In a day and age where there are very few secrets left in the world of college basketball recruiting, Stony Brook might have just found a diamond in the rough in the hills of Western Massachusetts.
Seawolves head coach Steve Pikiell landed his fourth commitment in the class of 2012 last week, this one from Ahmad Reid, a six-foot-three swingman who lives less than an hour away from Stony Brook’s Long Island campus, but is currently in the midst of his third year of prep school at the Berkshire School.
Reid is a bit of a curious case. His resume is as extensive as it is impressive, complete with a NEPSAC MVP award during his junior season and a spot on a highly visible summer AAU team, and yet for some reason he found himself flying somewhat low under the recruiting radar.
Regardless of the reasons, Reid was under-recruited and Stony Brook was the beneficiary. They only had to out-duel a pair of NEC programs in order to land a commitment from a player who has the potential to become an impact talent in the America East.
Reid has the prototypical basketball body –- long and athletic, with cut muscle tone and the frame to continue to expand once he gets into a college weight training program.
The vast majority of his offensive production is a direct result of his physical tools right now. He owns the quick first step to be able to create his own shot, both in the open floor and quarter-court, along with the quick bounce and body control to both finish above the rim, while also able to adjust his body in mid-air.
While the majority of his production currently comes from attacking the rim, his perimeter game has a lot of promise as well. Presently, he’s a guy who can make open shots out to the arc -- capable, but unspectacular by college standards -- but his clean release and soft touch suggest that similar to his physical tools, Reid’s three-point shooting could improve significantly down the road once he joins a program that requires him to take a few hundred shots each day.
In the short term, the level of Reid’s impact next year will depend almost entirely on how quickly he can adjust to playing against a much higher level of competition. The Berkshire School is hardly a basketball factory. In fact, Reid is head and shoulders the best player on his team, and most nights the opposition doesn’t have anyone who can contend with him. The adjustment to playing with and against better competition will include getting used to a faster and more physical game, and most importantly, a new role, as he’ll be asked to play within set limitations for the first time in his career.
That’s a process that is bound to make his freshman season a learning experience, but ultimately, it’s Reid’s long term potential that has Stony Brook excited. He’s got the type of versatile tools that aren’t often found in conferences like the America East. His combination of size, length, and athleticism will make him very rare even before his frame has a chance to fill completely out, while his already potent dribble drive game will only become more dangerous as his three-point range continues to become more consistent and defenders are consequently forced to change their tactics.
Now, it’s just a matter of whether or not Reid can turn undeniable potential into production. If he can, Stony Brook could very easily have an under the radar steal on their hands in what is already considered to be one of the America East’s best incoming recruiting classes.
Adam Finkelstein is the founder and editor of the New England Recruiting Report and also covers recruiting in the northeast for ESPN Scouts Inc. Adam has the rare distinction of having coached or scouted at the high school, NCAA, and NBA levels, having worked as a Division I assistant at the University of Hartford and spent three years under the NBA's director of scouting Marty Blake.