Blaylock Playing It Cool

FITCHBURG, Mass. -- Will Blaylock had to take two trains and a bus to get to school last year at East Boston High. "And then walk up a hill," he said. That was one of many reasons he opted to transfer up here to Notre Dame Prep.

"It's easier to get up in the morning and go right to school," he said Wednesday afternoon after a pickup session at this Central Mass prep powerhouse. "There are smaller classes, which makes it easier to learn."

And that's the main reason Blaylock is at Notre Dame. He needs to boost his grades and earn a qualifying SAT score. He's scheduled to take the test for the first time on Oct. 10. Then -- and really only then -- will hoops become a factor.

Expressing interest so far this fall are Iowa State, Providence, George Washington and DePaul. He's been to PC and Hofstra unofficially, and he toured UConn a while back. But first things first for the native Bostonian.

"We're on top of him with the SAT," Notre Dame coach Bill Barton said. "Will Blaylock is a nice kid, and he's smart. He's going to pass that test."

Meanwhile, on the court, he showed Wednesday afternoon what he showed time and time again last winter at East Boston as well as out on the Nike Circuit with Leo Papile's BABC program.

The 5-11 PG was tough. He got to the hole. He ventured into traffic in the lane and attacked the rim with those long arms of his. He even attempted what would have been a nasty one-handed jam.

But The Question was still there: Can he shoot? He didn't make any jumpers Wednesday afternoon. But that was mainly because he didn't take any jumpers. So the question about his perimeter touch is most definitely still there.

He averaged 18 points and nine rebounds as a junior at EBHS. This year, though, he'll play alongside high-energy Brooklyn point guard Gary Ervin, an early Mississippi State commitment.

"We'll take turns, I guess," Blaylock said. "I'm interchangeable at the 1 and the 2. We've got a good team here. We'll be good."

As for his recruitment?

"I have no idea right now," he said. "I don't need to stay close to home. Providence is the closest school recruiting me, and that's in Providence. But it's probably going to be a spring decision."

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