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Tuesday / February 21.

West Virginia, Alabama, Arizona Pursuing Luis Montero

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Special to ZAGSBLOG

Luis Montero entered Westchester (N.Y.) Community College as one of the most heralded Dominican basketball wunderkinds since heavily-hyped New York natives Felipe Lopez and Luis Flores.

The 6-foot-8 off guard/wing has been widely regarded as an NBA prospect since he was 16, catapulting to cult hero status in the Caribbean.

“He’s like a guard, he thinks he’s 6-feet,” said Westchester Community College head coach Tyrone Mushatt, noting Montero’s supreme handles for his size and proclivity for creating his shot off the dribble.

“You became a danger on the floor when you create a shot like he can. There are times that he could run the one. But to me, that actually takes away from his scoring.”

Montero’s scoring was put into immediate use during the Vikes 16th game of the season, when he was ruled eligible at the 11th hour.

Montero’s presence in the lineup allowed Quinnipiac-bound guard Giovanni McLean to become more of a facilitator, relying less on his shot and instead spurring the attack with the rock in his hands.

Montero averaged 15.6 points, 5.9 boards, and 3.0 assists, spreading the floor by dialing in from way downtown.

He stabilized the Vikes’ patented inside-outside game, supplementing an interior featuring 6-foot-8 St.John’s-bound forward Keith Thomas (15.3 ppg, NJCAA-best 15.7 rpg) and freshman forward Joel Angus Jr. (12.6 ppg).

Montero has been inundated with handfuls of recruiting mail the past few months. The same craziness and high expectations and hyperbole that enveloped his prep career has re-surfaced during the recruitment process. Mushatt said he can barely get a free minute on the phone. Without his battery dying, that is.

West Virginia, Alabama, Auburn, South Florida, and Arizona have all been in steady pursuit of Montero, who turned in a 31-point barrage during a 113-86 dumping of Rockland Community College and was pebble-smooth during a 20-point performance (8-for-13 FG) in a win over Harcum College.

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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.