Pat Forsythe saw his recruiting options blossom from a couple of mid-major schools to top destinations such as West Virginia and Ohio State in the space of just a few short weeks. His leap from a potential MAC player to a Big East headliner started just a couple of weeks ago.
"I had several coaches come see me in open gym, and Erik Martin from West Virginia was one of those," Forsythe related. "Then, a couple of days later, Coach Huggins came down, and they offered me right then. They invited me to come up for the opening night of basketball practice, and I liked everything I saw. The community, the coaches, the players -- everything was good with me. Once I saw West Virginia, I knew I was going to come here."
Forsythe admitted that the recruiting process ended up being a short one, but it was something that he enjoyed. He might have extended it had he not felt so immediately home in the Mountaineer program, but once he saw the campus and met with everyone involved with the program, there was nothing left to consider.
Forsythe is an exception to the well-covered prep basketball landscape -- a player that avoided early notice despite obvious skill. A combination of factors, including a late start in organized basketball, a pedestrian AUU team, a back injury that hampered him during his junior year and a lack of offensive numbers in deference to a senior teammate all left him not just under the radar, but not even showing up as an echo.
That didn't bother him, however. He continued to work, improving his strength greatly over the course of his junior season and the just-passed summer. He started to get some attention at AAU events, but in open gym work showed developing skills that landed him offers from just about every school that passed through.
"My strength has increased a lot, and I think my love for the game helped too," he said of the reasons for his leap into the spotlight. "I always want to get in the gym and work."
Forsythe's devotion to hoops is a relatively new-found one. He just started playing organized basketball in the eighth grade.
"Before that, I just played football," he said. "I just picked up a basketball one day and fell in love with it. I am still learning, but I think I have a lot of potential. I do know that I still have a lot to learn."
Forsythe suffered through a broken vertebrae at the start of his junior season that severely limited his play, and also clearly contributed to his lack of recruiting buzz. He said that injuryis now fully healed, and does not give him any problems on the court.
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Forsythe didn't pile up huge numbers as a junior, in part due to the presence of Tyler Ferrell, Brunswick's all-time leading scorer. Ferrell will play this year for Wheeling Jesuit, which clears the way for Forsythe to put up bigger offensive numbers this fall.