Keyser Breaks Out

The mission statement of the Reebok Breakout Classic, which took place last week in Philadelphia, is to get under-the-radar players an opportunity to shine. One player who took full advantage of that opportunity was rising junior wing C.J. Keyser, from Patterson Mill (MD). On Sunday, Hawk Hill Hardwood spoke with Keyser's AAU coach from Mid-Atlantic Select, James Lee.

C.J. Keyser, a 6'4 wing from the Baltimore area, was one of last week's breakout stars, at both the Reebok camp and over the weekend at The Showdown. Keyser plays with Mid-Atlantic Select on the travel circuit, and his coach there, James Lee, had some high praise for his 2015 wing guard.

"First of all, CJ is a high-level athlete," James Lee began. "That is what allows everything else here to follow. Because of his athleticism, he's a defender who can guard the one, the two, and the three. He's explosively athletic." While his athleticism is his calling card, Lee explained that Keyser is more than just an athlete.

"He's a solid ball-handler, and he's worked really hard on his mid-range game. He can knock that jumper down. Then, he'll get back and defend on the other end," Lee continued.

There is a reason that C.J. Keyser was a relative unknown going into this month's live periods. He missed roughly half of last season. "He transferred into Patterson Mill from John Carroll, and he was forced to sit out the remainder of the season," his coach told Hawk Hill Hardwood. "Because of that, not a lot of people knew about him."

James Lee, who coached Boston College freshman Garland Owens on Mid-Atlantic Select, believes that the best is yet to come for Keyser. "His stock has risen, but the most exciting thing is that C.J. has so much room to grow. He's already good, but getting better. Things will keep looking up for him."

When Hawk Hill Hardwood spoke with James Lee on Sunday, C.J. had a handful of offers already in hand, including ones from Marshall, Drexel, and UMBC. Since the first live period closed on Sunday, he picked up two more offers: from St. Joe's and Duquesne. In addition to offers, Lee spoke about other schools involved.

"Cincinnati, Xavier, and Boston College all called recently," Lee said. "Coach Turgeon and Maryland also said they would watch him at Hoop Group." Mid-Atlantic Select will play at both Hoop Group camps in King of Prussia this week, then they'll be at the Live in AC next week in Atlantic City, before closing out the month at Team Final's event.

During the first live period of July, C.J. Keyser saw his stock soar through the roof, picking up two Atlantic 10 offers. No longer a secret, look for the hyper-athletic wing's recruitment to continue to ascend throughout the rest of the month. James Lee's Mid-Atlantic Select squad will be a popular one on the circuit the rest of July.

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