Having determined his team's most glaring weakness next season was likely to be outside shooting, newly hired Marist coach Jeff Bower began asking around last month to see if any of his friends knew of a perimeter marksman still on the market.
One name he got in response left him especially intrigued.
A prep school coach told Bower about a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Southern California once viewed as a high-major prospect before a back injury sidelined him for most of his junior and senior seasons. Bower watched film of Nick Colletta from his sophomore year at Glendora High School and scouted him in person at a Las Vegas AAU tournament a couple weeks ago, both of which left him surprised no other Division I schools were showing any interest.
"You never get overzealous too quickly and you're always trying to be as reserved as you can, but Nick really did fit every criteria I laid out as far as if I wanted to use a scholarship this spring," Bower said. "Obviously this time of year, you understand the challenges of finding someone in the mold of what you're looking for. With Nick, we really liked how he shot the ball, how he played the game, his competitive instinct and his ability to make plays."
A little-known Metro Atlantic Conference program on the other side of the country once may not have interested Colletta, but his outlook had changed dramatically over the previous two years.
Phone calls and letters from Division I coaches gradually became less and less frequent during his injury-plagued junior season until by the start of his senior year no schools were recruiting him at all. Before Bower and his staff began showing interest in late April, Colletta's plan for this spring was to showcase himself on the AAU circuit to prep schools and enroll at whichever one offered the best platform to drum up interest from college coaches the following year.Read More »from Once a coveted prospect before a series of back injuries, Nick Colletta could be a steal for Marist