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Thursday, October 27, 2011
Newton's Falzon in control of destiny with SHU

By Adam Finkelstein

Newton North alum Tevin Falzon committed to Sacred Heart on Tuesday. The commitment comes nearly ten days after Falzon, who is currently in the midst of a post-graduate year at the Winchendon School, took an official visit to Sacred Heart’s Connecticut campus for their Midnight Madness celebration and opening weekend of practice.

Tevin Falzon
After missing most of his senior year at Newton North with a wrist injury, Winchendon post-grad Tevin Falzon committed to Sacred Heart this week and could have an impact as a stretch four.
For Falzon, the decision is obviously the culmination of years of work on the basketball scene. He’s been a fairly well known prospect since he was a freshman at Newton North, when his big feet and soft touch gave him the reputation of being a prospect on the rise.

While his skill set has developed nicely since that time, his overall impact didn’t necessarily progress at the same rate, as he was often limited by an inconsistent motor and suspect conditioning.

That all began to change during his senior season at Newton North and by the time the spring AAU season came around, college coaches were already noticing a difference as he was generally more mobile and active on both ends of the court, while displaying the same combination of size and skill that had made him intriguing from the beginning.

Because of NCAA rules, Division I coaches weren’t allowed to see Falzon until the summer and by that point his name was already generating a little bit of a buzz playing alongside the likes of Jesse Chuku, Dimitry Coronel, and Rony Fernandez on the Metro Boston AAU squad.

Sacred Heart became the first Division I school to offer Falzon a full scholarship in August, and on Tuesday they were rewarded for being proactive as they landed his verbal commitment.

With his recruitment now a thing of the past, the question now becomes how will Falzon fit on this Sacred Heart team.

The most important indicator of any incoming freshman’s potential impact is opportunity, and Falzon should have plenty of that. He’ll arrive at a time when Sacred Heart’s top four big men (6-foot-9 Nick Greenbacker, 6-foot-9 Justin Swidowski, 6-foot-6 Femi Akinpetide, and 6-foot-8 Mostafa Abdel Latif) will all be entering their final two seasons of eligibility.

That means two things for Falzon’s purposes. First, he’ll have the opportunity to learn on the job and be brought along slowly, but secondly, there will be an opportunity to play a major role during his junior and senior seasons in the Northeast Conference.

Even before he becomes an upperclassman, Falzon could potentially develop a niche for himself. Greenbacker, Akinpetide, and Abdel Latif are all more traditional post players than Falzon, with less natural skills stepping out and facing the basket from the perimeter.
Sacred Heart has always been a perimeter-oriented team, utilizing high-low offensive concepts within the context of a four-out, one-in system, meaning they need one of their big men to play on the perimeter, diagonal their one primary low post player.

Swidowski is really the only other guy on the roster who can do that, and his nature is almost exclusively as a “stretch four-man” who excels at pulling an opposing post defender away from the basket thanks to his shooting range.

Falzon’s niche could be two fold next year. First, he may be the only frontcourt player on the roster comfortable enough on the perimeter to back Swidowski up. Secondly, while he’ll be the youngest, he could also be the most versatile of the group as someone who can score and pass both inside and out.

Overall, Falzon appears to be in control of his own destiny. If he continues to improve his body by cutting up his frame and consequently getting stronger and more athletic, his versatility not only gives him the potential to play a big role as an upperclassmen but possibly even to contribute right away as a freshman.

Adam Finkelstein is the founder and editor of the New England Recruiting Report and also covers recruiting in the northeast for ESPN Scouts Inc. Adam has the rare distinction of having coached or scouted at the high school, NCAA, and NBA levels, having worked as a Division I assistant at the University of Hartford and spent three years under the NBA's director of scouting Marty Blake.