2017 Intro: Matt Coleman

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Famed AAU coach Boo Williams has a simple reason for starting rising sophomore Matt Coleman at point guard. He feels like he’s seen him before.

“He’s Kendall Marshall,” Williams said. “He reminds me of him at this stage. How he’s left-handed, how he runs the team. Kendall passes the ball better, but Matt shoots the ball well. I think he’s a better athlete and better shooter. He’s sneaky quick and he can go where he needs to get.”

Before playing a game as a high school sophomore, the 6-1 Coleman has scholarship offers from Old Dominion, UVa, Virginia Tech, VCU and Cincinnati. He’s also receiving interest from Ohio State, Florida, Missouri, Notre Dame, North Carolina, UCLA and Indiana.

“It’s a blessing to have this attention so early,” said Coleman, who attends Norfolk (Va.) Maury HS. “It also humbles you because you never know who the next person is that’s coming up.”

UNC’s interest started after it watched Coleman with Boo Williams’s 17U team this spring. UNC was there for 2016 offered forward Edrice Adebayo and 2015 wing Kenny Williams, but noticed Coleman.

Shortly after the school year ended at Maury, the UNC staff called head coach Jack Baker.

“It was Roy (Williams) that called, somewhere around June 17,” Coleman explained. “He asked my coach, ‘Who is your freshman point guard at your school? I want to show interest in him.’ I was excited because growing up I always liked Carolina.”

“I remember watching Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough, that was my first memory of them and ever since then I’ve liked them. The guards they produce are good and it’s a big-time ACC school.”

Depth charts, influences, style of play and entire coaching staffs can change in a flash, let alone over three years. Still, increased UNC interest would have a heavy impact on his recruitment even at this early stage.

“I would think about it a lot,” said Coleman. “But you never know who’s there and who else they’re recruiting. Things can change between now and 2017 so you never know.”

Coleman, along with fellow class of 2017 recruit Jalek Felton, was named second team Freshman All-America by Maxpreps. He was a 5A all-state and all-Tidewater team pick while averaging 13.4 points and 4.1 assists per game.

High School basketball in the Tidewater is tough and is a natural training ground for what came next – the EYBL.

“This is my first time playing in the actual EYBL Peach Jam,” said Coleman. “Since I was young I've always played with older guys, I've always been around guys who are older than me, more developed than me.”

Among his best assets, Coleman lists making the right play, basketball acumen and his pull-up jumper off the dribble.

Though Boo Williams sees him as similar to Kendall Marshall, it’s another former All-ACC point guard Coleman wants to play like.

“Chris Paul,” Coleman said without hesitation when asked who he models his game after. “I actually talked to him when he was here. I was like ‘What’s up, fam?’ like I knew him or something. It was an awesome moment.”

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