Introducing 2021 shooting guard Nisine Poplar
In the coming weeks, we will be looking at several under-the-radar prospects that were primed to use the travel circuit to boost their recruiting stock this summer. Now, with grassroots basketball on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, these prospects may not get the exposure in the coming months as they would have otherwise.
Today, we take a look at Nisine Poplar.
WHO IS HE?
A solidly built and athletic junior combo guard who is pushing 6-foot-5, Poplar has been busy putting together one heck of a resumé during his first two full years of playing organized basketball.
As a sophomore, Poplar helped led his team in scoring and they won a class AA State Championship during his first year of organized basketball. As a junior, he earned State Player of the Year honors in his class and led MC&S to their first ever Philadelphia Public League Championship while averaging 22 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. During the summer he runs with K-Low Elite.
"I think what will separate Nisine from his classmates around the country, is his multi-faceted abilities offensively," said his high school coach Lonnie Diggs. "He has a rare combination of slick ball handling, great athleticism and elite level outside shooting. He is a true combo guard with a rapid learning curve. I think he has talent, upside & skills to be a 5star recruit.
To say that Poplar has a wide ranging list of scholarship offers would be an understatement as those who want him run the gamut. Auburn, Cal State Bakersfield, Central Connecticut State, Delaware State, DePaul, Drexel, Georgia, LaSalle, Marquette, Maryland, Miami, NJIT, Old Dominion, Penn State, Robert Morris, St. Francis (Pa.), St. John's, St. Joseph's, Temple, VCU, Virginia Tech and Wichita State.
In addition to all of those offers, Poplar has had the likes of Connecticut, Georgetown, Kentucky and Minnesota reach out for more information. So far, he's seen the campuses of LaSalle, St. John's, St. Joseph's and Temple while he recently conducted a zoom visit with the Miami staff.
WHY I LIKE HIM
I didn't know anything about Poplar (aka Wooga) until his high school coach emailed me about him about a week ago suggesting that he would be a good fit for this series. His credentials sounded good and I was really intrigued that he had just finished playing his second year of organized basketball.
Then I watched some film and did some calling around to ask about him and I can understand why his recruitment has totally exploded. He's a big and physical combo guard who is willing to take and make shots from deep, he puts the ball on the floor as needed but doesn't waste dribbles and plays hard. He should be able to be an above average defender and given how new to the game he is, Poplar has a lot of room to grow.