Home » Columns »Recruiting » Currently Reading:

Commonwealth Academy has plenty of talent and potential

September 11, 2014 Columns, Recruiting No Comments

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Potential. You hear the word a lot, especially when it comes to evaluating talent in any sport. It’s heard even more when it’s talent that’s far from being fully harnessed, and naturally it comes up more with younger players.

In New England prep school basketball, perhaps no school has had that word associated with it more in the last year than Commonwealth Academy. It is the operative word for multiple reasons when talking about this team. Tony Bergeron, a native of Springfield, has a lot of talent in his gym on a daily basis, and it’s young – they have no juniors or seniors in the entire program. So the word “potential” is a big one for this team.

Watch them go through an early workout, and you can see talent, but also that for the most part, they don’t know the game yet. With an overall lack of experience, leadership can easily be a concern as well. That means growing pains will be part of this season.

The most noteworthy name on the roster might be Hasahn French (6’6″ So. PF), who has been on a few radars already. The lefty has a good body and is a plus athlete, and on this team he might be a leader if Wednesday night’s workout is any indication as he was about as vocal as anyone. His primary help in the frontcourt starts with Jordan Hardwick (6’7″ So. PF), who is long and blocked his share of shots on Wednesday night. Deandre Leslie (6’4″ So. SF), who was in a lot of plays, is another sophomore who will be in the mix, though perhaps more on the wing. Two freshmen who will get a chance will be Arashma Parks (6’7″ Fr. PF), who has a good frame and a body that will fill out more, and Julian Mincey (6’9″ Fr. PF-C), who has a wide body and needs to improve his conditioning.

While Chandler Jones (6’5″ So. SF) figures to have a significant role after getting a chance last year, he has plenty of help on the wing. Leslie will be in the mix, as will Kyle Rivera (6’4″ So. SF) and Quan Roberson (6’3″ So. SG-SF), the latter of whom looks like he can play a little bigger than his size. They also have Tim Thomas (6’4″ So. SG-SF), a left-handed shooter, along with Devandre Edmonds (6’3″ Fr. SF), who comes with a good reputation from the junior high ranks.

They won’t be lacking options in the backcourt, especially at the point. Shyhiem Hicks (6’1″ So. PG) and Jordan Vidal (5’11” So. PG) are perhaps the two most notable names as both have developed reputations on the travel circuit. Hicks got in the lane and found teammates a few times on Wednesday, while Vidal has a good body he can use when he gets in the lane. There is also Derrick Ellis (5’10” So. PG), whose body has a ways to go but is speedy with the ball, and Anthony Kelley (5’9″ Fr. PG) showed promise but has a long way to go physically. All of them will have their share of growing pains as they gain experience and start to figure out the game.

Veteran guards who will also be in the mix are Malik Pouncey (6’2″ So. SG) and Kendall Baldwin (6’1″ So. PG-SG), and joining them will be Mike Hardwick (5’10” Fr. PG) and Jordan Mason (6’1″ Fr. PG-SG).

Beyond the freshmen and sophomores, the program has some nice talent in the seventh and eighth grade that will be seen later. When the first group of players, now sophomores, enters their senior season, these players will be in high school with the older group.

As was the case last year, Commonwealth Academy will play in a number of in-season events as part of a challenging slate. At the time of this writing, they are still filling out their schedule. The school has recently received NEASC accreditation and has applied for NEPSAC membership, a matter to be determined soon (as will be the case with Putnam Science Academy as noted on Wednesday).

The program is not lacking talent, and as young as they are, there is plenty of potential. There’s that word again – and it will be mentioned often with this team. While the future looks brighter than this year for the Tornadoes, growth will be important, even if it doesn’t translate into more wins. That will be the case for this season’s potential as much as for that down the road, because this season still matters for this team. Bergeron is surely emphasizing that, as he’s been in the game a long time and knows that there are less pleasant problems to deal with than that of having a lot of talent and potential.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


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

Coaching Changes

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

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 – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

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.