By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff
Despite the explosion of talent evaluation websites like Rivals.com, Scout.com and the like that rate and rank high school basketball players around the country, college basketball recruiting is far from an exact science.
Invariably, there are players who are projected to be stars on the next level who simply don’t pan out – that is, the considerable and oftentimes rough transition from the high school to college ball proves to be too overwhelming.
Yet on the other hand, there are the proverbial diamonds in the rough, players who, for one reason or another, were looked over during the recruitment process and have blossomed into stars or key contributors on top teams.
On the mid-major level, this trend is incredibly evident. Teams like Butler University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Morehead State University have utilized the talents of players like Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Jamie Skeen, Joey Rodriguez and Kenneth Faried, among others, who were passed over by bigger-name programs in bigger conferences.
While not on the level of any of the aforementioned players, at least not yet, Boston University men’s basketball coach Pat Chambers feels that for his 2011 recruiting class, he has uncovered an overlooked player who he believes could pay major dividends for the program – Zach Chionuma.
Chionuma is a six-foot-four shooting guard out of Marianapolis Prep in Thompson, Conn., where he just completed a post-graduate season. Chionuma, along with Quinnipiac University commit Ousmane Drame, led Marianapolis to a 19-10 record this past season.
He is ranked as the No. 51 player in New England, 13 spots behind fellow BU commit James Kennedy, by the New England Recruiting Report.
A major asset of Chionuma’s game is undoubtedly his ability and instincts to score the basketball. The aggressive nature of his offensive game has been lauded by several major recruiting outlets, but in the same respect, it was also criticized by some as being reckless and lacking a sense of control especially when it came to his shot selection.
However, there is a prevailing sentiment that Chionuma’s occasionally erratic offensive play was, if anything, a product of being the primary scorer on a team in a challenging conference.
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