Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Manhattan has signed three players in the early signing period.
Former five-star recruit and elite junior college prospect Chris Thomas (Denver, Colo./Chipola College), along with incoming freshmen, 6-10 center Carlton Allen (Ewing, N.J./Life Center Academy) and 6-foot guard Tyler Wilson (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes) signed their National Letters of Intent to play for the Jaspers in 2013-14.
“This class fills all our needs,” said head coach STeve Masiello “We have a big time scoring wing to replace George [Beamon], a cerebral point guard to ‘stir the drink’ as they say, and a big body inside to add great depth to our front line,” said Masiello. “Overall, we are really excited about the class. Rasheen Davis did a terrific job recruiting these guys and making them a part of the Jasper family.”
Thomas is 6-5 shooting guard from Colorado who is regarded as one of the purest scorers in the nation with high-major talent. He will come to Manhattan after one season playing at Chipola College for head coach Patrick Blake in Marianna, Fla. Chipola was the preseason fourth ranked team in the country on the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll. Thomas was ranked as the #1 shooting guard and fifth overall prospect by Rivals.com and was an ESPN Super 60 recruit. He is a knock-down three-point shooter who can also score off the dribble and create opportunities for his teammates.
“We are very excited to have a player of Chris’ caliber and person of his character join our family,” said Masiello, who is in his second season at Manhattan. “Chris is coming here to chase his degree and pursue basketball. He is an explosive wing who can play multiple positions and impact the game in a variety of ways.”
Allen comes to Manhattan from Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J., where he plays for head coach Pervis Ellison, an 11-year NBA veteran. Allen is a 6-10, 240-pound student-athlete who provides a low post scoring threat for the Jaspers. He maneuvers well in the deep post and has a repertoire of inside moves, including the jump hook, according to ESPN.com. ESPN.com also ranks Allen as the 41st player at his position in 2013 class. Allen played his first two years at Ewing High School where he helped the Blue Devils to a 23-6 overall record as a junior.
“We are so happy to sign Carlton. He is a piece we haven’t really had in this program, being a 6-10 wide-bodied player with great hands and runs the floor well,” said Masiello. “We feel next year our front line will be one of the better ones with Rhamel [Brown], Ashton [Pankey], Emmy [Andujar] and Ryan [McCoy], then you add a guy like Carlton along with Adam [Lacey] and you have some serious bodies up front.”
Wilson is a speedy guard who handles the ball well and is a legitimate scoring threat. He helped lead Cardinal Hayes to the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) Class AA intersectional semifinals as a junior. He averaged approximately 12 points and seven assists per game last year, after playing two years at Rice High School. Wilson most recently played his AAU ball with New Heights and head coach Chris Alesi.
“Tyler is a winner. He is a hard-nosed guard who is a terrific on the ball defender. Tyler is another local product from the Bronx who we are excited to be a Jasper,” said Masiello.
“What made me pick Manhattan was the style of play and the coaching staff,” he told SNY.tv. “They showed me a lot of love.”
Chris Alesi, Wilson’s AAU coach with the New Heights AAU program, said Wilson chose Manhattan over Canisius, UT-Arlington and Eastern Illinois.
“He brings leadership, toughness and poise at the point guard position,” Alesi said. “He’s a lockdown defender. He’s a perfect fit for Coach Masiello’s style of play. He’s a winner.”
Said Wilson: “I’m someone who can get to the rim. I’m a playmaker and a good defender, someone who likes to push the tempo.”
The Jaspers graduate three players from their 2012-2013 roster in graduate student Roberto Colonette, along with seniors George Beamon and Mohamed Koita
Photo: MSG Varsity
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.