Boston High School: Dominque Bull

Hoophall: Tilton (N.H.) 71, Vermont Academy 67

January, 20, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.-- Gone are Nerlens Noel, Georges Niang, Dominique Bull, and Goodluck Okonoboth, but there is still talent on this year’s Tilton team.

It showed Sunday at the Hoophall Classic when the Rams held on to beat Vermont Academy, 71-67, in a NEPSAC AA contest for its second victory in as many days.

Facing a noticeable size disadvantage, Tilton (11-3) was forced to play a game primarily on the perimeter. That made life difficult early on because while it was getting open looks, the shots just weren’t falling.

Wayne Selden, a Kansas commit, was 3-of-9 from the field in the first half for just 7 points. His teammate, Chester Victor, was able to pick up the slack for the team, finishing the half with 11 points, establishing himself as a jump shooting threat and a nice complement to the other Tilton wing players.

Tilton lead 28-27 at the half. Those shots the team was missing early on started to fall in the second, and it started to pull ahead, leading by as much as 15 in the second half.

“I thought it was a very well-played game,” Tilton coach Marcus O’Neil said. “I thought Jesse [Bopp, Vermont Academy coach] had his team very well-prepared for us. We both like to play a similar tempo, up-and-down. I think it makes for a fun game to watch, he’s got some very talented and accomplished players. I thought it was a good game, I’m glad we were able to come out and I thought with the open floor, some of the guys really showed what they can do.”

Midway through the second, Vermont (7-6) started utilizing a fullcourt press, which caught Tilton off-guard. In what started as disciplined ball movement turned into rushed offensive possessions, leading to too long outlet passes and other turnovers.

“We didn’t really adjust to it well,” Selden said. “We didn’t really see it coming. We didn’t have the right positioning. We’re really guard-heavy, so anybody can be anywhere and we were just running around.”

Selden and Victor finished with 24 and 26 points respectively, thanks in large part to their outside shooting. Initially, Vermont was in man-to-man defense, but switched to a 1-3-1 as the game went on, trying to utilize its length to cover as much of the court as possible.

Terance Mann had a strong first half for the Rams, going 4-for-7 from the field, but was 1-for-10 in the second and finished with 11 points. The 6-foot-5 sophomore still has room to grow into his long frame. His perimeter-based game complements Selden and Victor well, giving the team more than one scoring weapon from the outside. When Selden graduates this year, Mann feels he has the potential to fill the big shoes as a focal point of the Tilton offense.

“I think I have the potential to do that,” he said “When I’m rolling, I’m really good at going to the basket and finishing with both hands. I need to work on my shot and my handle, but usually when my shot’s falling, I’m shooting. When he leaves, it’s going to be tough, but I think I can take that role.”

--- With this being such a young Tilton team, Selden knew he had to take on more of a leadership role this season. Last year, playing with the likes of Nerlens Noel and Georges Niang, he could rely on them to be the voices both on and off the court while he played his game. This year, things are different for the Kansas commit.

“Every game is a battle,” he said. “I have to be a leader. We have a young group of guys that have to fight hard, so that’s all I ask for.”

As all great leaders do, they can lead just by example and with their actions as they do with words.

“I tend to be on the hyperactive side,” Victor said. “With Wayne Selden, he’s so serious on and off the court. He’s real calm before a game, but then when we get on the court he’s serious, telling people to go hard. Every day in practice, we break and we say “Go hard.” Playing alongside him, you can’t help but get better.”

--- Sunday was an important game for Chester Victor. Aside from scoring 26 points, the postgraduate senior was able to display his talents on a big stage in front of many college coaches.

He came to Tilton this year after going to school in LaPlace, Louisiana, a small town 10 minutes outside of New Orleans. The 6-foot-1 guard made the jump to Tilton to get more exposure to a higher level of basketball, which he thought the NEPSAC could do for him.

“The recruiting in Louisiana is not as good as it is up here,” he said after the game. “I went four years without getting recruited. I traveled up here with my cousin Lucas and he was supposed to end up coming here, but I think God saw fit for me to come here, so that’s how I ended up at Tilton.”

This year was as good a year as any for him to make the jump to the northeast. Tilton is notorious for having a dominant presence inside, from Alex Oriakhi (now playing at Missouri) to Nerlens Noel (now at Kentucky). This season, the Rams lack depth in the post, and now have to play a more guard-heavy lineup. It did that Sunday, occasionally forcing Wayne Selden to play the power forward position instead of his usual spot at guard and on the wing.

That strategy works because its guards are all capable of scoring off the dribble or shooting from the outside, so they compliment each other’s game well.

“Every year we’ve had things we’ve done well, and not done well,” O’Neil said. “It is a major deficiency in basketball when you don’t have a lot of size. We try to find a way on the court to compensate for that. It is nice to have those guys that can control the paint, block shots, score in the post, so when you don’t have as much of that, you find another way to play. It’s not always easy as a coach to be flexible, but you change what you do according to the personnel. If we don’t do that this year, if I’m too rigid, we’re not going to give ourselves the best chance to be successful.”

With four of last year’s starting five either graduated or transferred, Victor was unsure how that would effect the team and its play coming into the season.

“Last year, I had the privilege of watching them play online and I thought they played slow,” he said. “Once Nerlens left, and Niang, and Dominique Bull, and we found out Goodluck transferred, I wondered if Coach was going to be able to transition from playing slow to playing fast. I found out, coming in the first day, he said that was the only way he was going to play.”

National Prep Showcase: Day 3 notes

November, 21, 2010
The best was saved for last on day three of the National Prep Showcase as the final two games of the day featured two New England foes in Tilton and Wilbraham and Monson followed by St. Andrew’s taking on Blair Academy from New Jersey.

Tilton jumped all over Wilbraham from the opening tip, going on an 18-2 run to start the game and then running away with a 97-64 win. While Georges Niang and Wayne Selden stole the show for Tilton a number of different players impressed. Domonique Bull boasted a cut up physique, making him both quicker and more durable, while Goodluck Okonoboh showed excellent progression of his offensive skills, facing up to make mid-range pull-ups and drives to the rim. Nerlens Noel was his normal dominating self on the defensive end, starting the break with his tremendous shot-blocking ability.

The nightcap saw St. Andrew’s dig themselves into an early hole only to chip away and make it a one point game heading into halftime. The second half was an epic battle that was undoubtedly the most thrilling game of the entire weekend. Ultimately, it came down to the final possession as Blair Academy broke the tie with 15 seconds left and scored a stop and quick transition bucket to pull out a 57-53 win.

Georges Niang, 6’6”, PF, 2012, Methuen, MA/Tilton School
Stat Line: 33 pts (14-24 FG, 0-2 3pt, 5-6 FT), 11 reb (3 off), 1 ast/0 to
Niang picked up the 2010-2011 season just where he left off this summer – scoring the ball in every way imaginable. His game is versatile in that he can go inside out, score with his back to the basket, or stretch defenses to the three-point line. He has terrific hands and feet, a super soft touch around the rim, and is a great finisher despite the fact that he rarely gets above the rim in traffic. Niang’s value wasn’t limited to just his scoring as he rebounded very well, grabbing everything with two hands, and was an equally effective trailer against pressure as a secondary ball-handler and decision maker.

Wayne Selden, 6’4”, G/F, 2014, Boston, MA/Tilton School

Stat Line: 26 pts (10-16 FG, 6-9 3pt, 0-0 FT), 5 reb (3 off), 2 ast/2 to
The reclassified freshmen could be the next in a rapidly growing line of prospects from the greater Boston area to crack the national rankings. Selden was known for his break-away athleticism during his years at O’Bryant but has continued to progress athletically and has more explosiveness in virtually all aspects of his game now but especially in regard to his first step off the dribble. While his athleticism has progressed, on Sunday he showcased a much improved perimeter jumper to the tune of six three-pointers.

Michael Carter-Williams, 6’5”, G, 2011, Hamilton, MA/St. Andrew’s

Stat Line: 30 pts (7-15 FG, 2-7 3pt, 14-19 FT), 8 reb (0 off), 2 ast/1to
The Syracuse-bound guard has added a new dimension to his game in each of his seasons at St. Andrew’s. This year, that addition seems to be a more dangerous slashing game enabling him to get to the free-throw line for more easy points. With such great size and length in the backcourt, Carter-Williams is always a threat to shoot over the defense or create space for his mid-range pull-up and that threat causes defenders to constantly be off balance, which he capitalized on to draw contact. “MCW” also showed an improved commitment on the defensive end, getting nice and low to slide his feet and contain the ball when he was so determined.