Syracuse has been after four star Ashburnham (MA) Cushing Academy point guard Kaleb Joseph for some time. When he committed during a visit over the weekend, it wasn't a big surprise. But what are the Orange getting in the 6-foot-2 prospect? We spoke to his Mass Rivals AAU Coach, Vin Pastore, to find out.
"Kaleb is a talented point guard," Coach Pastore described. "He's a natural off the pick and roll. When I say a natural, he knows when to drag it and when to turn the corner. He can get himself into a sweet pull-up jump shot.
Joseph has played primarily man-to-man throughout his basketball career, as is common for most prospects coming out of high school. But Joseph's skill set, size, and length make Coach Pastore believe he will be successful in the Orange zone scheme.
"I play man to man so that's what he plays for me," Coach Pastore admitted. "He's long which means he can cover the position in man because of his size and length. But that length would translate well into a zone.
"I've never seen him play zone and Syracuse hasn't either, but I assume he'd be pretty good at it."
Pastore calls Joseph a pure point guard. An unselfish player who runs an offense efficiently and gets his teammates involved. Those attributes suggest a perfect fit for Jim Boeheim's offensive system.
"He's a kid that has a high basketball IQ," Coach Pastore said. "He has a strong desire to win and that's apparent to his teammates. I wouldn't say he's overly emotional or a screamer and a yeller.
"But he leads by example. The best part about him as a teammate is he's comfortable being a distributor first. He's always talking to the guys about where he's going to be and where he'll find them."
Joseph has a lot of upside and Syracuse has been successful at developing guards over the last several years. Pastore believes Joseph can continue that trend, as he is ideally suited for what the Orange do on both ends of the floor.
"I think he would fit in fine," Coach Pastore projected. "I think his size, his length, and ability to be a pick and roll point guard fits into the way they play. It's tough to call on defense but the body type fits what they look for in that position.
"What I can say about Kaleb is I truly believe his best days are ahead. He's very good right now. But the physicality of his body, he's still got a young man's body. As he develops and gets stronger over the next year in high school and into college, I think he's going to be one hell of a prospect."