In the words of New Egypt (N.J.) boys basketball coach Jay Corby, "it's down to crunch time" for Warriors center Desmond Hubert.
The 6-foot-9, 200-pound senior – who Corby said is considering offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Princeton, Villanova and Wake Forest – could make his college choice soon. Hubert made an official visit to College Park last weekend, getting a chance to hang out with Terps commitments Nick Faust and Sterling Gibbs during his time on campus.
“He enjoyed that. It was good to see some of the kids who were going there, and I think he had a pretty good time,” Corby said. “He went to a practice, went to the football game, got to hang out in the dorms for a little bit. I think they went out to eat. Normal stuff. I just know he really thought it was fun to hang out with some of the kids in his grade.”
Hubert, a three-star prospect and the No. 15 center nationally according to Rivals.com, made an official visit to Wake Forest earlier this month, and has been on the Princeton and Villanova campuses several times over the past few years. He has not, however, set up an official visit to Georgia Tech. All five schools bring something unique to the table.“Princeton’s on a little bit of a different platform right now,” said Corby, who noted that Hubert needs to improve his ACT score to attend the Ivy League school. “That’s a different choice, going fully toward academics and kind of sacrificing a little bit of the basketball fame you could get playing in the ACC, I think, on a nightly basis. But with schools like Maryland, the education and the basketball is obviously very high. Wake Forest is the same. Georgia Tech, he does like it, but he hasn’t gone down there yet. If he does sign early, he’ll have to get a trip down there, or it’ll be hard for [Georgia Tech] to win that battle if he hasn’t seen the campus.”
Hubert had a monster junior season for New Egypt, averaging 16.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 9.1 blocks. Corby said Hubert’s offensive game has improved every year – from seven points per game as a freshman, to 15 as a sophomore and 16.2 as a junior. He has a seven-foot wingspan and about a 33-inch vertical. But the hallmark of Hubert’s game remains his defense.
“His strength, no doubt about it, is that he’s the best shot-blocker I’ve ever seen play basketball,” Corby said. “Obviously, I’m watching him at the high school level, but I’m excited to see what he does at the college level. But I’ve never seen anything like it. He times up blocking shots while not drawing fouls – left-handed and right-handed. He loves playing defense and he loves blocking shots. Most kids are consumed with putting the ball in the basket, but he comes at it with a defensive approach. As a coach, that’s something I would rather have him focus on – defense – especially in the early stage of college. The offensive game will have its hiccups playing against better athletes. But if he could grab some big rebounds and block some shots, he could really help some program right away.”
With the fall signing period set to begin next week, Hubert’s decision could come soon – although Corby said nothing is set in stone and a timeline for his decision remains “a question mark.” In the meantime, Corby expects Hubert to do much reflecting on his visits to Maryland and Wake Forest.
“The visits definitely made him see them in a new light,” Corby said. “He had a lot of fun meeting the teams. They’re both a lot alike. They’re both in the ACC, both are kind of in that same distinction in that they’re trying to build back to be a powerhouse in the ACC. I think they both have some playing time initially. He fits into the mix at both schools. With the coaching staff, there’s two different things going on – a coach who’s been there and done everything at Maryland, and a brand-new coach at Wake. But all in all, yeah, he was excited about both visits.”