During the 15 and under AAU nationals while Adons Thomas was leading his team to a national championship and Andre Drummond made his first national appearance, it was Coleman, who wasn't even in high school yet, who made the biggest impression.
Hailing from just outside of the city of Syracuse, Coleman was a known commodity in local circles for his size, strength, and advanced ability. The Syracuse Orange coaching staff was already aware of him, and had begun to make him a priority recruit the moment he stepped into high school.
The Orange are hoping that Coleman can be a player who follows in the footsteps of Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson in recent years. Both Onuaku and Jackson were the anchors to the Syracuse frontcourt, and posted impressive numbers with both points and rebounds while holding down a physical presence in the lane.
While Coleman's presence on the offensive glass and as well as scoring down low will be obvious, where he will really make an impact is on the defensive end. Using his now 6-foot-9 and 285 pound frame, Coleman can cause offensive players to not enter the lane knowing that they will be running into a major roadblock. This allows Syracuse in their 2-3 zone to extend out to shooters and makes them very difficult to score against.
With Coleman holding it down on the offensive and defensive ends, Syracuse will have something on their roster that is currently missing. While Baye Moussa Keita is a talented shot blocker, he doesn't have the physical presence or offensive ability that Coleman does. Also Fab Melo, while he showed flashes as a freshman, has never proven to be someone who can score down on the low block. Coleman now gives the Orange that presence to go along with the talented guards and wings currently on their roster.
It is way too early to say that Coleman will match what former Syracuse star Derrick Coleman did by helping the Orange reach the final four his freshman season, but Orange fans are hoping that the hometown kid will help history repeat itself.