A number of coaches from across the country have made the trip to Pitman (N.J.) High School over the past few months, mainly to see 2015 big man Tim Delaney.
Delaney attended the USA Developmental Camp last summer.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward had an improved season this year for Pitman, averaging over 21 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks a game while leading the Panthers to the New Jersey Group 1 sectional final. The team lost to Paulsboro, but Delaney put up 30 points and 15 boards to close out a season which saw him make strides in a number of areas.
“He was a lot more physical this year. As a freshman he was a big body and came into his own strength-wise this year,” said Pitman head coach Kevin Crawford. “Going after the ball, his rebounding really improved this year. He worked more on his inside game this year.”
Crawford went more in-depth to shed some light on Delaney’s strong points.
“He projects on the next level because of his body strength, footwork, ability to run the floor and the way he strokes the ball,” said Crawford. “He shoots the three pretty well. He’s a self-created player blessed with some height and athleticism. His mom played basketball at St. Joseph’s so he’s got it in his genes.”
Delaney talked further about how his mother’s experience as a player has only helped throughout the years.
“My mom and my grandfather are always in the gym with me, helping me work on my shot,” explained Delaney. “My mom helps me with my shot, mainly because she’s one of the best shooters I know. She can still out-shoot me in a couple things.”
Although he broke his wrist at Virginia’s camp last summer and missed out on the July AAU period, coaches have flocked to Pitman’s gym to catch a game or to see Delaney work out.
La Salle, Oregon State, Penn State, Rutgers, St. Joseph’s and Villanova have all offered the 2015 big man, while Indiana, Butler, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Rhode Island, Temple and Boston College have shown interest.
Over the past year Delaney has visited Villanova, Penn State, Rutgers and Boston College unofficially, and we asked which schools had been in contact the most recently.
“It’s mostly been the local schools like Penn State, Villanova, St. Joseph’s, Rutgers and then Oregon State came here a couple of times,” said Delaney, who has already eclipsed 1,000 points in his short high school career. “La Salle, they’re just so close, they’ve been to a bunch of games and practices too.”
The 16-year-old mentioned contact with Penn State assistant Brian Daly, and talked further about his trip to State College in the fall.
“I talked to Coach Chambers when I was up there a little bit before the season,” said Delaney. “I just went up there to hang out and see the campus. I also saw a practice. It’s a beautiful campus. It’s awesome how they have the football team and that stadium complement the basketball program. It’s a great school. They just showed me around and told me it’s a great place to play.”
In addition to the attention from Penn State, Crawford talked about the history Pitman High has with the Nittany Lions.
“Pitman also has a bit of a Penn State flavor to it. Both Jon and Joe Crispin are alums who played at Penn State and brought them to the Sweet 16 back in 2001,” said Crawford. “Brian Daly, they offered him a full scholarship so they obviously think he’s very good. They play in the best conference in the United States right now in the Big Ten."
The talented sophomore was among the top 46 underclassmen in the country invited to the USA Developmental National Team Mini-Camp last fall in Colorado Springs, which allowed Delaney to see where he stacked up with players his age on the national stage.
“The USA Developmental camp was a ton of fun playing with the best competition in the country,” said Delaney. “Everyone there was a tremendous basketball player. Just being able to play with them, and hang with them on the court really gave me a boost of confidence. It was a ton of fun and it was a great experience playing against that competition.”
After running with Team Final last season, Delaney will be making the move to the We-R-1 AAU program this summer, and will split time between the 17U and 16U teams. While with the older team, Delaney will be alongside consensus top-60 2014 big man Ben Bentil and 2014 Penn State commit Isaiah Washington.