CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Matt Coleman was in Chapel Hill for two UNC games last season. Now the coaching staff is pushing for him to return again.
“I talked to Hubert Davis” Coleman noted. “He said he wants to get me on campus and sit down and communicate because we didn’t really get to talk a lot during the games. He said he likes my game, wants to get me on campus, show me around, and get to know me better.”
This past week, Coleman made his first appearance at the NBPA Top 100 camp. At times he shared point guard duties with another highly touted junior guard in Trevon Duval.
“I think it’s good for both of us,” said Coleman. “We take the pressure off each other. I love playing with Tre. I love his game and he respects my game. I like him a lot as a player.”
While playing on a talented team with players such as Duval, Markelle Fultz, and P.J. Washington it was Coleman that helped the team’s run to a championship occur in the first place. On Saturday morning, with the playoffs set to begin, Coleman’s team was relegated to the auxiliary gym to play a six-minute play-in game between the two last place teams in the camp with the winner facing the number one seed in the quarterfinals. Coleman took control from the opening tip and knocked down a three before adding in a reverse right-handed lay-up and subsequent free throws to seal the victory.
“Great competition,” said Coleman when discussing the Top 100 camp. “A lot of guys in my class. Playing against other point guards that are very good. Tre Duvall, Trae Young and others. It’s just very competitive. It’s pretty much like the EYBL where it’s competitive every game. Every game counts.”
While Coleman was not nominated for the NBPA Top 100 All-Star team, he did show more poise and confidence than in an up and down EYBL season. Throughout the four days, Coleman was aggressive on the offensive end showed off an improved jump shot.
“I’ve spent a lot of time on that, Coleman noted about his outside shot. “When I go in the gym I focus on getting a lot of shots up on a consistent basis so I’ll be able to knock it down.”
The rising junior point guard is a sought after prospect and rattled off scholarship offers from UVa, Virginia Tech, VCU, Cincinnati, Memphis, UConn, and Texas and interest from Ohio State, Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida, and Indiana.
On June 15 college coaches were allowed to call Coleman.
“UVa was the first,” said Coleman. “Then it was Arizona State, then it was Florida. Then the next day I heard from the rest.”
One school that has been aggressive in its recruitment of Coleman is Texas. While at VCU, Shaka Smart offered Coleman a scholarship, and his interest has ramped up since taking over the job in Austin.
“Me and Shaka have a great relationship,” said Coleman. “Ever since the 15th, he’s been texting like twice a day asking how camp is going so he is showing he wants me to be a part of his organization. Two weeks ago I was in Houston working out with John Lucas and I want out to visit him.”
To that end, his developing relationship with fellow 2017 standout P.J. Washington, a Texas native, may end up being a factor. The two attended USA Basketball’s event in Colorado last year together and were teamed up at NBPA Camp. They both spoke of a potential package deal during and after last week’s event. The one school recruiting both very hard right now? Texas.
In order to prepare for the next level, Coleman is planning on transferring to Oak Hill Academy for his junior season. He spent his first two years at Maury High in Norfolk, Va. where he was named to the Virginia all-state team both years.
“I’m looking forward to developing my game for the next level,” said Coleman. “Get prepared for the competitive guys, the bigger and better guys and show where I stand. I like getting up and down the court in transition. Facilitating and being able to get others involved.”
With a host of prep schools showing interest in Coleman he noted two reasons for selecting Oak Hill.
“One was Corey Alexander. He talked to me about it, early, when I was younger in middle school if I continued on the right track. Also, talking to Steve Smith and seeing the point guards that he’s had previously. Guys like Brandon Jennings, Nolan Smith, and Ty Lawson. Those guys went there and they’ve made it to the next level. So that means I might have a chance of making it to the next level. And then playing against the guys in practice and on a national schedule.”
Hubert Davis Recruiting Coleman
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