Home » Recruiting » Currently Reading:

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 Recruiting No Comments

WESTON, Mass. – Since Andrew Mirken took over at the Rivers School, the basketball program has steadily risen to relevance and then success. First, he accumulated talent, went through some growing pains as much of it was put together when the core was young, then it all paid off last year, one that was expected to be “the year.” They won the very competitive Independent School League with a perfect 15-0 mark, and reached the NEPSAC Class B semifinals. While they would like to have advanced further in the latter, they accomplished the main goal they set out for, which was to win the ISL.

This time around, they could win the ISL again, although they might not be favored since they lost a lot of production and experience. However, they have the best player in the league, and that can sometimes count for a little more. That makes them something of a wild card in their bid to repeat.

On Sunday, Rivers had their only open gym of the fall, a product of many of their players being involved in other sports. Many play football, so getting them all together on one day is never easy and this year is no exception.

The player to lead them is Jermaine Samuels (6’6″ So. SF, Franklin (MA)), who has been on plenty of radars for a while now and was the primary draw for the coaches who came to the gym on Sunday. Long and athletic, he had a nice afternoon shooting the ball but also showed that he has room to grow when the ball is in his hands to make other plays. He will draw a lot of defensive attention and will be a tough matchup.

Samuels has a lot of potential help up front, starting with newcomer Connor MacIsaac (6’6″ Jr. PF, Winthrop (MA)). He hit a few jumpers on Sunday, but settled for too many more, while also showing a post move and field goal. While he’ll play inside, he can face the basket on offense as well.

Hans Gabriel (Jr. PF, Somerset (MA)) is well-built, tough and versatile, and can help this team in multiple ways that don’t show up on the stat sheet. On Sunday, he finished with contact often and was in a lot of plays. Ross Carter (6’5″ Jr. PF, Sudbury (MA)), who sat out Sunday’s workout, returns to the team and will be in the mix in the frontcourt. Carter is a massive inside presence who will eat space and rebound. His younger brother, Rhett Carter, is an eighth grader who may play with the high school team, as he’s built like his brother but moves better and had some good moments on Sunday.

The perimeter has good potential with a key trio all bringing something different to the table. Jamari Venter (5’10” So. PG, Roxbury (MA)), who sat out Sunday’s workout after being banged up on the gridiron the day before, will run the show. He’s quick and can be a pest defensively, and now has a year of experience under his belt. Azar Swain (6’0″ So. PG-SG, Stoughton (MA)) has improved nicely and his body has developed, and he played very well on Sunday. Newcomer Tyler Aronson (6’0″ Fr. PG-SG, Holliston (MA)) should make an impact right away, as he’s a plus athlete who has shown he can score, and on Sunday shot the ball well very early on before coming back to earth a little later in the workout.

Rivers will run their own tournament in December, as they usually do, and will be in a few other events. Included are games in the Scholar Roundball Classic, Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic and also a game at the Boston Garden in January.

There’s reason to expect Rivers to contend in ISL once again. A couple of teams in the league return a lot, and Rivers lost a good deal of production and experience, but they have the best player and prospect in Samuels among their cast of holdovers. That might count for something more, especially if other players complement him well. Mirken has brought the school up to the point of some success, and now the challenge is to maintain a level of it while going a little further to the next goal.

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!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

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

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

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.