2006 Focus: Tyler Roche

Tyler Roche was a virtual unknown outside of New Hampshire - until a breakthrough performance in Orlando in July got the attention of various ACC and Big East coaches.

Tyler Roche has heard the comparisons to another sweet-shooting forward who calls New Hampshire home, and no disrespect meant to Chad Millard, but Roche feels there's one major difference between the two.

``I like to mix it up a little more," said the 6-7, 195-pound Manchester Central (N.H.) junior.

Roche, 16, went into the summer – even as late as the Super Showcase – with virtually no reputation. Nearby UNH and Wisconsin-Green Bay had expressed interest, but that was it as far as D-1 schools.

That changed. Quickly.

Roche and his NH Playerz teammates excelled both at the Super Showcase and the AAU Nationals in late July and now he's gotten significant interest from the likes of Providence, N.C. State, Georgetown, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Colorado, Notre Dame and St. Bonaventure.

Vermont, St. Bonaventure, UNH and Wisconsin-Green Bay have all offered.

``This is really fun," said Roche, who averaged 19 points per game as a sophomore and boasts a 3.6 GPA. "It's awesome. I like it. It's amazing."

You can't blame Roche for sounding like a little kid stuck in a candy store. Basketball players from the Granite State aren't exactly commonplace.

Roche can really shoot it from the perimeter and he isn't afraid to let it fly, either. He is versatile and can also get to the basket with a high basketball IQ, but he'll still need to work on becoming a better defender and get stronger.

``His range is unbelievable," NH Playerz coach Matt Desfosses said. "But he also likes to battle inside and likes to play defense. He takes pride in his rebounding and help defense."

Roche has already taken unofficial visits to BC and Georgetown, but he doesn't really have much of a clue as to which schools he likes just yet.

``I still have to get to know the coaches more," Roche said. "I don't really know what's good for me right now."

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