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Milton Academy has plenty of guards to build around Brennan

by - Published October 8, 2013 in Columns

MILTON, Mass. – In recent years, Milton Academy has emerged in the world of NEPSAC basketball, becoming a consistent tournament contender under Lamar Reddicks. Last season, Reddicks’ fifth at the school, they reached the Class A championship but were out-classed against an excellent Phillips Exeter team. There’s no shame in that, although it was a stinging defeat and one that holdovers of this year’s team will surely have in mind to help drive them for a better result this time around.

Milton lost a few key players from last season, including Ike Ngwudo, who is now a freshman at Dartmouth. But they return some veterans and a couple of players who may break out as part of the support cast to their go-to guy. How they play will determine if this team can make another run toward a championship.

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Charlestown looks ready to rebound from last season

by - Published October 7, 2013 in Columns

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. – Step outside of Charlestown High School and you find you’re in a place with some noteworthy sites.  In one direction is the Bunker Hill Monument, in another you can see the Tobin Bridge that connects Chelsea and Boston.  In another direction is the Schrafft’s building, which can easily be seen from the nearby highway, and a major Hood plant is just around the corner.

The school itself has some history on the hardwood over the past couple of decades, as it has been a powerhouse in the city.  Last year was not one of those years, but Edson Cardoso’s team is planning to make that an aberration.  The Townies have a good deal of talent and the veterans know why last season’s team, inexperienced though it was, disappointed with a 6-14 mark.  They are primed to turn that around with a much more experienced group.

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Vermont Academy fully reflects their new coach

by - Published September 30, 2013 in Columns

SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. – Teams usually reflect their coach for obvious reasons.  A coach shapes a team with things like style of play and overall character, as well as personality, and at levels before the professional ranks the coach often shapes the team much more than a pro coach does.  In the case of Vermont Academy, the idea of a team reflecting its coach takes on even more meaning because of who their coach is: the youngest in Class AA.

Jesse Bopp left the school to join the staff at VCU, and in his place is former assistant Cody Hatt.  Barely half a decade out of college, Hatt has been fortunate to land in such a spot at this juncture, and he has a similarly young group with many underclassmen, including his best players.

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Sullivan excited about the team he has put together at Worcester Academy

by - Published September 30, 2013 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – You get the sense while talking to Worcester Academy head coach Jamie Sullivan that he will love coaching his team even if they lose every game this season. That’s a highly unlikely scenario for a lot of reasons, and he’s happy to brag about why he’ll enjoy this team.

Talent is only a small part of the equation. The Hilltoppers have it, but are not going to win many games on that alone. By and large, this is a team full of players who have something – a scholarship or a level of college – to play for. Many have either under-achieved, under-recruited and/or are late bloomers who will get chances to show how good they can be. It’s also a team with good students all around and a low-maintenance group, and all of that makes Sullivan’s job easier.

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Quick Hitters – September 29, 2013

by - Published September 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

It’s a great time of the year. Prep school visits are winding down and college teams have started practice, signs that the season isn’t far away. Also, college schedules are finally coming out, with a few more game times to be determined due to television.

Before getting back to some of the final prep school visits, here are some quick hitters from around college basketball.

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Led by their perimeter trio, Cushing Academy could repeat in NEPSAC Class AA

by - Published September 27, 2013 in Columns

ASHBURNHAM, Mass. – The defending NEPSAC Class AA champions could very well stand in the winner’s circle again come next March.  Cushing Academy won it all last March on a buzzer-beater, completing a comeback from being down by double digits with a few minutes left.  This time around, if they win it all again, they might not need that kind of drama, although they certainly won’t be prohibitive favorites.

Cushing will probably have the best backcourt in Class AA, and it starts with recent Syracuse commit Kaleb Joseph (6’3″ Sr. PG, Nashua (NH)).  Simply put, the long guard is just what a team like this needs: he’s still hungry, still working and very committed to leading this team.  There’s no entitlement in him; in fact, before the workout, he wasn’t delegating the task of setting up the court to the freshmen, as he was leading the charge himself.  This is a young man who wants another championship and wants to get better, and it was all in evidence as he showed a better jumper and his team kept on winning during game action.

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Notre Dame Prep looks like Hurd’s kind of team

by - Published September 27, 2013 in Columns

FITCHBURG, Mass. – Ryan Hurd feels pretty good about his team right now at Notre Dame Prep, and that’s with his best player and a few late arrivals having worked out exactly zero minutes with their teammates to this point.  Watching eight of their players go through their second workout of the day on Thursday provides some insight as to why, and one can imagine that he’ll feel better once he works with them even more.

Hurd likes having a team loaded with guards so he can more easily push the pace, and that’s what he has.  There’s only one player taller than 6’5″ who took the floor on Thursday, and it’s easy to imagine this team playing faster than every opponent.

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Proctor Academy’s young players need to grow for the future

by - Published September 26, 2013 in Columns

ANDOVER, N.H. – This season isn’t where Proctor Academy will have its big goal as far as its current personnel are concerned.  While there are a number of seniors and post-graduates on the roster, the program is trying to put together a young core that will probably have some noticeable growing pains this season but be expected to contend in another year or two.  More than the wins and losses, the growth of the young talent will be a key story for Gregor Makechnie’s team in 2013-14.  On Wednesday night, they got together for their first open gym of the fall.

The one around whom the future will be primarily built is Julian Roche (6’10″ So. PF-C, St. John (New Brunswick)).  The big man possess a good frame and is young all the way around, as he’s 15 years old and his body has some baby fat to get rid of.  While raw on the post offensively, he showed a nice touch shooting the ball well away from the basket, so that will give them some options for what to run on offense while he tries to develop his body and more of a post game.  He didn’t shy away from contact or trying to get rebounds as well.

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For Brimmer and May, this season will be all about growth

by - Published September 25, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – When many think of prep schools, chances are boarding schools come to mind first. While they dominate the landscape, Brimmer and May is the only day school in NEPSAC Class AAA or AA. This year, Tom Nelson’s team has a good deal of youth, but also some talent both on and off the court, as his team is full of good students as is usually the case at the school. The Gators should likewise field a competitive team on the court that will need to grow as the season goes along.

The young talent can be most clearly seen up front, where the Gators have some length. David Watkins (6’6″ So. SF-PF, Dorchester (MA)) might have the highest ceiling of anyone, as he’s long and a plus athlete and more potential than player right now. His body isn’t there, and the skill package needs to come along, but already there are hints, and they were visible on Tuesday. He has a high release on his jumper, which he can make at times, he will play physical inside instead of shying away from contact, and he shows some ball skills now although he needs to keep developing them.

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New Hampton has a nice mix of size, talent and experience

by - Published September 24, 2013 in Columns

NEW HAMPTON, N.H. – Even without a key component of the team on the floor due to injury, the New Hampton School had a good deal of size on display at Monday night’s open gym.  This time around, Pete Hutchins will have a lot of flexibility in the frontcourt to go with a good collection of wings, and in all it’s a team with a lot of potential waiting to be tapped.

The guards who will get them the ball and play off them look like a solid and perhaps underrated bunch as a whole.  Two in the mix at the point are Matt Dean (5’10″ Sr. PG, Gilford (NH)) and Danny Levitt (6’1″ Jr. PG, Westmount (Que.)), the latter being another Canadian to come to the school.  Levitt was able to drive past his man and score a couple of times and also hit a mid-range pull-up on one occasion.

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College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by


Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by


The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by


Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

2013 Prep School Tour

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

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

City Hoops Recruiting

Make sure you check out City Hoops Recruiting for more coverage of recruiting in the Boston area and all over Massachusetts, including our travel team profiles for the 2014 spring and summer.

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already 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.

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