Jalen Adams a Kid Out of Roxbury Who Hits Tons of Clutch Shots. Hmmm ...
But Connors can barely contain himself when talking about Jalen Adams, the Class of 2015 combo guard who recently led Cushing to a second straight New England Class AA Prep title.
"I'm not telling you he's the best player in the country, that's not my point, but the game comes to him easier than anyone else," Connors said. "He's just in the right spot. If there's a loose ball, it ends up in his hands. We need a rebound, he gets it. He's got that 'it' factor. He's had, like, six game-winning shots the last two years."
Sound like someone we know? In fact, Adams hails from the same Roxbury neighborhood as Shabazz Napier.
Perhaps Adams' best-known game-winner came in the New England Class AA championships a year ago, when he hit a 35-footer at the buzzer to beat St. Andrew's for the title. This past season, Adams had 20 points, 19 rebounds (remember, he's listed at 6-2, but more like 6-1) and nine assists in a semifinal win over St. Andrew's. He hit a putback with eight seconds left to give Cushing its first lead of the game.
"He's a perfect UConn guard, no doubt about it," said Connors. "Kemba, Shabazz -- he kinda plays like them. Their style and system fits him. He knows that, too. UConn's very high on his list, and that has a lot to do with it. He's mentioned he likes the guys. (Karl) Hobbs has been up here quite a bit, he likes him. He's gotten to know Kevin (Ollie) a little bit and he likes him, too. He mentioned that he likes the staff, likes the way they use their guards. He fits."
Adams has predictably received many offers. Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Providence are among those who seem to have a lot of interest. But it appears that two schools stand atop his list: UConn and Kansas.
"To be honest with you, they're the ones," said Connors. "You can tell by what he says, how he responds. They're the ones high on his list right now."