As more and more college teams prioritize “positionless recruiting” – finding players who can fill a number of different roles on the floor – versatility is quickly becoming one of the most important attributes of a prospect’s game.
2021 6’5 F Kyle Engstler
To coaches who recruit along these lines: allow us to introduce you to Kyle Engstler.
In the words of Kyle’s youth basketball coach, Matt Forzley, “Kyle is a mismatch on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he has great footwork and shows the ability to score down low, but his greatest offensive assets are his ability to handle and score the ball both inside and out. Defensively, his length and footwork allow him to guard all five positions effectively”. Kyle’s high school coach at Downers Grove North, Jim Thomas, agreed with Forzley’s assessment, adding that “Kyle is the ultimate positionless player. He makes people pay based on matchups. In games he was scoring at all three levels, he made us tough to beat. Defensively, he can also guard multiple spots and often times led our team in rebounds”.
The 6’5 Engstler is strong and physical, and his college-ready build benefits him no matter where he’s playing on the basketball court. In the post, he possesses an arsenal of post moves going both ways, and he excels at finishing through contact – even when confronted with larger post defenders. His impact in the post is not limited to scoring, but rather, he’s also a plus rebounder who reads the ball well off the rim, and he’s demonstrated an advanced ability to find teammates for passes out of the post.
Despite his comfort playing in the post, the junior forward who earned All-Conference recognition this past winter really sets himself apart from his opponents with his play extending to the midrange and beyond the arc. From three, Kyle is a knock-down scoring threat who doesn’t hesitate to pull up for open looks from deep when given the opportunity. He’s confident, and that confidence is evident in his steady and sure shooting release. However, Engstler is not just a two dimensional offensive threat, and his willingness to use a shot fake before putting the ball on the floor to pursue mid-range scoring opportunities makes him a tough matchup for opponents who would prefer to play in the post.
Looking ahead, Engstler’s varsity experience and continued development should position him for a strong senior campaign, and it seems extremely likely that his well-rounded skill set will already have made him a target of significant recruiting interest by that point. However, Kyle’s recruitment remains in its early stages as coaches and players alike await an opportunity to meet face-to-face, and this downtime provides college coaches in need of a versatile forward with a tremendous opportunity to begin building relationships with Kyle today.
Now, allow us to introduce you to Kyle in his own words:
As you think ahead toward your ideal college situation, what factors are most important to you in picking a school? What are you looking for in a school and basketball program? My ideal college situation would be a medium to large size school with a diverse student population, strong academic and athletic programs, especially basketball. I am interested in a school where I can be a successful student athlete. Access to training facilities while balancing my student responsibilities is important. I would like to study in the health science area as I have an interest in athletic training and physical therapy. I would like to be involved in a basketball program that has strong coaching leadership, and where my talents can make a positive impact on the team.
From your perspective, what are your greatest on-court strengths that you will bring to your future college program?
Throughout my years playing basketball, coaches have said that I am a versatile player. I can play and guard positions 2-5 at the high school level and have well-developed skills and athleticism at 6’5. I am a team player, have a positive attitude and can see the floor whether I’m in the post or on the perimeter. I am a highly competitive athlete who takes pride in showing up in every column of the stat sheet.
During this coronavirus-inflicted “shelter-in-place”, which aspects of your game are you working to improve? And how are you being creative with your workout routine? During the Covid-19 outbreak, I have decided to focus my resources on getting stronger. I have combined 2 mile runs with alternating upper and lower body workouts each day. I restored an old weight bench and weights that had been in my grandma’s garage for years. I feel that I have been able to be very creative in my workouts because I find daily household items to help me lift during this time when I am missing traditional equipment.
If we asked your teammates what their favorite part about playing alongside you was, what would they say? I think that they would say they love playing with me because of my competitiveness. I am ready to go to war with my teammates (or even against them if doing so makes the team better) in practice every single day.
During this time in which college coaches cannot travel to watch you play live, what’s one thing you’d like for those coaches to know about you? The number one thing that I would want coaches to know about me is that I love the game of basketball. Playing basketball in college has always been an aspiration of mine, and I plan on doing whatever it takes to achieve it.
Interested in learning more about Kyle?
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