Torrey Pines: Welsh making strides

DEL MAR, Calif. - After the huge jump that Thomas Welsh made from his sophomore to junior year, it should be no surprise that younger brother Henry is making a leap at the same stage.

Heading into his junior season, there were only a handful of schools seriously recruiting 7-foot Los Angeles Loyola center Thomas Welsh.

That changed quickly as a junior, when Welsh made a huge jump forward as a prospect, going from a guy only really getting serious attention from mid-major schools to a future McDonald’s All-American and UCLA Bruin.

Knowing the jump Thomas made from his sophomore to junior season, watching his younger brother, 6-foot-10, 235-pound Loyola center Henry Welsh, was going to be important this year.

The 2016 prospect was always a nice prospect, but not necessarily the typical guy that high majors would make a big investment recruiting if not for the fact that his brother made a freak jump as a high school upperclassman.

Watching Henry on Monday, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that he made a big jump forward as well.

The younger Welsh has broader shoulders than his brother and while he’s a couple inches shorter, plays a more physical brand of basketball. He has similar soft hands and the ability to score around the basket or facing up.

What’s the key to the Welsh brothers’ growth?

“We just work hard,” Henry said. “For me it’s starting to show. Big guys develop later. I’ve worked on my body and agility. Small things that you do every day help you later.”

Henry sees the work he put in during the off-season quickly tuning into production.

“I think I’m getting better,” he said. “I’ve been working hard and working on my post game as well as my jumper from out to 17 feet. I’m rebounding really well, I’m blocking shots and I’m protecting the rim and finishing around the basket.

“I need to get more confident and continue to become a better leader. I want to be a dominant post player.”

At this stage, Thomas’ recruitment had yet to pick up and it’s a similar story for Henry. Santa Clara has offered, while Loyola (Md.), UCSB and Colorado are showing interest.

The younger Welsh is okay with that; he’s more concerned with his game right now anyway.

“I want to keep getting better and we’ll see where that takes me,” Welsh said. “I want to go somewhere I can grow academically, spiritually and physically. That’s my ideal spot.”

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