ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Woodrow Wilson High School Head Coach Pat Washington. He talked about Coleman and his commitment to Missouri.
"Zach Coleman is good! He has a chance to be very special," said Coach Washington. "He's extremely gifted with the basketball. He handles it well. I think you could say a point forward-type hybrid position. He's definitely suited for the three. He shoots it well. He's a gamer. You know, he works extremely hard. He rebounds his butt off."
Coach Washington went on to explain that Coleman had his biggest rebounding games against the top two teams in Wilson's conference. Coleman had 25 rebounds and 23 rebounds to lead his team to the conference title. Coleman averaged 14.2 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2.3 assists for Wilson in the 2011-2012 season.
Coach Washington said that Coleman will probably play at "around 215 pounds" in college. Coleman chose Missouri over offers from Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Baylor, LSU, Central Florida, Houston, Creighton, and UMass were also recruiting Coleman. I asked Coach Washington where Coleman has been hiding?
Coach Washington explained that Coleman had undergone an ACL repair when he was in the eighth grade, and that last fall was the first time that he had played in an organized basketball game.
"His knee is fine," said Coach Washington, who informed me that Coleman had scored 37 points in his very first game last fall after having not played organized basketball for over two years.
"If (Coleman) had not torn his ACL, (and missed all of that time), he would be considered probably one of the top players in the country," explained Coach Washington. "Now, I'm talking probably top fifty."
"If he's around the rim, he finishes," said Coach Washington, who explained that the athletic Coleman has very big hands. "And, he usually finishes with a dunk…………………………………… He shot around 75-80% from the FT line this year, and he can shoot the three. He can shoot the NBA three. He shot like 48% from the 3-PT line for us. He's a really good player! In my opinion, the sky's the limit for the young man."
Coach Washington compared Coleman to another Woodrow Wilson player, Anthony Randolph, of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"I had Anthony Randolph here before he went on to LSU, and now he's in the NBA" explained Coach Washington. "(Coleman) compares favorably to Anthony Randolph. He's just a couple of inches shorter."
ShowMeMizzou.com spoke also with Coleman's coach with the Mustangs, Gerald Booker, and he talked about Coleman's commitment, and what kind of a player that Missouri is getting.
"He's very happy about his commitment to Missouri," explained Coach Booker, talking about Coleman's decision to play basketball for the Tigers. "It's solid! He's very enthused about it. I really met Zach and got to know him right before Christmas, well really like last fall. And, since I met him, the only thing that's came out of his mouth is Missouri. It's solid."
"He's probably going to be one of the hardest working fellas that you're going to come across," said Coach Booker, talking about Coleman. He's a very long, committed kid, who just works hard. He has a great work ethic. He's a versatile three-four guy that's going to rebound with the best of them, score down low, and step out and hit the three, as well as handle the ball for you. He creates a great mismatch for a lot of kids……………………………………….. He's a great rebounder! He plays the game the right way! He does all of the little things that count. He can guard anywhere from a point guard to a center."
Coleman is just now regaining his athleticism and beginning to tap into his potential. Everyone talks about his upside, and the likelihood that he will reach a very high ceiling. He showed well this past weekend, in front of Missouri Assistant Head Coach Tim Fuller, as the Mustangs captured the NBA Red Division Bracket at the Great American Shoot-Out in Duncanville.
"He's just a great kid, on and off the floor," said Coach Booker, continuing to talk about Coleman. "He's high on character, and everything. Honestly, I think Missouri is honored to get a kid like Zach."