TT Baltimore Hoops Tour: Mike Tertsea

BALTIMORE, Md. -- For John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) sophomore center Michael Tertsea, already 6-feet-11 and long as the day, it's all about growth. As the Bel Air big-man, by way of Nigeria, has everything out in front of him both on and off the court.

BALTIMORE, Md. -- For John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) sophomore center Michael Tertsea, already 6-feet-11 and long as the day, it's all about growth. As the Bel Air big-man, by way of Nigeria, has everything out in front of him both on and off the court.

Physically, he is up to 222 pounds as compared to the 195 pounds when he arrived two years ago. And for the first time he has hit the AAU trail, debuting with Baltimore Elite this spring. His name and game are beginning to seep out more nationally with the new exposure.

"It's been different because the coaches are different and I feel like I am new to this team and first I have to understand everyone's game and the coaches and how they coach," Tertsea said of his Nike EYBL tour debut last month. "I feel the first EYBL tournament [in Sacramento last month] was a good experience for me and good exposure, especially seeing other players from all different countries playing. I was like 'wow,' these players and these college coaches who I had never seen before and when I had never done this before. I felt this was a great experience for me, and for coaches to see me."

Tertsea was a reserve for the 17s, who had a rough go of it in California in their first run with a mostly new team.

Said Baltimore Elite Coach Bub Carrington of his budding big, who mans the post for Coach Tony Martin at John Carroll during the high school season:

"Mike is another great kid who comes to us very humble, very respectful, and happy to be here. And he takes advantage of his opportunities and is a 'yes sir, no sir' type of kid," Carrington said.

"On the floor, he's 6-11, has great length, he's athletic, and he has great upside. You see it, you see it...and he just needs to continue to work on his skill-set. His leadership on the defensive end stands out as I like how he talks on the back end of the defense. I had him on my 16 and Under team but they asked me to move him up to the 17s for the added size up front, so he's making the EYBL tour now."

Carrington said the offense is coming quicker now, too, for someone so new to the game. Tertsea is very athletic and runs well for his size, and now just needs to continue to bulk up for better positioning down-low. But he has the shooting range to step out and nail jumpers, while he has developed a nice little hook shot, among other offensive moves with his quickness around the cup.

"Offensively, he's still a work in process, but he has a very nice over the shoulder right hand jump hook. He's working on the left hand jump hook. Then we'll start to add more to his game. But he's just got to be repetitive, just doing it over and over and over again. You know, get the muscle memory down," Carrington said.

Tertsea is still hearing from many of the same schools, from Maryland to Clemson, the latter of which has picked up the pace even more. In addition many of the locals who have known about him since freshman year are on him.

"I saw the Maryland coaches out in Sacramento watching me play," Tertsea said before heading out to Houston for round two with Elite, which was closed to college coaches.

Tertsea, after each time we see him, looks like he belongs more and more in the post physically, as he is thickening up both in the upper and lower body.

"I am trying to work on finishing, getting my post moves, and to gain more weight, more mass, to get stronger and more athletic post moves. And to work on my jump shot, 15-footers, and be able to shoot the threes sometimes," Tertsea said.

Tertsea said he followed Maryland games on television this season and believes it's a strong program overall.

"They are strong, and even though they did not make it to the NCAAs last year, I feel they have a good program, good coaches, and the team is very good," Tertsea said.

Tertsea also excels in the classroom, looking to finish strong this spring with his 3.65 GPA.

He will stay stateside this summer, traveling with Baltimore Elite and working local camps, such as those at John Carroll. He said he may be attending some invite camps as well as his summer schedule comes into view -- and his game continues to expand to that of national recruit.

Other schools in touch include Xavier and Miami, a list that is bound to grow this spring and summer.

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