Vermontâ€™s Search Begins for their Ryan Davis Heir Apparent
Itâ€™s the middle of summer. The grass is green, the sky is blue and the beaches of Lake Champlain are once again closed due to cyanobacteria. The start of the new school year is still weeks away, let alone the start of the new basketball season, yet since the beginning of July Vermont as already extended scholarship offers to seven different 2022 prospects. Huh?
Granted, the likelihood of all seven of these young men donning a green and gold jersey in 2022 is about the same as Kendall Jenner sliding into my DMs but a guy can dream right? However, the possibility that one, two or even three of these prospects joins the Catamounts come 2022 is at least marginally realistic. One of the players that Vermont should have a strong inkling towards is 6â€™9â€™â€™ forward, Jonathan Beagle.
Beagle is currently listed as just a two-star recruit per Verbal Commits, but the Hudson Falls (NY) native is beginning to pick up more high-level interest after an under-the-radar junior year. Pitt became the first power-five school to extend an offer Beagleâ€™s way back in late May and are likely one of the favorites to land Beagle should he opt for that higher conference route. Iona, UMass and even America East rival Albany are also strongly considered as potential landing spots to secure Beagleâ€™s talents. Will he spurn them all for the chance to suit up for Vermont, aka the Duke of the northeast?
Strengths & Weaknesses
Check out the brief highlight video below of Beagle for some insight into the big mans game. A lot of similarities to current Vermont big man and reigning America East Player of the Year, Ryan Davis. Even with the extra year of eligibility thereâ€™s a good chance Davis packs his bags and moves on after this year and considering the lack of depth Vermont has with their forwards, Beagle would have some big shoes to fill mighty quick.
Strengths â€“ Tenacious post player. Great touch finishing around the basket. Strong rebounder. Excellent at staying composed with the ball. Good rim protector. Very fluid with his movement. Plays through contact well. Great awareness for tracking the ball.
Weaknesses â€“ Fairly limited outside shot. Pretty average athletically. Lacks wingspan. Needs to limit fouls defensively.
Potential Fit at Vermont
Thereâ€™s no denying that Beagle is phenomenal player with a strong skillset whoâ€™d ideally fit perfectly into John Beckerâ€™s system. Will we actually get to see Beagle in a Cats uniform is an entirely different question however. Beagle could very well indeed be the heir apparent to Ryan Davis, as both have incredibly similar builds, mechanics and style of play between them. Davis did need some time to adjust to pace of play of division one and if not for a refined overhaul in his conditioning and training thereâ€™s no chance heâ€™d be the player he is today. Beagle is far from a finished product, but he definitely appears to be more polished and well-conditioned than Davis was coming out of high school. Again, Davis worked tirelessly to improve himself and while thereâ€™s no guarantee that Beagle develops into a player of Davisâ€™ caliber, his immediate impact would make him a significant player in John Beckerâ€™s squad.
Likelihood of Jonathan Beagle Becoming a Catamount?
This depends a lot on how the next few months shake out. Like many other high school athletes, the Covid plagued season a year ago seriously impacted Beagles ability to showcase himself to potential scouts. Pitt became the first big domino to drop when they extended an offer to Beagle in May and should other power-five schools take notice and follow suit then Vermontâ€™s chances are likely to fall by the wayside. However, should the competition to land Beagles services primarily consist of low and mid-major schools then Vermont should find themselves right in the thick of things for Beagles signature. The Cats remain within striking distanceâ€¦ for now.