West Virginia, Alabama Among Those Pursuing JUCO Wing Luis Montero
By ZACH SMARTSpecial to ZAGSBLOG
If Luis Montero’s Division-I profile was a stock it would be a hot purchase right now.
The 6-foot-9 2015 guard/forward averaged 15.9 points, six boards, and three assists en route to leading Westchester Community College to a 28-4 season culminating with a berth in the NJCAA tournament for the first time since 1996.
He’s garnered the notice of several high majors. A 19-point performance at the JUCO national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., turned more eyes to the prodigious Dominican talent.
Montero, a crafty finisher who stretches the floor out and can score the rock in a variety of ways, has budding interest from Alabama, West Virginia, Penn State, LSU, and South Florida.
Alabama had been in consistent pursuit from the start, but West Virginia has been on the prowl for Montero, who piled up 58 points during the Vikes’ final three games and had a 31-point explosion during a thorough 113-86 mauling of Rockland Community College back on Feb.11
“He changed us completely when he arrived this season,” said Vikes head coach Tyrone Mushatt.
“We were already good. He made us great. Everyone wants a guy similar to his style because he’s 6-9 and can play like a guard. He’s a better defender than people think.”
Though several offers are on the table, Montero is likely to be thumbing through drawer loads of recruiting mail following Jerry Mullins’ Top 100 JUCO showcase in Missouri this summer.
“This kid can make a mistake and you can let it happen without losing your cool, because he’s going to make the right play the next 20 times,” said Mushatt.
“He’s a game-changer. We had a hybrid 3-4 type and we needed Luis’ presence in between. He brought that extra stuff.”
Montero allowed Quinnipiac-bound point guard Giovanni McLean to become more of a creator, running the floor and facilitating a high-low attack with 6-foot-8 forward Keith Thomas.
“St. John’s, I think Keith can really own that place because he would be one of the few New York kids on the roster,” Mushatt said. “He’s a team guy first, so that’s an added plus.”
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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 whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.