Big-Man Tertsea Still Emerging

John Carroll junior big-man Mike Tertsea remains an intriguing high-major prospect.

BEL AIR, Md. -- He's 6-foot-9, long and bouncy, and he has a 7-3 wingspan.

He can run the floor with guards, and can knock down occasional treys.

John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.)l junior big-man Michael Tertsea remains an intriguing high-major prospect, but projecting him ahead to said HM level remains a bit tricky still.

Maryland, among other Big Ten as well as ACC schools, knows well about Tertsea, and has seen him play for JC, as well as Baltimore Elite AAU, where he debuted last spring during his first AAU foray.

The 225-pound post/combo-forward is, according to JC Coach Tony Martin, "a special player, a crafty interior scorer, who has excellent footwork, uses both hands, makes free throws and is a very solid mid-range jump shooter. He is a rim protector with his tremendous wingspan, rebounds well especially on the offensive boards, and has very good feet."

While Tertsea has a lot of upside, and obviously the size and physical tools, when we scouted him this week against Calvert Hall we saw a big that is still a work in progress on the blocks when projecting ahead to the highest level collegiately. 'Tweener' may be the best description for now, at least if he is going to play on the blocks at the next level.

Tertsea, who finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks and hit 4-of-10 field goals and missed both free throw attempts, indeed is quick around the cup and runs the floor very well. But on the blocks, we saw an emerging big that still has difficultly at times finishing, including over smaller players, and can get pushed off the low blocks at times too often.

Tertsea looks at himself as more of a facing big -- and he can indeed stroke it with good form and rotation. Meanwhile, JC usually runs guard-dominated play/sets, and he doesn't always get a ton of post touches in the regular flow. While Tertsea got his long arms/active hands on a lot of tips, deflections and altered shots, we still want to see him establish and keep his base underneath more, by adding more lower body strength, etc., if he is going to play on the blocks at the next level, where most would seemingly project him.

"Mike has great upside, he's bright, competitive, works hard, doesn’t have the hype machine of other players," Martin added. "But he may pass them all, a likely Top 50 player in his class."

So far, the early offers are from Binghamton, Bryant, Cleveland State, Dayton, Fairfield, JMU, Siena, Towson and UMBC, while he has interest from dozens of schools including Maryland, Cincinnati, Clemson, Duquesne, Florida Gulf Coast, George Mason, George Washington, Kansas State, Richmond, Stony Brook, USC, Virginia and Xavier.

Tertsea's next step is establishing more of a low-presence, back-to-the-basket game, as he may still be growing and inside could be his best suit. All the physical/athletic tools are there, and he is a top student and program model off the floor. Now, it's a matter of adding more strength and finishing ability. He has the 'want-to,' as we saw him battle for second and third rebound attempts against Calvert Hall, finishing several with put-backs as the balance of his scoring in the game.

All the physical gifts/tools are there. Now it's a matter of refining it inside as this intriguing, big-man import continues his climb to would-be high major. Depending on how many 'bigs' Maryland adds this year will dictate how big a push Tertsea, among others in the junior class, get for 2016. Or, he may continue to work more on his forward/facing skills, and try that route at the college level if that development continues. Thus, he's a 'tweener' still in our mind.

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