Friday, January 28, 2011

Friends' Central Star Having Strong Senior Campaign

This weekend, a number of the top high school programs in the tri-state area will converge upon Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School to participate in the 2011 PrimeTime Shootout. Schools such as Academy of the New Church (PA), Chester (PA), Roman Catholic (PA), Life Center Academy (NJ), and Trenton Catholic (NJ) are among the headliners. In addition to those schools, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania's Friends' Central will be one of the main draws. Friends' Central has a number of impressive victories on their resume already this season, including ANC and Life Center. A key component of their success has been senior guard Devin Coleman. I got a chance earlier this week to talk with Friends' Central head coach Jason Polykoff about his senior guard.

Devin Coleman's name is not a new one to those that follow Philadelphia hoops. He and junior Amile Jefferson have been one of the best one-two punches in the area over the past couple years. While Devin doesn't have quite the national recognition of Jefferson, he is a vital part of Friends' Central's success. While Coleman has long had a reputation as a gifted scorer, he has improved significantly in a number of categories over the past year, most notably rebounding the ball and the defensive side of the game. "While he's traditionally been offensive-minded, over the past two years he's made a conscious effort to be a defensive stopper," Polykoff said. "I have assigned Devin to defend the opposing team's best player for the last two years."

This improvement on the defensive side of the ball and in rebounding can be attributed to Devin's conscientious efforts in the weight room. "Devin made a concentrated effort to improve his overall physical conditioning this offseason and it's paying dividends for him," Polykoff explained. In many instances, Devin, who stands right around 6'3 and 185 pounds, is asked to guard players who have 4 or 5 inches on him. That size difference hasn't posed too much of a problem due to "his wider frame and physical strength, combined with natural athleticism." That athleticism is on display in the video clip at the bottom of this article.

While Devin has played a number of positions for Friends' Central over his time there, Coach Polykoff views Devin as a wing guard at the college level. Although Devin can handle the ball, and has played the point at times, his coach thinks that "he would be most successful as a wing guard at the college level."

Earlier this month, Devin won MVP honors at the Big Apple Invitational after scoring 30 points and collecting 12 rebounds in a winning effort. This performance came against a very talented Quality Education (NC) team that features a number of high-major recruits. Senior guard Anthony Fields is headed to Wake Forest next season and senior forward Sir'Dominic Pointer is one of Steve Lavin's prized recruits up at Saint John's.

As Devin continues on with his senior season, there are many schools that would love to see him suit up in their uniforms next year. According to his coach, Devin is looking for the best fit, both academically and athletically, and will likely wait until after his high school season to make a college decision. At the moment, his recruiting is wide open. While Coach Polykoff didn't get into specifics with schools, Devin is apparently looking at a number. According to TheRecruitScoop's Alex Kline, Saint Joseph's, Drexel, Siena, La Salle, Penn State, Fairfield, Rhode Island, and Clemson are among the schools checking out the Philly senior.

Devin is one of the most talented senior guards in the city, and is paired with one of the country's best juniors in forward Amile Jefferson. Friends' Central is a team worth watching as the season continues to progress. Today they take on George School, and Sunday they have a showdown with Trenton Catholic. Their biggest contest of the season is a February 6th date with Jersey City's Saint Anthony at Philadelphia University.

A youtube clip of Devin Coleman can be found here .

Photo Courtesy of TheRecruitScoop

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