I talked today (Monday) with Dru Joyce, the coach of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, about St. Vincent-St. Mary off-guard Jalen Hudson, who committed to the Hokies last Friday night.
Joyce was a St. Vincent-St. Mary assistant coach for the first two years of LeBron James’ high school career and was promoted to head coach for LeBron’s final two years of high school.
Here is what he had to say about the 6-6, 185-pound Hudson, who averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists as a junior:
“He has so much upside. He hasn’t anywhere near reached the level of his basketball talent. He’s multifaceted. He can shoot it. He has a very explosive first step — he can get by guys and get to the rim. He’s a creative finisher, finishes well with either hand. Explosive off the floor as far as his jumper. Rebounds the ball well. Defensively, he’s going to be able to … keep guys in front. That’s going to be the biggest area where he’s going to have to continue to improve, is defensively. That’s going to come.
“In our program, he’s a 2 or a 3. This year we may throw him in the post a little bit. … He’s a combo [for Tech], he can play a little bit of point. … In our program I have another guy who’s our primary point guard.
“He can catch it and shoot. … He’s a great pull-up jump shooter, off one or two dribbles, pull up on a guy and shoot over him, but he didn’t use it as much as I would have liked last year. Offensively, he’s pretty talented.
“We play a very, very tough high school schedule, we’re on the borders of a national schedule, so he’s going to play against great players. The level of [college] competition is going to be greater but it’s not going to be frightening to him at all. …. He’s going to come in and whoever’s in front of him, they need to be ready to battle because he’s going to come in and press them for every minute he can get on the floor.
“He’ll be okay defensively.”
He said Hudson’s two finalists were Tech and Arkansas but that he also had offers from Mid-American Conference heavyweight Akron, George Mason, Richmond, Dayton, College of Charleston, Kent State and Longwood.
He said VCU initially made an offer to him but lost interest once it got a commitment from another guard (“They got another guy, it was kind of who [commits] first.”)
He said UVa also made an early offer but had not been showing much interest of late (“The attitude was kind of if we get another guy, we’re going to take that other guy. … They offered, he didn’t [commit] when he did an unofficial, and after that they just didn’t pursue him as hard.”).
He said Cincinnati and Harvard showed late interest. Rhode Island was also interested, he said.
Hudson transferred to St. Vincent-St. Mary from Benedictine in Richmond before his junior year. Joyce said Hudson had been living with his mother in Richmond before transferring to live with his father in Akron.