Some guys simply exude physical prowess, and from the beginning Jared Terrell was one of those athletes. He caught our eye at the 2011 AAU Nationals as a rising sophomore, competing for a loaded Expressions Elite squad and standing out as a top scorer.
He parlayed that success into strong performances for New Hampton (N.H.) School during the 2011-12 campaign, drawing widespread interest from East Coast high-majors in the process. By the time he'd reached his rising junior summer, he claimed offers from Providence, Boston College, Cincinnati, Iowa, Iowa State, Miami, Connecticut and Rutgers.
He transferred to Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster for his junior season and continued his strong play despite injury problems, even if some of his peers produced more eye-popping performances and elevated themselves more in terms of rankings.
Terrell entered the spring with more to prove than some, and Expressions proved a daunting foe for opponents due in large part to their defense. He certainly played his role in that and set himself up for additional offers and interest.
When we spoke to him this past July at the LeBron James Skills Academy, he said he had offers from Kansas, Florida, Marquette, Miami, Providence, UConn and others, although some of those programs had shifting priorities and wavering urgency. Nevertheless, he obviously had played his way into great position headed through the summer and into the fall.
At the moment just prior to his decision, Terrell has narrowed his schools to Cincinnati, Rhode Island, Providence and Oklahoma State. He'll announce on September 7 along with Expressions teammate Abdul-Malik Abu, though the two are not necessarily a package deal.
At LeBron, Terrell checked in 6-3, 219 pounds. Most grown men never will achieve size like that unless it's obtained through potato chips and soda bottles, and thus Terrell already is as strong as he'll ever need to be in basketball.
Along with that, he plays an aggressive style. When he lowers his shoulders, he means it, and that enables him to cut a swath of open space on his way to the rim. The contact he draws awards him trips to the foul line, resulting in points for his team and foul trouble for opponents.
He's also a streaky jump shooter. When he's on, Terrell has been known to bury numerous threes in a single contest. The ability to score effectively from the perimeter will be key for him college.
His defensive ability is where he stands out most. Terrell's strength enables him to get under would-be slashers and prevent them from entering the lane, and perhaps more importantly he's able to burst through screens. Given the pervasiveness of high screens and rough play off the ball, that skill could make him highly valuable as a defender.
Terrell is attempting to shift from the wing to point guard, and that's a wise endeavor from a professional perspective given his height. That said, he isn't there yet as a handler or distributor, and thus he may require several years before he could attempt such a move.
He also tends to shoot with a very low trajectory and therefore experiences inconsistent results. Ironing out shooting mechanics never is easy, and he may require time to hone his craft here as well.
Terrell could become one of those unsung glue guys who leads by example with his defense and toughness. His offensive game needs a rework in some facets as his strength edge will dissipate to an extent in college, but he's capable on both ends of the court and that's why he ranks among the country's top 100 prospects.