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Williston Northampton begins a new chapter on the hardwood

by - Published September 26, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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EASTHAMPTON, Mass. – Mike Shelton freely admits that this is uncharted territory for his new employer. Having already coached in Division 2 and 3 at the college level, he is now the head coach at the Williston Northampton School, located in western Massachusetts a little ways northwest of Springfield. It’s a school that has been on very few people’s radar in the world of New England prep school basketball, but there is a desire to change that.

Shelton comes with a career in coaching and an administration that wants to grow in athletics. There is the infrastructure for it to happen, which includes a nice facility where the basketball team plays. He’s changing things up right away as this team is made up almost entirely of newcomers. Many of them are from Massachusetts, so he is establishing the areas close to home first.

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Kent School has some pieces to compete in NEPSAC Class A

by - Published September 25, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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KENT, Conn. – The second stop on Wednesday was a short trip from the first one, as the Kent School is located just a few miles north of South Kent. A short trip from the center of town, much of the campus is nestled right alongside the Housatonic River. While the talent level is a bit different from their neighboring school, the Lions have a team that should be competitive in Class A this season.

The basketball court at the school was redone recently, and before you see that you will walk past a football field right next to the facility that was improved a summer ago. Both are signs that the athletic program is in growth mode these days, and the basketball team is hoping to be no small part of that.

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South Kent has a lot of pieces – and size – to compete in NEPSAC Class AAA

by - Published September 25, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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SOUTH KENT, Conn. – There’s no magic formula for winning and success in sports, no matter the sport. Kelvin Jefferson isn’t about to claim to have discovered one, but the South Kent head coach seems to be finding the right combinations of late, with last year being the latest example.

South Kent didn’t have as much talent last year as they have in many of Jefferson’s years at the school, but the results are hard to argue with. Last season, the Cardinals were the No. 4 seed in the Class AAA Tournament and lost a tough one to Northfield Mount Hermon in the quarterfinals, then managed to reach the National Prep Championship. Jefferson has won over 100 games in his six years at the school.

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St. Thomas More will compete and get better as usual

by - Published September 24, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
author_kasiecki

OAKDALE, Conn. – Step into Jere Quinn’s office at St. Thomas More, and you see the testaments to his many years of coaching. He’s helped make many players better and won a lot of games over the years, largely through a no-nonsense style of coaching. The talent he’s had includes players who didn’t play Division I in college and elite players like Andre Drummond. He’s done it all at a small boys school well away from anything resembling a major city.

The Chancellors always have their fair share of talent, although they are rarely in the discussion for the most talented team in NEPSAC Class AAA. Still, they are always competitive, and there’s no reason to expect this season to be any different, especially as there is good talent for Quinn and his staff to work with.

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Holderness has a new coach and some young players with upside

by - Published September 22, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Holderness School has tended to fly under the radar in the world of NEPSAC basketball. Although they had a couple of good teams with solid Division I prospects a few years back, they haven’t sustained that run. They have continued to land some prospects at the highest level, and now a new head coach will try to get them going again.

Former Cornell and Boston College assistant coach Woody Kampmann took over as the head coach in August, so his team was pretty set by the time he got the job. He inherits a group that has some good holdovers, as well as newcomers with potential.

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2014 Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase Evaluations

by - Published September 22, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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FOXBORO, Mass. – Friday night was a night for prospects to gather at Mass Premier Courts in Foxboro for the Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase. An event they have run for years, it saw over 200 players compete in a series of games over three hours. Although largely an event for seniors to be seen one last time by college coaches before the school season, there were some underclassmen who were noteworthy as well.

With that, we take a look at some of the players who stood out on the evening.

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Brooks School hopes to continue the rise with one more step

by - Published September 18, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The steady rise of the Brooks School in recent years nearly had a big highlight last season. For the fourth year in a row, they finished second in the Independent School League (ISL). They have gone from 17-8 in 2011-12 to 18-6 a year later and 21-6 last year. That got them into the NEPSAC Class B Tournament, where they pulled out two overtime thrillers to reach the championship. There, Cheshire Academy took home a 66-56 win.

Last season’s 21 wins marked a school record. This year’s team has a lot of key pieces among their ten players returning, so there’s every reason to think they can get back there again. The competition will be stiff, as always, but there’s a lot to like about this team even after viewing them a bit short-handed due to a few two-sport athletes who had a game.

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Phillips Exeter has a team with some upside

by - Published September 17, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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EXETER, N.H. – Phillips Exeter is naturally known for academics first. The basketball team at the school is not exempt from the requirements, so they are a good group of students as well. All the while, the program has been on a roll of late, as last season they won their second straight NEPSAC Class A title in dramatic fashion.

This time around, there are a couple of holdovers, but in all it’s mostly a new cast of characters for Jay Tilton to mold into a winning group. He has some good talent to work with in that regard, and there’s a little class balance as well. For comparison to the last two teams, at first glance they don’t appear nearly as talented and deep as the team two years ago, but might have a little more than last season’s team. This team is also smaller than both up front.

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Plenty of talent, including a good mix, at Brewster Academy

by - Published September 17, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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WOLFEBORO, N.H. – When you head to Brewster Academy these days, you know what to expect. In short, you expect to see a great collection of talent, likely the best NEPSAC Class AAA has to offer, and a group that will likewise provide a different challenge for head coach Jason Smith and his staff.

This year’s trip up didn’t disappoint. And while having all of this talent is a pleasant problem to have, Smith and his staff don’t simply roll out the balls and win games. That isn’t how they’ve won four NEPSAC titles and three national titles in the last seven years. They hold players accountable and get them to understand that everyone wants to knock them off. There is a target on this team’s back, and that presents a challenge all its own.

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A lot to see at the 2014 Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Edition

by - Published September 15, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
author_kasiecki

HANOVER, Mass. – The University Sports Complex was host to the New England Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Edition on Sunday. The event brought over 200 players going through skill stations and then competing in live games, with a number of evaluators on hand. All of the players competed together, as opposed to prior years where they were separated by class into two sessions.

The Class of 2017 has already established quite a reputation in New England and nationally. At this event, the class of 2018 showed favorably as well in their first big impression.

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Saturday Notes – January 31, 2015

February 1, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at quite a day of action, featuring a number of great matchups that mostly led to great games. Unfortunately, there was some terrible news that came later in the day.

Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

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2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.