I had a chance to see Princeton recruit Tom Noonan play for the first time this afternoon, as Penn Charter faced Notre Dame in the Eastern States Classic Invitational Tournament's third place game at Trenton Catholic Academy in Hamilton.
On first sight, Noonan - the fifth member of the Tigers' 2010 recruiting class, looks more like a prototypical college basketball player than I expected a 6'7" high school jumpshooter would. He's not the gangly wisp I thought I would be watching.
The tallest player on the floor, Noonan jumped center for the Quakers and won the game's opening tip. He proceeded to score his team's first five points. A quick release three point shot on the right wing with a hand in his face got Penn Charter on the board and Noonan ran the floor well to receive a lefty layup that made it 5-0.
Penn Charter scored the game's first 12 and Noonan finished the first quarter with nine points on 3-6 shooting, extending the Quakers' lead to 13 on a tip follow.
Several of Noonan's attempts were jumpers off the dribble going to his left off the arc. His smooth, line drive jumper looked downright Spencer Gloger-esque.
Noonan played all but one minute of the game, getting a short break early in the second quarter. The pale Noonan began to turn pink as the day wore on, so conditioning may be an issue.
A left wing three by Noonan early in the second half was followed by another layup, as Noonan ran the length of the floor and moved under the hoop behind the defense to receive a pass and lay it home to give him 15 points.
The Quakers executed the majority of their offense from the opposite side of where Noonan was positioned, getting the ball in the hands of a guard across the arc from where Noonan stood and then moving Noonan around the floor off several screens and picks.
Notre Dame cut Penn Charter's 14 point lead down to seven in the fourth quarter, but a deep catch-and-shoot three by Noonan off an inbounds pass took the lead back up to 10.
Noonan finished the game with 18 points. He shot 6-15 from the floor, 3-7 from three point range and 3-4 at the free throw line, adding four steals, two assists, two blocks, two rebounds and three turnovers.
The Quakers claimed the tournament's third place trophy by seven.
Two of Noonan's four steals came on the game's first two possessions. Most were of the deflections that bounced into his hands variety.
After the game Noonan was named to the ESCIT All-Tournament Team.
Princeton head coach Sydney Johnson was in attendance to watch this future Tiger in action.
Conclusions, based on a very small sample size: While Noonan does not appear as ready to immediately contribute in my eyes as a Princeton freshman as Ian Hummer and Will Barrett looked when I saw them play as high school seniors, Noonan's size, shooting touch and basketball IQ give me the impression that he could add to the Tigers' depth as an upperclassman. I thought repeatedly about what his coach, Jim Phillips, told me when we spoke earlier this year - “He’s every bit of 6'7" and he shoots the thing better than anybody I’ve ever coached." Noonan needs to add some muscle to his frame, but is not as weak as I feared he might be. He showed no interior game, but passed well out of the post when the ball found him in the paint.