Recent ESPN profile: The rise of Tyler Cavanaugh
By Adam Finkelstein
Tyler Cavanaugh's (Dewitt, N.Y./Jamesville-Dewitt) development as a player has followed a distinctly linear path.
As a sophomore at Jamesville-Dewitt, he proved himself to be a valuable complementary piece to the puzzle, consistently scoring in double figures and landing subsequent offers from the likes of Vermont and Siena.
During his junior season, Cavanaugh began to incorporate new dimensions to his game, handling the ball and shooting the 3 more consistently and so by the time he returned to the Albany City Rocks this spring schools like Fordham, LaSalle, and George Washington had offered.
He was far from the most celebrated prospect on the City Rock's Elite Youth Basketball League roster this year with guys like Ricardo Ledo (Providence/Notre Dame Prep), Zach Auguste (Marlboro, Mass./New Hampton), and high school teammate DaJuan Coleman (Dewitt, N.Y./Jamesville Dewitt), but according to coach Jim Hart, it was Cavanaugh and point guard Olivier Hanlan (Gatineau, Quebec/New Hampton) who were the hardest to take off the floor. Cavanaugh's recruitment grew accordingly as he became one of the most widely pursued mid-major prospects in the Northeast while also pinging the radar of a number of high-majors.
It wasn't until the final stop of the summer in Orlando that Cavanaugh finally got the chance to play a starring role. With Ledo, Auguste, Coleman, and even Hanlan no longer in action, the 6-foot-8 forward asserted himself as the leader of the team and went for 20-plus points virtually every time the City Rocks took the floor.
Once again, his recruitment raised according to the level of his play. Wake Forest became the first high-major school to offer him a scholarship last week, and Syracuse followed suit shortly afterwards. Stanford, Notre Dame, and Boston College could be the next dominoes to fall.
"I don't think any of his recruitment has been off," Hart said about the gradual escalation of interest and offers. "He's progressed at every level."
Hart knows a thing or two about high-major talent. The likes of Coleman and Ledo are just the latest highly touted prospects to come through his City Rocks program, while he's also had guys like BYU's Jimmer Fredette, who exceeded expectations upon reaching the college level.
"There are some guys with higher upsides," Hart said of Cavanaugh, "but I just have a confidence in him that he's a can't-miss guy in terms of getting it done."
While Cavanaugh now has high-major suitors, Hart says he still expects him to consider mid-majors including George Washington, Fairfield, St. Bonaventure, and others.
But no matter where he ends up, his AAU coach expects his game to continue to emerge.
"He competes, has the right mental attitude, doesn't have set-backs," he said. "That's the kind of guy he is, you know what you are going to get."