Finkelstein on recent local commitments

ESPN's Adam Finkelstein weighs in today on his recruiting blog on the commitments of three local high-major recruits, Brewster Academy (N.H.)'s Deonte Burton (Marquette), Notre Dame Prep's Ricardo Ledo (Providence), and King Philip's Jake Layman (Maryland).

The full article can be found here, and is excerpted below:


Short term: Any time you can lock up a Super 60 prospect before his junior year has started you don't hesitate, especially if he's a local product. So while the commitment was significant for Marquette, it was equally special for Burton who will return home in the fall of 2013 after spending three seasons attending prep school in New Hampshire.

Long term: Burton and Buzz Williams are the perfect pair. Burton is a highly-talented 6-foot-5 forward with power and athleticism, but he isn't without his faults. He was essentially a player without a true position a year ago and while he's really expanded his skill set in the last year his critics will say he still doesn't defend or compete as consistently as he needs to in order to maximize his potential. Enter Williams, one of the top young coaches and motivators in the game today, whose teams are known for their intensity. If he can get that out of Burton on a consistent basis, this could be an even bigger commitment than we realize.


Short term: Providence coach Ed Cooley has made a huge splash by landing Ledo and Kris Dunn in less than a month. Together they could form the top backcourt duo in the Class of 2012. The commitments also gives the new Providence staff some major credibility on the recruiting trail, especially in local New England circles where it has all of a sudden become fashionable to consider the Friars.

Long term: The naysayers have been coming out of the woodwork since Ledo's commitment, questioning his attitude, effort, and ability to win games. I for one think the criticisms have become a little overblown. There's no denying that Ledo has quite a bit of maturing to do, but there's also no denying that he is one of the most talented players in the country. And here's another factor that most have missed. Ledo has shown himself to be much more comfortable in a supporting role. For example, while his teams may have gone 1-10 this summer, Notre Dame Prep went to the finals of the National Prep Championship when he was in a complementary role to Todd Mayo. At Providence, Ledo will return to the complementary role. The much more prudent questions include his ability to qualify and if he does, how long will he stay at Providence before exploring the NBA Draft.


Short term: Another definite recruiting victory for a suddenly very hot Mark Turgeon. Layman is the No. 53-ranked player in the ESPNU 100 and his commitment boosts Maryland's class into the top 10 in the country. Here's the thing with Layman though, Terps fans are going to need to be patient. While incredibly talented, he's still fairly raw and not used to high-level competition outside of the AAU circuit. Consequently, his learning curve may be a little longer than most would expect from a borderline top 50 prospect.

Long term: Layman may take some time to adjust to the college level, that's the downside. The upside is that his long-term potential is through the roof, and he's really only starting to tap into his tools. He's built like a prototypical NBA 3-man with good size, at 6-8, high-level athleticism and soft shooting touch out to 22 feet. There may not be another member of Maryland's incoming 2012 class who benefits more from being part of a college strength program next year, nor someone likely to benefit more from one-on-ones with the coaching staff. He'll be ready for primetime by his sophomore year I suspect and potentially a big-time prospect as an upperclassman.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school basketball talent, be sure to check out Finkelstein's ESPN blog as well as his New England Recruiting Report.