ESPN basketball recruiting analyst Adam Finkelstein checks in today on his recruiting blog with two of Central Mass.'s finest athletes, New Hampton (N.H.) forward Zach Auguste and St. Andrew's (R.I.) big man Cedric Kuakumensah.
Auguste, a Marlborough native, has been drawing interest all summer long with the Mass Rivals AAU club, having picked up four new scholarship offers this past week from the Big East, SEC and ACC. But that's just the start.
The 6-foot-9 forward's most recent offers are Florida, West Virginia, Clemson and Marquette. However, when I asked him which schools those four joined he rattled off a few more but then had to pull out his cell phone where he keeps the complete list which now includes Florida, West Virginia, Clemson, Marquette, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Missouri, DePaul, Providence, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, UMass, Oregon State, Penn State, Auburn, Washington State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
But those are just the offers Auguste holds. He has interest from a variety of other powerhouse programs including UConn, whose campus he visited unofficially earlier this summer, and Pittsburgh, who has offered him an official visit.
An undeniable talent thanks to his length, athleticism and skill set, Auguste's productivity went to new levels in the second half of July, when his Mass Rivals squad made their West Coast swing to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Now his biggest challenge is keeping up with his phone as it has been ringing off the hook for the last week.
"I'm hoping to pick a top five or seven by the end of the month," Auguste said, adding that he isn't planning on taking any unofficial visits this month.
The skilled forward gave few clues as to which direction he was leaning, other than to say he was starting to think about official visits, and hoped to take a trip to Florida among other places.
"I'm looking for somewhere that I can have an impact as a freshman," he said, "have a good relationship with the coaches, and play for a good program that can win."
Finkelstein is also reporting that interest for Kuakumensah, a teammate of Auguste's with the Rivals, is picking up steam. The 6-foot-8 Worcester native -- who transferred into the Barrington, R.I. campus from Worcester North High last year, and re-classified to the Class of 2012 -- took an unofficial visit to Vermont this past weekend. He has seen interest as high as the Atlantic-10, and is hoping to visit UPenn later this month.