Kevin Noreen, the 6-foot-10 forward from Minnesota Transitions charter school from Minneapolis who decommitted from Boston College, said he will take on official visit to Indiana May 7-8.
“Coach Crean really, he’s been talking to me a lot lately,” said Noreen, who said the Hoosiers have not yet formally offered a scholarship. ” I think he’s a great recruiter. He just told me he had to weed out some of the problems there, and that they’re going to turn it around starting next year.”
Noreen said he’s already taken visits to Northwestern and Marquette and will visit Providence this weekend. He has scholarship offers from those schools as well as Boston College, Colorado, Oklahoma, St. Louis, UTEP, Duquesne, Virginia Commonwealth and Washington State. There is also significant interest from Iowa State, and Noreen said California and Florida have offered to take him if he would go to prep school for a year. That isn’t for academic reasons — Noreen and MTS coach John Sherman say he carries a 4.0 grade point average — but because those schools are out of scholarship space.
Noreen said he’s mostly wide open now, but that he wants to act fairly quickly.
“I want to get it done sooner rather than later,” he said. “I want to be able to get in for the first summer session.”
The 6-foot-10, 220-pounder is certainly an intriguing case. The numbers he produced in his years at Minnesota Transitions are barely believable.
He was named Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball and led his school to the Class A state championship, averaging a ludicrous 38.2 points per game and about 16 rebounds per contest. He set state records with 4,086 career points and 1,899 career rebounds, and according to his coach, was just 35 assists short of the state record.
The constant knock against him, of course, is that he didn’t play great competition, so the numbers don’t carry much weight. Minnesota has produced numerous NBA players, but it isn’t considered a powerhouse, and it’s hard to imagine Noreen saw many 6-10 players defending him.
Noreen said he understands the knock, but said that Minnesota Transitions loaded up its schedule with 3A and 4A teams this season to make sure the squad was ready for the state championship run it eventually made.
“For a Class A team, we played the toughest schedule of anybody in the history of Minnesota,” he said. “We played the best teams we could play. Against the 3A and 4A teams we played, I still did pretty good. And AAU is where I earned my scholarship anyway.”
Minnesota Transitions coach Jim Sherman said he thinks the best fit for Noreen would be at power forward, but that he could eventually become either a small forward or a center depending on how he develops physically. Noreen has the skills, Sherman said, to play any position. He was actually the team’s starting point guard as a freshman and was captain all four seasons.
“I’ve coached more than 60 Division I players,” said Sherman, who has also worked with the Minnesota Magic AAU program. “He has the highest basketball IQ of any player I’ve coached.”
The list is actually quite impressive. Former or current NBA players Kris Humphries, Troy Bell, Khalid El-Amin and Joel Przybilla all played under Sherman. The coach said he would take Noreen’s intelligence and versatility over any of them. He can rebound down low, but he can also pass, handle and shoot from beyond the 3-point arc.
“His main thing is he’ll give his college coach some versatility,” Sherman said. “He’s not a guy that sets up in the low post or at the free throw line. He doesn’t really have a description. He can play anywhere including point guard. Whenever we had a lead late in the game, we put him at point and he closed it out. He’s a really good ball handler with either hand. He can get by a lot of people. He’s a good all around player.”
Sherman said Noreen’s leaping ability is good but not spectacular and that his foot speed is “faster than anyone else in our high school” but might not be that exciting to Division I coaches. But his intelligence makes a difference in the little things.
“He’s a great rebounder,” Sherman said. “He’s got great timing on his rebounds. He boxes out well. He can rebound in heavy traffic. He controls rebounds and he seldom makes a mistake on an outlet pass. He rebounds and makes a secure, good decision with it. That’s one of the things people might not notice with all the points he scores and the assists he gets is how good of a rebounder he is.”
The one problem a college coach might have, Sherman said, is figuring out where to play him. At 225, he doesn’t really have the frame to play center right now, but Noreen said doctors have told him his growth plates are still open, which means he could still grow beyond 7-feet. Sherman said Noreen has the frame to go up to 250 pounds if need be.
“He can guard centers and he can guard power forwards,” Sherman said. “Guarding the three might be a little bit of a stretch, but I think he can be a very good three offensively right now.”