Coleman ready for second tour

Norfolk (Va.) Maury played 22 games for Boo Williams last year on the 17-under EYBL circuit, and he returns for another four months of national competition in 2015.

When Matt Coleman strode into the Virginia Wesleyan gym for the VA Top 80 last Sunday afternoon, he did so having already practiced that day with the Boo Williams Summer League program.

The circumstances that framed his appearance that day underline several things about him as an athlete. He’s a gym rat, a loyalist and a determined winner. Coleman’s investment into he BWSL squad compelled him to delay a trip to an exposure event, yet he still showed up after the fact simply because he wanted to compete.

Coleman doesn’t play like a sophomore and doesn’t project “young kid” off the court, either. He’s a highly cerebral, measured player whose sound decision-making and leadership qualities sometimes obscure the fact that he’s actually explosive as well.

The southpaw posted big numbers this season for Maury, which fell short in the state playoffs but will take another stab at the championship in 2015-16. For now, however, Coleman is reflecting on how he can improve and carries a new set of performance objectives at the forefront of his mind.

”I could have been more aggressive at times,” Coleman said, “but I scored more than I’m used to. And Boo (Williams) is relying on me this year to make more plays.

”I’ve been there before, so I’m more comfortable now.”

BWSL may suffer from something of a talent drain from 2014, as Bam Adebayo appears he will switch gears from Nike to Adidas-backed Team Loaded. Accordingly, Coleman no longer will be the setup guy — he’ll have to shoulder a far larger portion of the scoring burden.

Offensive command is a Coleman hallmark

He averaged just four points per game for Boo last year, but don’t let that fool you into believing he’s a non-scorer. He simply adapts to the role required of him and, significantly, has gained considerable quickness and speed since last summer.

College coaches may be surprised when they watch him April, even though he already ranks No. 17 in the Class of 2017.

His recruitment is operating at the highest level and soon may soar even further. Coleman holds offers from Virginia (his mother is a UVa graduate), Connecticut, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech, VCU, Memphis and Cincinnati. He holds interest from North Carolina, Kansas, Arizona, Ohio State, Syracuse and many others.

The next step is to further solidify his place among the nation’s elite and to close the deal with those programs that have yet to issue an early offer.

”This spring I’m going to prove why they need me,” Coleman said. “I’ve been working on my shot, because when you make post feeds you have to be ready for a kickout and knock down the shot.”

Coleman projects as one of the very best point guards in a class that’s unproven at that position, especially when one considers that both Troy Brown and Jalek Felton — the only two floor generals ranked ahead of him — actually may play off the ball in college.

We’ll be front and center at the opening EYBL event next month, which happens to take place in Hampton, very close to Norfolk. By the end of that weekend, Coleman will have had his first opportunity this year to make an emphatic statement.



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