Posted On: 12/15/17 3:39 PM
In most areas, there are a few elite high school basketball programs where if you’re lucky, you’ll catch one or two Division I players. With prep schools, especially the elite ones, chances are there are 5-10 potential future Division I players. Putnam Science Academy (CT) is one of those teams that are loaded with talent. One being 2018 guard Jose Perez.
The Mustangs came into the season ranked fourth in the country among prep schools. Recently at the Shirts vs Skins Basketball Classic in Baltimore, Maryland they picked up two huge wins against Massanutten Military Academy and Mt. Zion Prep. They’ve lost a game since, but still carry an 11-3 overall record.
Perez was an obvious standout at the event not only because he led the team in both games by scoring 19 points, but because of the intangibles that he can bring. High school kids don’t realize that when they communicate on the floor, it makes them stick out immediately from everyone else. Even if they aren’t scoring 10-15 points per game, communication on both ends can severely impact a team’s chances of execution.
That’s where Perez steps in.
Except with Perez, he offers the offensive ability to go with it. The 6’5 senior is constantly talking defensively calling out screens, ensuring rotations be made and just showing his passion when a teammate makes a big play. Qualities such as that can spread through a team rapidly and he continues to be that leader for the Mustangs.
When I spoke to Perez, he said there was an instance his sophomore year when he played against Oak Hill when his old teammate Jessie Govan (Georgetown) set a prime example of just how important talking is on the floor. It made the game much easier for Perez and from that point forward, he wanted to be the same presence for his teammates.
One of the things Perez wanted to improve on this summer with the PSA Cardinals is knocking down outside shots consistently. Because the Mustangs have solid post players inside, he gets his fair share of looks when hovering around the perimeter and doesn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. With that being said, he isn’t a one trick pony. Perez is great at utilizing shot-fakes and getting into the paint to finish with a soft floater or seeking out contact with opposing players and drawing fouls. His speed isn’t going to blow you away, but it’s the way he uses his physicality and body to give him the upper hand in positioning almost every time.
Perez is also a strong rebounder at the small forward position. For the Mustangs, he plays the backline of the 2-3 zone, which means almost every possession he’s left to box out a big man. With his frame and physicality, he does so successfully and quickly looks to get the ball in the open floor.
Perez currently holds offers from Kent State, Coppin State, Stony Brook, LIU Brooklyn, Manhattan and Arkansas State. Grand Canyon, Fordham, Nevada and Hartford have all expressed interest recently. He doesn’t plan on deciding until March so that he can see where all of the pieces land before he makes his commitment.
In terms of what means most in his college search, Perez had a perfect response.
“I just want to go somewhere where I’m going to play right away,” Perez said. “I want to be able to produce and be an impact player. I don’t want to go to a high major school and then not play until my junior year or something. I’d rather go to a low or mid-major school and play 20-25 minutes as a freshman and be an impact.”
— Jose Perez (@showout_zayy15) December 6, 2017