TILTON, N.H. – A day after getting a look at a young team in NEPSAC Class AA, it was time to check out a more experienced team at Tilton. While the Rams have five juniors, there is good experience among them and no underclassmen on the roster. In other words, this is a team built to win this year.
The personnel will certainly give the Rams a chance to win. There is good size, especially up front, as well as some versatility, and the pieces all look like a good fit for what they want to do as well. If they get what they need from the point guard spot, those pieces could fit very well together.
The centerpiece of this well-balanced team is Florida State commit Terance Mann (6’5″ Sr. SG-SF, Lowell (MA)). A versatile jack-of-all-trades type, this is his team and he’s ready to close out his high school career on a good note. He was all over the court on Thursday at both ends making plays, and you can expect him to be like that often during the season as he’s clearly free of mind with his recruitment a settled matter.
Fellow holdover Franklin Porter (6’4″ Sr. SG, Portland (OR)) has a good frame and got better as Thursday’s workout went on. He hit a few mid-range shots and can hit from long range, and figures to play a key role on the perimeter. There are plenty of options off the ball along with him, from Tom D’Angelo (6’2″ Sr. SG, North Haverhill (NH)), who was very active, to Joe Roberts (6’2″ Sr. SG, Wellesley (MA)) to Cem Koyuncu (6’2″ Sr. SG, Beysukent (Turkey)), who is well-built and had his moments on Thursday. While none will star on this team, all of them can help in different ways.
The point guard spot looks like it will be manned primarily by Brett Hanson (6’0″ Jr. PG, Manchester (NH)), who had a nice workout on Thursday. He’s slight and needs to get stronger, but the lefty can finish and has a great motor. Sarju Patel (6’0″ Jr. PG, Daleville (VA)) returns to the team and should have an expanded role, although his body has a ways to go.
The frontcourt is full of size and possibilities, and should be anchored by recent Northeastern commit Anthony Green (6’9″ Sr. PF-C, Quincy (MA)). A plus athlete, he showed a touch from mid-range and finished a couple of times, but his offense needs some work on the post. He should be a nice defensive presence as he can block shots and isn’t a bad rebounder. Helping him will be Bobby Martin, Jr. (6’6″ Jr. SF-PF, Waltham (MA)), who has a good frame and worked inside and out on Thursday. Martin will probably play both forward spots at different times, especially since they have the personnel to do some mixing and matching up front.
Andrew Cartwright (6’7″ Sr. PF, Guilford (ME)) will also be in the mix, and he can play on the post or facing up. On Thursday, he did a little of both, hitting a couple of jumpers with some post action mixed in. Connor O’Neill (6’7″ Sr. SF-PF, Roswell (GA)) has a good frame and body but sat out Thursday’s workout battling a bum ankle but should be back in action soon.
The Rams will again play in several in-season events and several Class AAA schools. A game in the National Prep Showcase is on the docket, as well as the St. Andrew’s Holiday Classic, National Prep Invitational and Harris Invitational in Manchester, England. They will also take on Brewster Academy, New Hampton and Northfield Mount Hermon.
Tilton has enough talent to contend in Class AA, and perhaps enough depth as well. There are also lineup options given the versatility of some of the frontcourt players. If Green is the defensive presence he can be and Hanson runs the show well enough to make the better-known stars even better, they could make a run in March, when it matters most.