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The 2011-12 season may still be five months away, but Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker is already planning for 2012 and beyond.
Yesterday, Amaker landed his first commitment for the class of 2012: Evan Cummins, a 6’8, 205-lb power forward from Northfield Mount Hermon High School (Mass.).
Cummins is rated an 86 overall by ESPN and a three-star prospect by Rivals.com. The Westborough, Mass. native reportedly turned down scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Providence, and Northwestern, among eight other schools, to play for the Crimson.
“Officially committed to Harvard University! Wanna thank my family, friends and @NMHbasketball for helping me get to where I am today,” Cummins tweeted Tuesday night.
The forward visited Harvard yesterday and verbally committed in the evening. His ESPN scouting report describes him as “a talented young four-man who is just starting to realize his potential” and says he “projects to continue to improve at a consistent rate as he further develops his skills, add[s] weight to his frame, and acquire[s] more experience competing at a high level.”
Cummins averaged 10 points and nine rebounds per game as a high school junior last season. In the long term, he will look to help replace reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Keith Wright and forward Andrew Van Nest—both of whom will graduate after this season—in the Harvard frontcourt.
“I think it’s hard to call anybody a steal for Harvard anymore,” Cummins’ coach at NMH, John Carroll, told the New England Recruiting Report. “But I think he brings them something that they don’t currently have at six-eight which is an athletic and smart player who can play inside and out, is a good passer, and a very good defender.”
When he arrives in Cambridge in 2012, Cummins will join former high school teammates and current Harvard sophomore guards Laurent Rivard and Matt Brown as Northfield Mount Hermon graduates on the Crimson roster. Van Nest is also a Northfield Mount Hermon alum. In all, the high school has sent 16 players to the Ivy League in the past five years.
Cummins marks an early get for Amaker, who did not land the first piece of his 2011 class—forward Jonah Travis—until August of last year.
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