Brewster Coach Talks Christon and Reynolds

This year Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy is the home to two Xavier commitments. Both Semaj Christon and Jalen Reynolds are spending a prep year at the school, and head coach Jason Smith feels the future Musketeers are both very good players.

In his time at Brewster, Smith has had some impressive point guards. Floor generals from Brewster have attended Texas, Kansas, Rutgers, and Ohio State to name a few, and Smith feels that Christon stacks up with any of them.

"We've been extremely fortunate to have great point guards over the years at Brewster, but I think that Semaj has the highest upside for any of them," said Smith. "That includes guys like Naadir Tharpe, Dogus Balbay, and Mark Lyons. He has the elite level speed, quickness, is competitive, can guard, and I think the sky is the limit for him."

In fact Christon showed Smith exactly the type of player he could be all season and in the future with a near triple-double in their season opening win.

"On Monday night he had 10 points, seven assists, seven steals, and only one turnover so we were very happy with that," Smith noted. "Also he did an unbelievable job defensively, and that is also something we have been really stressing with him."

At 6-foot-2 with big time athleticism and a great feel for how to pass the basketball, Christon was a prime target for Xavier the entire summer. According to Smith he feels that Christon will fit in very well with Xavier's ball screen motion offense.

"Absolutely that is a great system for him," said Smith. "He is exceptional in pick and roll situations. He has another gear that neither Naadir nor Dogus had, and he is just extremely explosive when he gets into the paint. The great thing is he makes great decisions with the ball. He just needs to continue to work on his stroke from the perimeter. I think he has great mechanics, he just needs to shoot the ball with more confidence."

While Christon is running the show for Brewster and earning high praise, Smith says Reynolds reminds him of one of the best players to come out of Brewster, and someone who could be a first team All-American this year in college, Thomas Robinson of Kansas.

"He reminds me so much of Thomas Robinson it is scary," said Smith of Reynolds. "We have only been practicing for a week, but I will look at my assistants and say this is T-Rob all over again. He will have three freakish plays and then one play that causes you to shake your head in disbelief."

In fact, Reynolds showed off one of those classic freakish plays during Brewster's opening game win.

"On Monday night Jalen had a play where we turned the other team over and Jalen had the ball probably 35-40 feet from the hoop," said Smith. "A little water bug guard went to steal it from Jalen, but he eluded him by putting his ball around his back to himself and then finished with a dunk which was a play that Thomas couldn't really make in his time here. Jalen is just really skilled for a player who is 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds."

One thing really helping Reynolds at Brewster is the fact that he goes up against five-star center Mitch McGary and four-star power forward recruit Jakarr Sampson every day in practice. According to Smith, Reynolds more than holds his own against his very talented teammates.

"It is exciting for all three of the kids to play against each other on a daily basis," said Smith. "They all have days where they get the better of each other. I think it is very good and very humbling for them to realize that they can't take a play off or especially a day off or they will get dominated. They are all different from one another as well, so it makes it fun to watch each of them."

One thing that helps Jalen standout aside from his athleticism is his surprising skill from the mid-range and even to the perimeter.

"Jalen is an explosive athlete, shoots the ball really well in pick and pop situations, and what he brings to our team is his ability to rebound," said Smith. "He goes to the glass very aggressively. It is a double edged sword sometimes because he is so aggressive and so physical that I told him he is probably going to lead the country in fouls per minute."

In fact fouling is one thing that Robinson also battled in his time at Brewster and now at Kansas. According to Smith, if Reynolds can figure out how to play a little more under control he can have the type of career that Robinson has had.

"He just needs to be more consistent and keep that motor and aggressiveness but also at the same time foul less," said Smith of where Reynolds needs to improve. "Thomas dealt with that last year. He only played 15 minutes per game. Sure some of that was playing behind the Morris twins, but a certain percentage of that was probably him picking up careless fouls, it is the same thing with Jalen."

As the duo of Christon and Reynolds puts pen to paper, Xavier fans should be very excited with what the future holds and the strength of two prospects who are teaming up on one of the best prep school teams in the country.

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