Neptune head boys basketball coach Joe Fagan noticed the difference in Jared Kimbrough heading into the 6-foot-6 forward's junior season. Soon thereafter, a number of Division I programs saw the same thing.

Saturday, Kimbrough - a member of the Class of 2018 at Neptune - ended the pursuit for his services when he verbally committed to LaSalle University through a message on Twitter.

Junior Jared Kimbrough had 13 points and 18 rebounds vs. Bloomfield on Monday. (Photo by Larry Murphy)

LaSalle was the first team to offer a scholarship to Kimbrough, who chose the Explorers over his other two finalists - Monmouth University and George Mason University.

Kimbrough entered high school with high expectations as a freshman and after two developmental seasons at the varsity level, the incoming senior enjoyed a full-fledged breakout as a junior in 2016-17. He averaged 14.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and three blocks while earning Shore Sports Network All-Shore Second Team honors as a junior. His rebounding and blocked shot averages each ranked second in the Shore Conference.

Kimbrough is the second Shore Conference player from the Class of 2018 to commit to a Division I program. Jersey Force AAU teammate and Mater Dei Prep point guard Kenny Jones committed to Loyola University at the beginning of August.

With Kimbrough leading a collection of experienced returnees, Neptune will enter this upcoming basketball season as one of the Shore's top rosters and one of the favorites in the Shore Conference Class A North. Christian Brothers Academy and Colts Neck are slated to return most of their rotations as well.