Battle for Edwards' Services Heats Up

On the night of the Vanderbilt-Miami football game, Miami basketball received a verbal commitment from Allen Roberts. RedHawk Insider spoke with All-Ohio Force coach Greg Brown and Middletown High coach Bob Ronai to discuss Roberts for a story on his commitment. During the conversation with each coach, RedHawk Insider also asked about Roberts' cousin Bill Edwards, Jr.

On the night of the Vanderbilt-Miami football game, Miami basketball received a verbal commitment from Allen Roberts, a 6'2" combo guard from Middletown (OH) High School. RedHawk Insider spoke with All-Ohio Force coach Greg Brown (Roberts' AAU coach) and Middletown High coach Bob Ronai (Roberts' high school coach) to discuss Roberts for a story on his commitment.

During the conversation with each coach, RedHawk Insider also asked about Roberts' cousin Bill Edwards, Jr., an important recruiting target for the Miami RedHawks. Edwards (6'5", 225) has been a prime target of Miami for years. Edwards is one of the top three or four most highly touted players in Ohio and is the top ranked wing forward.

Edwards comes from a strong basketball pedigree as his mother Glenetta Edwards was a four year star at Monroe (OH) High School and Sinclair Community College. His father, Bill Edwards, Sr., had his number retired at Wright State, played in the NBA, and represented his country with Team USA's "dream team" at the 1998 FIBA World Championships.

Coach Brown has coached Edwards since the fourth grade. He gave Edwards the highest praise, "I really do think Bill is the best player in Ohio."

Brown added that Edwards could play every position but center, even in college. Brown said Edwards is strong and athletic enough to rebound in the paint, but is a good enough ball handler to take the ball up the court. Brown added that on the perimeter, he creates mismatches with his skills and size.

Finally, Brown noted that Edwards is an intelligent player who does not feel the need to be the leading scorer every game. Brown said Edwards is a great passer who does not care who scores the points.

With Edwards, Roberts, and the other All-Ohio Force members buying into Brown's team oriented coaching, something often lacking in AAU ball, the Force has been a dominant player in Ohio summer basketball for years. This past July, the squad won Adidas' premier national tournament, the Adidas Take 5 Classic in Cincinnati.

As for recruiting, both coaches stated that Miami's chances of landed Edwards have likely increased with the commitment of Roberts. Coach Ronai said, "Miami is still high on the list. With Allen coming Miami should have a good shot at him." Ronai said that Edwards has over a dozen schools he is considering. Coach Brown said four schools of interest are Miami, Penn State, UMass, and the University of Miami.

Per Coach Ronai, Edwards does not have a favorite, but will be trimming down the list of schools. Ronai said, "I would like to see some schools cut and get the number down. He just has so many schools he is really interested in." Ronai added, "He is trying to get out on more unofficial visits."

Ronai noted that Miami and Penn State have been schools recruiting him the longest and hardest. "Like Miami, Penn State offered and constantly call. They have been recruiting him a long time."

Coach Ronai said there were a few schools that are on the fringe of offering Edwards. One is Oklahoma State. "(Oklahoma State) Coach Ford offered him while he was at UMass." He noted that Barack Obama's brother-in-law Craig Robinson, the head coach at Oregon State, and his staff have been calling on a regular basis. Ronai also said "Michigan is another one" that is considering offering Edwards.

With so many schools interested in Edwards, Coach Ronai's advice to Edwards was to choose a school where he feels comfortable with the setting. Ronai added, "I said, ‘You are going to the school and no one else so you do what feels right.'" Ronai also told Edwards that he does not have to listen to what others are telling him to do, including his parents, because Edwards is the one who has to live with the choice.

Miami coaches and fans hope Edwards listens to at least one parent. Edwards' mother Glenetta told RedHawk Insider in July that she wants her son to play with the RedHawks. Glenetta said, "I like the Miami RedHawks because he can be close to home and kids can come see him." She added, "Bill is a great kid and I would like him to be close to home. I am really rooting for the Miami RedHawks." Oxford and Middletown are only a half hour drive from each other.

Although Glenetta favors Miami, she would appear to agree with Coach Ronai's advice. She knows it is her son's choice, not hers. But in her mind, a BCS program does not mean a better program. She said, "It is not the size of the school that matters, it is the best fit."


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