Our Savior New American point guard Jamar Wilson, a 6-0, 160-pound native of New York City, has turned heads the past couple of weeks playing for the Queens Rim Rockers/Exodus AAU team at the IS8 league in Queens.
Wilson, who signed with Albany in the fall, is a slick ballhandler who is more than a handful in transition. Wilson has a knack for converting on acrobatic finishes, capable of capping off dribble drives with either hand. Wilson is an athlete with
considerable body control who possesses the ability to hang in the air and convert on forays to the hoop.
Within the last week Wilson matched up with St. Raymond's(Bronx) point guard Daon Merritt, a high major prospect in the junior class who has garnered offers from Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Georgetown. Merritt is considered one of the best lead guards in the class of 2003.
The match-up was fairly even, with Wilson tallying 23 points to Merritt's 22. Wilson did a good job of containing Merritt off the dribble while collecting a number of buckets in transition. Wilson's elusiveness off the dribble, particularly in the open floor, along with his body control, athleticism, and ability to hang and convert, pose problems for defenders.
Wilson chipped in 21 points Sunday after in the Rim Rockers playoff loss to Riverside Church's Junior level team, the Future Stars. Jamar pulled a couple of David Copperfieldesque crossovers in transition,
leaving the crowd aghast, while converting on a handful of twisting, acrobatic trips to the rack.
Wilson was a prospect who didn't receive a lot of attention early on in his recruitment, primarily because of geography. Heading into the year, few college coaches knew about the bounty of talent at Our
Savior in Centereach, on Long Island, tucked away deep in Suffolk County, East of New York City. For this reason the only serious suitors were Albany and Iona, where Jamar's cousin, Dyree Wilson, just finished up his playing career.
Ultimately it was Albany's coaching staff and the opportunities available in the program that helped sway Wilson. "I love the coaching staff," said Wilson. "I also think it's a place where I can come in and get playing time and play for four years."
After Albany head coach Scott Beeten was fired during the winter, Wilson, who had signed a letter of intent with the America East program, waited to see how the coaching situation would pan out. When top assistant Will Brown got the nod, Wilson decided to
stick with Albany.
That's not to say other, higher profile programs wouldn't have cast their hat in the ring had he obtained a release from his letter of intent. Programs like Texas, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, Appalachian St., and Hampton all kept tabs on Wilson's status.
But ultimately Wilson decided to honor his
commitment, a choice that could prove troublesome for the other point guards around the America East. Wilson is clearly a higher level player, in all likelihood an
Atlantic 10 plus caliber prospect. While this year's crop of point guards entering the America East is noteworthy, what with Miami's Jose Juan Barea, Peekskill's(NY) Rashard Turner, and Philadelphia's Shedjie Child's all locked up by conference programs,
Wilson could be the best of the lot.
At the very least expect him to push incumbent Earv Opong for the starting job next winter, and to establish himself as
a rookie of the year candidate in the league and a serious steal for Will Brown's program.