Since 1977 Leo Papile has coached some of Boston’s best amateur talent; including the likes of Patrick Ewing, Rumeal Robinson, Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. Papile’s legendary BABC (Boston Area Basketball Club) program has won 17 National Championships, becoming a consistent winner on the Nike EYBL circuit and over the summer claimed runner up at the AAU Super Showcase. Coach Papile was nice enough to sit down with NBADraft.net and give us some insight into the NBA potential of some of his former players and discuss what makes BABC one of the top AAU Programs in the country.
NBADaraft.net: What is behind the continued success of BABC over the last 37 years?
Leo Papile: We commit our self to a certain type of player, to a certain type of athlete. We don’t look at rankings, I think rankings are great for draftniks and NBA guys. We look for guys that fit our culture which is increase our possessions and decrease our opponents possessions, which in today’s society is not the most popular way to play. Kids today are flooded with individual attention through the internet and social media, we try to subtract all that and start with a guy at ground zero. We have former West Virginia point guard Joe Mazzulla’s little brother Justin Mazzulla is a freshman. He is here because he is our offensive quarterback. He is like a rookie phenom in the NFL and he is being inundated in our programs culture. We look for the type of guys that understand their not going to score a lot of points with BABC but I will be a solid role player and that can translate to the next level and possibly the level after that. Jeff Adrien and Phil Pressey are guys like that no one expected them to be in the NBA. We don’t have any X-factors here, we’ve had one in 37 years and that’s Patrick Ewing. Most of my guys go on to play mid or high major basketball and are solid contributors. Most of these guys are humble and not spoiled. We treat them like they’re going to be treated the rest of their life and show them reality. All we are is soldiers in a system. Go to the D-League and you say geez remember when he was in the 11th grade and was ranked top 10 on rivals and what happened? They leave school early don’t get drafted or go 2nd round and get cut. If a player is missing something we try to make it to where it’s not on the intangible end of things. Is our style pretty? No! Is it popular? No! Does it win? Yes! People say why play for BABC and run that offense and have to press that whole game but we got guys on the end of our bench who are soldiers and fit our system to where a head coach watching says I can go to war with that guy. We compete every night.
NBADaraft.net: I have really been impressed with 2015 Terance Mann, where do you see his future? Is he a point? Combo Guard? Does he have NBA potential?
Leo Papile: He has been terrific, I see him as a connect the dots point. Is he pure point? No, but if the offense runs sets he will be a solid secondary point guard. He can relieve pressure by bringing the ball up the floor, he can create offense but how far he goes individually will depend on his stroke. We try to say don’t beat yourself up when you miss a shot, just get us those 11, 9, 7 type stat lines and your jump shot will improve throughout four years of college, don’t get hung up on that now. He shot the ball bad at the Peach Jam, but he can dominate the game in other ways with his defense, getting us into our offense, scoring on post ups, coming up with loose balls. He’s a coach’s son, Mom is a head coach, and the kid has been a pleasure to coach.
NBADaraft.net: That being said what you expect of him sounds very similar to one of your former players Michael Carter-Williams.
Leo Papile: Exactly! That is the guy Terance draws the most comparisons too. Mike was a little more comfortable in the pick and rolls. Mike was very crafty, like a snake almost and very few people believed in Mike. When Syracuse offered him his mom, who is also a coach and a lifelong friend of mine, said he will never play there. I said Waiters will be gone soon, Syracuse guys move along quickly and in a few years he’ll play. With that being said I never thought he would be Rookie of the Year, I thought he would be a four year college guy and a pro. Mike has that unique length that Terance has and that impacts the game. Terance looks up to him, we get a lot of guys that come back to practice with us and that helps. We have great alumni support.
NBADaraft.net: Did you get a chance to watch Nerlens Noel this summer?
Leo Papile: I have only seen two games on TV because we have been on tour all of this month but when I get home I will watch them all. His number line looks really solid to me, I know they kept him under wraps numbers wise, but his numbers look solid with rebounds, blocks, and assists, steals. That’s how he impacts the game but his shot has improved, being laid up that’s all he could do is shoot every day. Shooting is an acquirable skill like golf for old guys.
NBADaraft.net: One of your former players Wayne Selden is in his sophomore year at Kansas. What does he need to do take that next step to be Kansas guy and improve his draft stock?
Leo Papile: In Wayne’s case he is a homerun hitter and that’s a compliment. When he does something big the whole world sees it. He needs to define a position which I again think should be secondary ball handler and really use that NFL body to become a lockdown defender who can go to the next level and be able to guard big 2’s and small 3’s. Than he won’t necessarily have to score 20 a game, he can score 14, grab 7 rebounds and be a lockdown defender. We know he can have those big scoring games here and there but he needs to become that glue guy, that go to defender. He has the physique for the NBA.
NBADaraft.net: Does another one of your guys, Georges Niang, have an NBA future?
Leo Papile: He will play somewhere, no one expected him to be one of the top guys in the Big 12. I promise you Georges will go somewhere and if not the NBA it may be the 2nd best league in the world the Euroleague. That is the pinnacle of European basketball and they can beat some 30 win NBA teams and I believe he would go over there and be hell on wheels.