Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Amidst Changes in Class AA, Tilton Tries to Reign Supreme Again

September 23, 2011 Columns No Comments

TILTON, N.H. – Last year, the old Class B in NEPSAC had a new look as it became Class AA. Among other things, it became much more competitive from top to bottom than before. But one thing that didn’t change was the team that came out on top, as the Tilton School took home their fourth straight title. If they make it five in a row this time around, that wouldn’t be a surprise.

 

Iowa State-bound Georges Niang (6’7″ Sr. PF, Methuen (MA)) has been around for all four of those titles and is primed for one more. His calling card is inside efficiency at both ends, as he battles inside and knows what he is. While he’s not trading those in for something else, he is expanding his game away from the basket and is moving better, and he also made a nice long lead pass on one play. Simply put, he does winning things for a team, and it shows in the results over his career both at the school and playing for the BABC program.

 

Niang has plenty of talent alongside him up front, led by Nerlens Noel (6’9″ Jr. C, Everett (MA)). Already well-known for his length and ability to dominate by blocking shots, Noel was showing off some ball skills and a little more aggressiveness on offense. He knocked down a few jumpers and finished with the left hand, but also missed a couple of rebounds he should have grabbed.

 

Goodluck Okonoboh (6’7″ Jr. PF, Boston (MA)) also looked more aggressive on offense, and may be ready to break out after keeping something of a low profile for a while. His mid-range jumper was going, he finished in close, used a pump fake to get a good pull-up look, and got a stickback as well. The most glaring negative on the day was seeing that he has a long release on his jumper, which would give a defender time to close him out if he’s initially open.

 

Mike Swanson (6’6″ Sr. PF, Londonderry (NH)) is back for another season as well in the frontcourt. He doesn’t have all good weight, but he’ll play inside and allow the starters some minutes of rest when needed.

 

The perimeter is where the best player on the floor on Thursday could be found. Surprisingly, it was neither Wayne Selden (6’4″ So. SG, Roxbury (MA)) nor Dominique Bull (6’3″ Sr. SG, Worcester (MA)), as both sat out with injuries. Instead, it was sharpshooter Kevin Crescenzi (6’4″ Sr. SG, Singer Island (FL)). Possessing a good frame and body, Crescenzi was lights out from long range on the day, and for good measure he banked home a mid-range jumper late in the workout. He also handles the ball reasonably well for the position and often brought the ball up for his team.

 

Bull will be out for several days due to a sprained AC joint suffered from contact on a play in a recent workout. The one-time Rhode Island commit has improved nicely in the last year or so. Selden has been out since late August after he had to have surgery on his right leg because of complications from a sprained ankle. He had a big spring and summer playing for BABC and might be the best prospect on the team. Although Selden is about a week from being cleared to work out again, Bull said that “he’s already jumping out of the gym and flying all over the place.”

 

The point guard spot is likely to be manned by Caleb Uni (5’10” Sr. PG, Winchester (MA)). A plus athlete, he made several nice passes and showed some very good speed with the ball. Tilton has won with good but less-heralded point guards in recent years, and he seems to fit the bill. Brandon Bibbs (6’1″ Jr. PG, Chesapeake (VA)) isn’t as physically gifted but will also get minutes at that spot, and Ben King (6’2″ Jr. SG, Williston (VT) is a good student who will be in the backcourt mix as well.

 

Marcus O’Neil’s team might be a prohibitive favorite in Class AA this year, as several other contenders are either younger or not as talented as last season. But even after four straight titles, this team isn’t losing its edge, as Niang typified by commenting, “Someone will still pick another team to win instead of us.” That’s probably one reason for the recent success they have had, and with the talent they have to go with the hunger, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this team is celebrating a fifth straight championship come March.

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!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2017

February 22, 2017 by

We touch on Player of the Year candidates, the wild ACC featuring a still-slumping Virginia team and a really hard-luck Clemson team, an SEC program where the bottom is falling out, the final weekend in the CAA and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with coaching news in the ACC, then go to a few recent games. A surging Big East team and an amazing rally in the Big 12 lead the discussion after that.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 8, 2017

February 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at a marathon game from Tuesday night, which came just days after a wild Saturday. Then we have more on the SEC and Big 12, before one of Saturday’s big games leads us into talk about smaller conferences and television coverage.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at the week two national title contenders had, as well as a surprise at the top of the Big Ten and a legendary coach returning. Along the way, we also look at a couple of bigger picture items.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 26, 2017

January 26, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at a wild week in college basketball that was highlighted by Tuesday night. We also talk about who will likely be the top team in the polls and look ahead to the weekend, which features one last flurry of non-conference games.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.