Thursday, August 4, 2011

Good Summer for Telfair Getting Better

A name to watch in the class of 2014 is point guard Ethan Telfair (Northwest Catholic, CT). Telfair, the younger brother of Sebastian Telfair, could emerge as one of the top guards in his class when it's all said and done.

Last season, the sophomore received limited minutes at Lincoln averaging 1.8 points and 1.6 assist per game, which didn't help him out at all in gaining college interest.

This summer with more minutes, however, he did that and more. "I did play really well all summer long," he said. "A lot of college coaches told my AAU coach that they got their eye on me and that I'm looking better."

His solid play this summer with Long Island Lightning didn't bring in any scholarship offers but he did pick up interest from two college programs.

Oklahoma and St. Peters both contacted his AAU coach inquiring about the 5-10 lead guard.

In his first season at Northwest Catholic, Telfair has the opportunity of his life to continue getting better and  keep up the momentum he created this summer on the AAU circuit. Playing with five-star small forward Kuran Iverson and Zach Lewis will only help his cause.

It also helps when you have a brother who went through the same process. His brother, Sebastian, who decided to play professionally rather than go to college, still went through the recruitment process.

In fact, before he decided to play professionally, he committed to Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville.

Jamel Thomas, also went through the process and signed his letter of intent to play at Providence.

Sebastian and Jamel, are constantly in his ear providing him with advice and guidance. It will ultimately make him a great basketball player and a positive young man.

"Both of my brothers, Jamel and Sebastian help me a lot," he said. "Sebastian taught me how to play under pressure, keep focus and not letting anything get to my head.

"Jamel taught me the game, taught me to love it and it will me back. I workout everyday. He has the blueprint and he tells me hard work can get you anywhere you want to go."

There's nothing about Telfair that says he won't live up to his lofty expectations. He hasn't made much of an impression on many colleges yet but with two more years of high school and AAU ball, he will surely command the attention of many high-major programs.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that Telfair will eventually be one of the top point guards in his class. His AAU coach Shandue McNeil speaks very highly of him, he's a hard worker, has a great work ethic and continues to develop his game.

"I can make my teammates better," he said. "I get them open shots with my penetration and I can finish at the rim with both hands." He continued by saying, "I'm a good pick and roll player. I read the defense really well and knock down jump shots off it."

But that's only a tidbit of what he can actually do offensively. "He's been our linchpin," McNeil told the Marc Raimondi. "He makes everyone go. He gets us out in transition. He finds guys. He's been making shoots, too. He's been solid. He left July feeling good about himself."

But it doesn't stop there. Telfair may be smaller than most guards but he's smart and more notable, the kid has a ton of heart. "I'm not the biggest or strongest person on the court," he said. "But my heart makes up for that."

Still, just like every player, Telfair has his weaknesses. "I'm not a great spot up shooter," he said. "I shoot better off the dribble." He added, "I have to [play defense] better. I play the passing lanes pretty well but I need to get better on defense as well."