Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Attempting Another Title, Tilton Has Youth, But Experience as Well

September 11, 2010 Columns No Comments

TILTON, N.H. – Our prep school tour began on Saturday with a trip to a school that has done a lot of winning lately. NEPSAC will have a new look this season, but the last three Class B titles were won by the Tilton School, and in 2009 they also took home a national championship. The talent and experience on this roster – the latter of which might sound odd considering they have two post-graduates and a host of underclassmen – suggest that a title in the first season of the new-look NEPSAC may not be out of the question.

The core of the team is unquestionably five players from the BABC team that took home a 16-under national championship in July. That winning experience will surely go a long way with this group.

The two post-graduates will both get time at the point guard spot and some interest at the low Division I level. Tilton has won with a small sparkplug point guard each of the past two seasons, and they will try to do it again this year. If this workout is any indication, Aaron Law (5’11” Sr. PG, Chapel Hill (NC)) appears to be the favorite to start. Well-built with a good upper body, he competed all morning long as he wasn’t afraid to go inside with the trees. He moved well without the ball, which is not something that normally stands out about a point guard, as he often got open and got the ball near the basket for a score. Tony Lester (5’11” Sr. PG, Charlotte (NC)) will also get some minutes there, and he had some good moments on the day guarding Law most of the time. Lester has a mature body and knocked down a couple of three-point shots along the way.

Mike Swanson (6’4″ Jr. SF-PF, Londonderry (NH)) is the other key role player on the roster. He got a couple of stickbacks and was active, and figures to get some minutes along the way.

The best prospect among the core of the team is newcomer Nerlens Noel (6’10” So. C, Everett (MA)). Noel had a terrific spring and summer despite playing a lot of it on one leg, and as he got healthier he got better and more confident. He’s very long and athletic, and now he’s more aggressive at the offensive end. At times on Saturday he dominated the glass and is capable of taking over games with his shot-blocking, but it’s the signs of offensive development that show where he can go. A year ago, he had little post offense to speak of, but he showed a few moves on Saturday that illustrate his development there. It certainly needs to continue, just like he needs to get stronger, but the signs right now are encouraging and he’s one of the top prospects nationally in the class of 2013.

Noel will be joined up front by a couple of holdovers. Georges Niang (6’6″ Jr. PF, Methuen (MA)) has improved nicely since last year, and as a result the offers are coming in from colleges as he now has about a half dozen from Division I schools. The word “efficient” is often used by coaches to describe him, and it certainly fits as he almost always knows what to do with the ball. His body is getting better and he continues to show a real nose for the ball with a lot of boards at both ends, and he’s running the floor better as well. He went out of character a couple of times by not getting the ball to a guard in transition, but those were aberrations as he usually gets rid of it to a guard right away.

Goodluck Okonoboh (6’8″ So. PF, Boston (MA)) is the other holdover up front. The fundamentals are there for him to be a strong post scorer, as although he traveled a couple of times on post moves on Saturday the mobility he has inside is excellent. His body isn’t there yet and there are times he looks like he could stand to get tougher. It’s clear he’s been trying to expand his shooting range, as he faced the basket often on Saturday and had mixed results with the face-up jumpers he took.

Dominique Bull (6’3″ Jr. SG, Worcester (MA)) joins the team this year, but he’s not new to several teammates from his days with BABC. Bull has a man’s body and made a good improvement in the spring and summer, especially in transition. He showed more of that on Saturday, and continues to work to improve his jump shot as that has long been a weak spot. Saturday wasn’t much different in that regard as his jumper wasn’t going until late in the day. Right now, his college interest is a mixed bag at the Division I level, with a little from high-majors and a lot from mid-majors.

The other newcomer is Wayne Selden (6’3″ Fr. PG-SG, Roxbury (MA)). Another well-built guard, his upper body is ahead of his lower body, which could use more development. Selden has undeniable talent and athleticism and mainly has to play with a competitive motor when he’s out there as it makes a big difference in his performance. He showed some of the talent on Saturday as he knocked down a couple of mid-range pull-up jumpers and overpowered another defender to finish on another play. Though he has some tools to play both guard spots, he’ll need to improve his ball handling if he is to play the point guard spot down the road.

If the BABC players all keep growing and the Rams get the play at the point guard spot they have had the past two years, a fourth straight NEPSAC title, this time in the new Class AA, is not out of the question with this team. Although there is not a “big three” like there was two years ago, last season the Rams didn’t need it to win, and this team is perhaps a little deeper.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a big sweep in the SEC, look back on the wild Saturday, then talk about a Big Ten showdown and some undefeated teams in conference play.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 31, 2018

January 31, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a lot of what has happened in the ACC and SEC, including the Big 12/SEC Challenge, whether or not Kentucky is turning a corner, as well as the story at Michigan State.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a wild night in the Big Ten, adversity and a quiet leader in the ACC, what to make of Kentucky and look ahead to the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.