Cincinnati, Villanova Among Those Making Early Push for 2016 Guard Rawle Alkins

Rawle NYBy NICK MEDLINE

Special to ZAGSBLOG

CHICAGO Rawle Alkins missed the bus and, subsequently, was forced to sit out the entire first half of a Saturday game at Adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago.

Thankfully for Alkins, he rarely misses an opportunity to impress college coaches. In his shortened outing, he showed off many of the qualities that have them watching.

“I tried to make up some time,” the Christ the King guard said. “We were down, we tried to make a comeback. I guess you could say I played hard with the time that I had.”

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound shooting guard from Brooklyn has seen his reputation rise in the past several months. Alkins now ranks No. 27 in the Rivals.com 2016 prospect rankings.

On Friday, on the second leg of a four-day camp, he used one of his trademark attributes: Upper body strength. Alkins drove the lane and finished two layups despite obvious contact. He also threw down a dunk in transition.

“The coaches all say the same things,” Alkins said. “They say I’m a great athlete with a high motor, and I look like I have a work ethic.”

Alkins began the July evaluation period on the heels of a torrid spring. He scored 36 points at the Frankie Williams Charity Classic in May, with Adam Zagoria saying that Alkins might be the “most exciting high school basketball player in the tri-state area.”

With the majority of coaches focused on 2015 prospects, others are assessing their long-term future while watching Alkins, who could develop into a program changing shooting guard.

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin — one of the most assertive figures in his recruitment — watched his Saturday game. Alkins said Villanova’s Jay Wright and Indiana’s Tom Crean are two of the other coaches watching closely.

Alkins said that Cincinnati made an immediate and specific pitch. They compare him to other New York guards including Sean Kilpatrick and Lance Stephenson. Both had successful college careers at Cincinnati.

“[Cronin] came to my school to watch me work out a couple times, watch me practice and come to my games,” Alkins said. “We talk here and there. I talk to [assistant coach] Darren Savino, and they just talk about my game and New York guys who came to Cincinnati.”

Villanova and Coach Wright are among the early figures in his recruitment. They’re communicating well: Alkins mentioned that Wright was in England last week. He attended Midnight Madness at Villanova this past season.

Meanwhile, he highlighted some new and impressive schools in the running. Kansas assistant Norm Roberts contacted Alkins and informed him of their interest.

Other key coaches in attendance included Indiana coach Tom Crean and North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried.

Alkins already holds offers from Cincinnati, Villanova, Indiana, Miami (Fla.), Minnesota and N.C. State among others. That list should grow if he continues to excel.

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Manhattan offered a scholarship to Alkins’ teammate, junior forward David Cole.

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