and expertise and helping GoLocalProv deliver premier recruiting information to basketball fans throughout the state. Part 3 of this series focuses on the upcoming National Prep School Invitational at Rhode Island College.  The significance of the NPSI continues to grow by the year, and it's a major date on the recruiting calendar for not just the Rhode Island schools, but the northeast and the nation as well.

The National Prep School Invitational tips off Thursday at Rhode Island College, and the talent showcase event marks an important date on the regional recruiting calendar.

Craig Leighton wrote a fantastic preview on Monday detailing some of the top talents at the NPSI and identifying some of the players in attendance with recruitment ties to URI and PC. If you haven’t checked out that GoLocalProv exclusive, do so here.

In the interest of avoiding redundancy, let’s shift the focus from URI, PC, and the players to watch and address the all-important question: Why does the NPSI matter?

With 32 teams participating over a 4 day showcase (featuring 32 total games) the NPSI is the largest and most prestigious basketball showcase in the state of Rhode Island. Featuring elite prep programs from just about everywhere, it’s a must-see event for recruiting analysts and college coaches looking for talent.

“It’s generally considered to be one of the best events in the northeast during the high school season just because the sheer amount of teams,” said Brian Flinn of Future150.com. “We’ve got teams coming from all over the world.”

In addition to many elite programs from the northeast, the NPSI attracts nationally prominent programs from states like Florida and South Carolina among others. There are also multiple Canadian teams, a team from Spain, and a team from the Czech Republic that will be on hand this weekend at the showcase.

With all the talent coming in, the NPSI will have the attention of college coaches across the country.

“A lot of schools are coming into the area to check out not only the international prospects, but it’s a great place to see a lot of the prep schools and figure out what the next wave is, recruiting wise,” said Flinn. “The last time I was at this event there was probably 40 coaches throughout the 4 days.”

Flinn said that last year Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley made it a point of emphasis to attend the showcase, and he expects Cooley and URI Head Coach Dan Hurley to make their presence felt this year. Flinn also expects one or two big name coaches to make an appearance at some point and show their recruits that they’re still paying attention.

“A lot of the high major programs at this point have either identified what remaining seniors they’re going after, and if they’re playing in this event they’ll be there to watch them because with this recruiting period coming up you want to prove to the kids that you’re still recruiting that they’re a priority for you,” said Flinn.

While the big shots might stop in to flex their recruiting muscles, the NPSI is tailored more for the smaller, less prominent schools to find diamonds in the rough.

“Low major programs, a lot of them are still in that evaluation mode,” said Flinn. “Maybe a couple of kids they thought they were going to be able to stay at their level, over the course of their recruitment they’ve jumped up to the next level, so they’re scrambling to still identify and find kids, help to find that hidden gem that’s going to help them reach the NCAA Tournament and hopefully knock off some bigger teams.” 

One thing the coaches will be looking for this weekend is how players respond to opponents who know their strengths and weaknesses. Many of the regional programs in attendance know each other well, and the players that stick those programs grow up playing against each other. How those players adjust to teams that know what their weaknesses are goes a long way in forecasting how a player could project later in his college career when the entire conference knows how to attack/defend them.

The NPSI is a huge event for both prep and college programs in the northeast. With both URI and PC chasing players participating in this year’s field, as well as the unfamiliar national and international talent on display, this year’s event is the most anticipated NPSI in its 16 year history.

In the 2013 NBA Draft, 8 out of the 60 players selected were alumni of the NPSI. College coaches will be wise to visit the Ocean State this weekend, head over to RIC, and see if they can woo and develop the next wave of future stars on hand.



Related Slideshow: 9 Local Basketball Players to Watch

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Sem Kroon

Hometown: Greenwich, CT

School: Northfield-Mt. Hermon School (MA)

Class: 2014

Commitment: Yale

In a Nutshell: Former RI Hawks Star is a 6’10” Center possessing an old school back-to-the-basket post-game on offense.

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Goodluck Okonoboh

Hometown: Woburn, MA

School: Wilbraham and Monson Academy (MA)

Class: 2014

Commitment: UNLV

In a Nutshell: “He’s arguably the best shot-blocker in this senior class,” says Flinn.  “Defensively he’s going to make an impact from Day 1.”

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Abdul Malik-Abu

Hometown: Boston, MA

School: Kimball Union Academy (NH)

Class: 2014

Commitment: North Carolina State

In a Nutshell: A dominant rebounder on both ends of the floor, he'll bring leadership, effort, and toughness to NC State next Fall.

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Jared Terrell

Hometown: Weymouth, MA

School: Brewster Academy (NH)

Class: 2014

Commitment: Oklahoma State

In a Nutshell: URI was believed to be the favorite to sign him, but Terrell shocked the world and chose Oklahoma State instead.

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Henry Bolton

Hometown: Portsmouth, RI

School: St. Andrew’s

Class: 2014

Commitment: Utah State 

In a Nutshell: Brian Flinn of Future150.com says "Utah State got a steal" on the under the radar guard.

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Bonzie Colson

Hometown: New Bedford, MA

School: St. Andrew’s

Class: 2014

Commitment: Notre Dame

In a Nutshell: Flinn calls Colson“A smart kid, and a kid that can really help a program on and off the court.”

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Chancellor Ellis

Hometown: Pomfret, CT

School: St. Andrew’s

Class: 2015

Commitment: Undecided

In a Nutshell: The #1 rated player in Rhode Island in the class of 2015, Ellis is a 6’5” shooting guard with interest from Florida, Oregon State, UCLA, and Arizona among others.

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Terrell Brown

Hometown: Barrington, RI

School: St. Andrew’s

Class: 2016

Commitment: Undecided

In a Nutshell: The top ranked player in Rhode Island in the class of 2016, Brown is a Top 50 national recruit that Flinn estimates could finish up as a Top 25 player in the class.

“Right now the name of the game for him is potential,” Flinn says.

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Tomas Murphy

Hometown: Providence, RI

School: The Prout School (RI)

Class: 2017

Commitment: Undecided

In a Nutshell: One of the top freshmen in the country, Murphy already has offers from URI, PC, and Bryant among others.


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