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Phillips Exeter has a team with some upside

by - Published September 17, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
phillipsexeter

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
brewsteracademy

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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Northfield Mount Hermon has simply become a solid program

by - Published September 14, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
northfieldmounthermon

NORTHFIELD, Mass. – If you go to Northfield Mount Hermon, you get a sense of why the Ivy and Patriot Leagues are both doing well these days in college basketball. Both leagues have recruited a number of players from the school, which proudly proclaims to be the best combination of athletics and academics in the country. Also, whereas many schools will boast of alumni they have in conferences like the ACC or Big East, Northfield Mount Hermon is happy to tell you about all the alumni they have in the Ivy and Patriot League.

Last season was perhaps the best example yet that John Carroll has built a fine program at his alma mater. Continuing where Bill Batty left off, Carroll has produced a program with a NEPSAC champion in 2012 and a National Prep Champion in 2013. They won 24 games last season and at one time were atop a national prep school poll, all despite heavy personnel losses from the year before that left them with a very young team.

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

by - Published September 12, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
saintandrews

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.

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Commonwealth Academy has plenty of talent and potential

by - Published September 11, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
commonwealth_academy

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Potential. You hear the word a lot, especially when it comes to evaluating talent in any sport. It’s heard even more when it’s talent that’s far from being fully harnessed, and naturally it comes up more with younger players.

In New England prep school basketball, perhaps no school has had that word associated with it more in the last year than Commonwealth Academy. It is the operative word for multiple reasons when talking about this team. Tony Bergeron, a native of Springfield, has a lot of talent in his gym on a daily basis, and it’s young – they have no juniors or seniors in the entire program. So the word “potential” is a big one for this team.

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Putnam Science is poised to continue building after last season’s success

by - Published September 10, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
putnam_science

PUTNAM, Conn. – Before last season, Putnam Science Academy had been building slowly but surely into a solid program, one who would have a team to be reckoned with every year. They had talent, perhaps more than they ever had, so it looked like a good year could be ahead. Most of all, though, by March they had the results.

After a 29-5 season that included an appearance in the National Prep Championship, Putnam Science is firmly on the map. They beat several NEPSAC Class AAA teams along the way and were ranked in the top five in one prep school poll. The off-season built on this, as the school received NEASC accreditation and is now applying to join NEPSAC.

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Mudiay’s sudden departure hurts SMU, but all is not lost

by - Published July 25, 2014 in Columns
smu

Emmanuel Mudiay’s decision to head overseas instead of to SMU has some people wondering if it will be the start of a trend. It’s highly unlikely that ends up being the case, but one thing is for certain: his departure is a blow to SMU for the upcoming season. The Mustangs looked like they could be on their way to getting over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15. Now, they might still do it, but their ceiling won’t be as high.

Mudiay will be just the third player to opt to go overseas before attempting the NBA since the NBA put its minimum age requirement into effect almost a decade ago. Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler came before him, and while Jennings is a bona fide NBA player, he’s certainly not an all-NBA player and his one year overseas wasn’t exactly an unqualified success. His second NBA contract was far from a maximum deal. Tyler, who actually bypassed his senior year of high school, was even less ready both on and off the court for his foray into overseas basketball. In three seasons since being drafted he has played a grand total of 1,034 minutes in 104 games – less than ten minutes per game and less than 35 games per season.

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EYBL Finals at Peach Jam – Sunday notes

by - Published July 21, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
nikeeybl

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – The final day of the EYBL Finals at Peach Jam saw just four games played, but they were all big and drew big crowds. Three were nationally televised. All four lived up to their billing as a whole, although there was a bizarre ending.

The day started with two semifinal games, which saw Team Penny and the Playaz advance, the latter in a hard-fought local rivalry matchup. Team Penny had five players score in double figures to knock off Boo Williams, while the Playaz, who didn’t even qualify for this event a year ago, had to hold off a late charge by Team Scan.

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Peach State Summer Showcase and EYBL Finals – Saturday notes

by - Published July 20, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
author_kasiecki

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – A busy Saturday is in the books. It started in Augusta with games at the Peach State Summer Showcase and ended back across the river with the quarterfinals of the EYBL Finals at Peach Jam and the semifinals in the EYBL Sweet 16. Now, only four games remain in North Augusta.

In the Sweet 16, the championship matchup is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday between Wings Elite and Team Final. That will come after the two semifinal games in the older bracket (Team Penny vs. Boo Williams at 9 a.m. and a regional rivalry with the Playaz vs. Team Scan right after it) and will precede the 3 p.m. championship game.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

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

hofstra

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

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.

Hoopville Archives

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
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

You can also find them all right here.

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

New Hampton has a lot of size and personnel options

October 1, 2014 by

newhampton

New Hampton has a lot of size and versatility, giving them a lot of personnel options. That should add up to contention in NEPSAC Class AAA once again this season.

Suffield Academy looks to grow into Class A in NEPSAC

September 29, 2014 by

suffieldacademy

Signs of growth are present at Suffield Academy, and along the way the basketball team moves up into NEPSAC Class A this season as they try to keep the program growing.

Wilbraham and Monson has a new leader with a similar level of talent

September 29, 2014 by

wilbrahamandmonson

A busy Sunday started with a trip to Wilbraham and Monson Academy, where there is a new head coach who has been at the school and some good talent to work with.

Williston Northampton begins a new chapter on the hardwood

September 26, 2014 by

willistonnorthampton

A new era is dawning at the Williston Northampton School on the hardwood. It includes a new head coach who is changing some things up right away.

Kent School has some pieces to compete in NEPSAC Class A

September 25, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

The Kent School might not have the talent or depth of its neighboring prep school, but they have a team worth watching that could compete in Class A this season.