Home » Columns »Recruiting » Currently Reading:

St. Andrew’s has young talent to watch alongside veterans

September 12, 2014 Columns, Recruiting No Comments

BARRINGTON, R.I. – Just outside the basketball gymnasium at St. Andrew’s, you can see four brand new tennis courts. They are a sign of things being well at the school, and they aren’t the only recent improvement there. The sport that the school has been most notable for, boys basketball, has been in a good place, and that continues heading into this season.

Mike Hart, the long-time head coach and athletic director, is in a good place. Each year he seems content with the group he’s assembled from a character standpoint, and this year is no different. He’s happy to have a low-maintenance group, and that should make it easier to try to get the most out of a team whose young talent makes them well worth keeping an eye on.

The player who had the best day was Chancellor Ellis (6’5″ Sr. SF, Queens (NY)), a holdover they will count on to be a leader. He struggled to score early, but once he hit a couple of shots he kept hitting, including from long range. Fellow wing Eric D’Aguanno (6’5″ Jr. SG-SF, Narragansett (RI)) was even better from long range, including a couple from well behind the arc later.

Returning to the oldest players, the candidates for the floor leader start with Brian Mukasa (6’0″ Sr. PG, Sharon (MA)). Entering a post-graduate year after a great career at Sharon High School, the lefty point guard didn’t have his best shooting day but has a lot of good scoring options to get the ball to and figures to take advantage of that. J.R. Lynch (5’10” Sr. PG, Jersey City (NJ)) joins him there, and he had a nice day with above-average quickness and passing on the move.

Help on the wing in this group comes from Duaka Eckwensi (6’4″ Sr. SF, Morris Plains (NJ)), who might not leap out at you but found ways to be effective. Duncan Ozburn (6’9″ Sr. C, Manchester (IL)) is a true post player with a good frame, but he may be feeling his way through a new environment as he wasn’t much of a factor on Thursday until late.

One player who will figure prominently up front with Ozburn is Terrell Brown (6’9″ Jr. PF, East Providence (RI)). Now in his third year at the school, his body is maturing and the Saints will need him to become a key figure up front after being a role player for two years as his body and game both needed to develop. More of both is still needed, although at times on Thursday he looked like he has progressed. Nate Duda (6’5″ Jr. SG-SF, Framingham (MA)) had a nice stretch where he was arguably the best player on the floor on Thursday, and as he’s athletic and not lacking with his jumper, that can happen occasionally.

The other two juniors will be part of the crowded point guard spot. Justin Leip (5’8″ Jr. PG, Weston (MA)) is probably smaller than listed, and while not very quick or athletic he is heady and can pass the ball. Nasier Cotton (5’8″ Jr. PG, Morristown (NJ)) is also small but well-built, and he competed as hard as anyone.

Stepping back to the sophomores, one can see why Hart is excited about the future. There will be ups and downs with the underclassmen, especially as they adjust to playing in NEPSAC, but there’s a lot of potential. Aaron Wheeler (6’5″ So. SG-SF, Stamford (CT)) might have the most upside of all, as he’s baby-faced with some length and athleticism, and while the skill package needs work he has enough to help them some right now. Keyshaad Dixon (6’2″ So. SG, Braintree (MA)) has a ways to go physically but can play, and he had his moments on Thursday. Seth Kourtesis (6’4″ So. SF, Tiverton (RI)) doesn’t have as much upside as either of them, but his body isn’t there yet and he hit a few shots on Thursday.

Last, but not least, is Cole Swider (6’4″ Fr. SG, Portsmouth (RI)), whose body has a ways to go but showed a good shooting stroke. He’s more of a “potential” player at this point, but what he shows now is promising.

Besides the usual land mines in NEPSAC Class AA, St. Andrew’s schedule features several in-season events. They will be the host school for the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic, then host their annual Holiday Classic two weeks later. After Christmas, they travel to Manchester in the U.K. for the Haris Memorial Tournament, then have the BallasTV Invitational, BABC Prep Classic, Hoophall Classic (against New Hampton) and National Prep School Invitational after the calendar turns over into 2015.

Talk to Hart and you sense a man at peace with his situation. He’s as competitive as ever, but you sense he’s found something that works for him after all his years at the school. The Saints probably won’t have the most talent or experience in Class AA, but they won’t be at the bottom in either category, and that means they’ll have more than enough to be a threat when March rolls around.

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

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 – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 by

Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.

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.