The road to recovery is long. No one knows that better than junior guard Brandon Triche. The 6-foot-3 scorer from Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) High School is trying to get back to where he was nearly two years ago after blowing out his knee last January.
The road certainly hasn't been fast or easy for Triche, says his AAU coach Mickey Walker of the Donyell Marshall Foundation.
Making it back to full strength is still a work in progress for the three-star guard but he's making progress this season.
Part of the recovery process could be more mental at this stage of the game, Walker says.
"I think he's had a couple of games where he had had high 30s. Scoring the ball, he's okay," Walker said. "I'm not a doctor, obviously, but I think he just needs to, by accident, make that cut without thinking about it and then afterwards say to himself, 'Hey, that wasn't so bad.'
"Now watching him play in high school, he's just kind of getting back to the point where you can see it is the same guy. It didn't happen right out of the box in high school."
Still "mentally tentative", as Walker says, Triche is putting time in the weight room trying to work on other parts of his frame this season.
"He looks like he is friggin' 22-years-old," Walker said. "He may have gotten too big. He couldn't run so he just lifted. It's not basketball weight."
The added strength has also given Triche an added dimension to his game. The junior is having more success getting into the lane and getting to the foul stripe.
"He shoots a lot of foul shots," Walker said.
Triche has the tools to be a high-major scorer. That has never been a question. The question is, however, when will the high-majors start to turn up the heat with the upstate New Yorker?
"For whatever reason, (recruiting) is almost non-existent. It's almost like he's not even being recruited," Walker said. "I think a lot of people are under the assumption that he is going to go to Syracuse, which is certainly not anything he's done to indicate that. It is a natural assumption though living in Syracuse and having an uncle that played there. I think there was a rumor that he had committed, which was not true…The recruitment process hasn't been too hectic for him."
Syracuse is very much involved. The Orange offered a scholarship two years ago, Walker said.
Villanova, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia, Georgetown, St. John's and Providence, Walker says, are also showing various degrees of interest.
"If I did an informal poll with the coaches, I think just about anybody would take him," Walker said. "Nobody has really said 'Hey we gotta have him.' Again, I think most in most people's mind they assume he's going to go to Syracuse."