Boston High School: Goodluck Okonoboh

WMA's Okonoboh commits to UNLV

October, 3, 2013
10/03/13
11:36
PM ET
Wilbraham & Monson senior forward Goodluck Okonoboh announced his commitment to UNLV during halftime of ESPNU's broadcast of the Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana-Monroe tonight.

The 6-foot-9 Okonoboh -- a Boston resident, and the No. 21 overall 2014 prospect according to ESPNU -- chose the Rebels over Duke, Florida, Indiana and Ohio State. He took official visits to UNLV and Ohio State within the last week.

When Okonoboh arrives in Las Vegas next fall, he will join former Notre Dame Prep star and McDonald's All-American Khem Birch among alums from the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) on the Rebels' roster.

"Me and coach [Dave] Rice established a real good relationship," Okonoboh told ESPN's Adam Finkelstein. "They play really fast, and that style of play fits me. I can go right in and do what I do defensively, but also have some freedom offensively."

Okonoboh told Finkelstein he came away from his recent trip to UNLV convinced the coaching staff could help him take his game to the next level.

"The blueprint they had for me was second to none. The amount of intensity the team had in practice, how the coaches develop their big men, and, again, just the blueprint they had for me personally," Okonoboh said.

Finkelstein has more on the big man's commitment on the college basketball RecruitingNation blog HERE.

Elite 24 coverage of Okonoboh, McCullough

August, 23, 2013
8/23/13
1:04
PM ET
The 2013 Under Armour Elite 24 will be held at the historic Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Friday and Saturday. The game airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. on Saturday, while the Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Competition will air tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

Two local New England prep school products -- Goodluck Okonoboh of Wilbraham & Monson, and Chris McCullough of Brewster Academy (N.H.) -- will be competing in the showcase event, which annually draws 24 of the top high school basketball prospects from around the country.

Below is some of the coverage of the two stars leading into tonight's festivities, from the staff at RecruitingNation, along with links:

Reggie Rankin: Top Elite 24 Position Matchups | LINK (Insider only)



Power forward matchup
Ivan Rabb vs. Chris McCullough

This matchup is between two long, athletic, explosive quick-off-the-floor forwards. Who will miss the first block-out and give up a tip dunk and get the crowd fired up? Which one will display his much improved ball skills and shooting and get off to a quick start? Expect rim-level rebounds, blocked shots and poster-like, above-the-rim finishes early in this one.

Reggie Rankin: Elite 24 Player Breakdowns | LINK (Insider only)



Chris McCullough
Power Forward
Bronx, N.Y./Brewster Academy
6-9, 210

College: Syracuse

McCullough is a extra-long athletic forward that excels on the break and finishes above the rim on all clear paths. He rebounds and blocks shots to go along with being a capable multiple-position lockdown defender as well with great upside.

NBA Comparison: Taj Gibson

Goodluck Okonoboh
Power Forward
Woburn, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson
6-10, 220
College:
Undeclared

Okonoboh is a strong and physical forward that is finishes above the rim with extreme power and volleyball spike-like shots. He is a top-notch finisher, shot blocker, rebounder and rim protector with great upside.

NBA Comparisons: Serge Ibaka/Derrick Favors


Vonleh, Selden top updated ESPN hoops rankings

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
3:01
PM ET
ESPNU has updated its national basketball player rankings today. To see them, click here for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

A number of locals either move up or hold on to their spots in the latest updated rankings, including New Hampton's Noah Vonleh and Tilton's Wayne Selden. Below is the complete list of locals:

2013
8. Noah Vonleh, Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton (N.H.)
12. Wayne Selden, Boston/Tilton (N.H.)
83. Kyle Washington, Champlin, Minn./Brewster Academy (N.H.)

2014
6. Chris McCullough, Bronx, N.Y./Brewster Academy (N.H.)
20. Goodluck Okonoboh, Boston/Wilbraham & Monson
53. Abdul-Malik Abu, Boston/Kimball Union (N.H.)
54. Kaleb Joseph, Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy

Hoophall: Worcester Acad. 69, Wilbraham & Monson 62

January, 21, 2013
1/21/13
2:30
AM ET
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Worcester Academy’s Rene Castro grabbed an errant pass and connected on a 3-pointer to give the Hilltoppers a two-point lead with 3:44 remaining in the first half. Worcester would hold the lead for the remainder of the game, countering several Wilbraham & Monson threats, earning a well-deserved and much-need 69-62 win to conclude Day 4 at the 2013 Hoophall Classic in Springfield.

Worcester built a five-point lead heading into halftime and started the second half on a 10-4 run, with several easy baskets coming in transition. Matt Mobley and Rene Castro on two separate possessions found the trailing Darryl Reynolds for layups. The early half surge but Worcester up 37-27.

“We were strong on defense,” said Worcester senior Matt Mobley. “We had a lot of help defense, we didn’t let them get to the middle.”

Luis Montero, Kerem Kanter, and Curtis Cobb provided much of the offense in the second half to keep the Titans within striking distance. Montero scored five straight, followed by a bucket by Kanter to cut the lead to 52-47. Worcester responded with a coast to coast finish by Mobley and a Castro layup.

Kanter and Cobb combined for a 6-0 run with 3.5 minutes to go, but Matt Panaggio connected on a three to put the lead up to 59-53.

“I think we just had breakdowns,” said Wilbraham & Monson head coach Chris Sparks. “We were able to guard them in the half court, but I think where we broke down was in transition.”

Worcester had a four point advantage on the boards, including two different instances late in the game when Worcester secured an offensive rebound off a missed free throw.

“When you’re two possessions away and you give up two offensive rebound that kills you,” said Sparks.

Worcester shot 15-of-31 from the free throw line, leaving the door open for a WMA comeback. The Titans couldn’t take advantage of second chance opportunities and coughed the ball up down the stretch.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well from the free throw line,” said Sullivan. “We kept fighting.”

Mobley had a team-high 17 points, to go along with four rebounds and four assists. Castro added 15. Goodluck Okonoboh had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Worcester has won the first two games against Wilbraham & Monson this season. They meet again on Feb. 9 at Worcester.

Bounce-back win for Worcester: Worcester needed this win following an upset loss to Beaver Country Day the previous evening, as part of the BABC Prep Classic. Beaver Country Day defeated Worcester 71-69, even though junior center Jacquil Taylor went down with a reported ankle injury.

A day later, the Hilltoppers had to forget about that game and get back on track against a talented Wilbraham & Monson team.

“We got away from that last night playing Beaver Country Day,” said Sullivan. “With Taylor going down, which is a shame, that team rose up and beat up. But tonight was a night with a quick turnaround. Being able to in the gym, right away, without having that to fester too long was great.”

This bounce back win not only kept the Hilltoppers undefeated in league play, but came at the right time for Worcester Academy. On Wednesday, Worcester travels down to Connecticut to take on Class AAA opponent, St. Thomas More.

Kerem Kanter reclassifies: Back in December, during the BasketBull Hoops Fest, Wilbraham & Monson forward Kerem Kanter landed scholarship offers from Boston College and Pittsburgh.

On Friday, through Twitter, he announced he would reclassify and join the Class of 2013.

“I just thought it was time to move up,” said Kanter. “I felt like I will be ready by the time next year comes.”

Kanter, the younger brother of Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter, says he will decide on a college sometime in April. The 6-foot-7 forward is still working on visits, but intends on taking several before he makes a commitment. He listed Miami (Fla.), Auburn, Tulsa, and Drexel as other schools involved in his recruitment.

Kanter has been impressive this season for Wilbraham & Monson with his footwork and ability to score around the basket. Due to the size of the Titans, Kanter has also been able to step away from the basket and show off his shooting touch.

He joins Kamali Bey as WMA seniors still on the board.

BasketBull Hoops Fest tips off Thursday

December, 19, 2012
12/19/12
1:21
PM ET
The 2012 BasketBull Hoops Fest tips off Thursday at noon with two days of prep school basketball, followed by an additional two days of Catholic school matchups.

All games will be played at Holyoke Community College. For more information on the tournament, CLICK HERE.

BasketBull Director Colin Tabb passes along the full schedule, as well as players to watch over the four-day event:

Thursday, Dec. 20
Noon - Cheshire Academy (Conn.) vs. Worcester Academy
1:45 p.m. - Williston-Northampton vs. Masters School (Conn.)
3:30 p.m. - Jean de Brebeuf (Canada) vs. Wilbraham & Monson
5:15 p.m. - Suffield Academy (Conn.) vs. Northfield-Mt. Hermon
7 p.m. - ALMA Academy (Canada) vs. Cheshire ACademy (Conn.)

Friday, Dec. 21
Noon - St. Thomas More (Conn.) vs. Wilbraham & Monson
1:45 p.m. - Jean de Brebeuf (Canada) vs. Williston-Northampton
3:30 p.m. - Masters School (Conn.) vs. Cheshire Academy (Conn.)
5:15 p.m. - Northfield-Mt. Hermon vs. ALMA Academy (Canada)
7 p.m. - East Longmeadow vs. West Springfield

Saturday, Dec. 22
2 p.m. - Holy Cross (N.Y.) vs. St. Joseph Central
3:45 p.m. - Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) vs. St. Theresa's (Canada)
5:30 p.m. - Holy Name vs. Springfield Cathedral
7:15 p.m. - Bishop Kearney (N.Y.) vs. St. Peter's Prep (N.J.)

Sunday, Dec. 23
Noon - Jean de Brebeuf (Canada) vs. Holy Cross (N.Y.)
1:45 p.m. - St. Theresa's (Canada) vs. Springfield Cathedral
3:30 p.m. - St. Raphael (R.I.) vs. Catholic Memorial

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Rene Castro – Worcester Academy - 2013 – Butler
Peter Miller – Northfield Mt Hermon - 2013 – Princeton
Anthony Dallier – Northfield Mt. Hermon - 2013 – Yale
Zena Edosomwan – Northfield Mt. Hermon – 2013 - Harvard
Denzel Gregg – St. Thomas More – 2013 – Fordham
Dylan Haines – St. Thomas More – 2013 – undecided
Marquis Moore – St. Thomas Moore – 2013 – undecided
Chinonso Obokoh – Bishop Kearney – 2013 - Syracuse
Trevis Wyche – Saint Peter’s Prep – 2013 – St. Peter’s
Charles Correa – St. Raphael’s – 2013 – undecided
Tarik Smith – Cheshire Academy – 2013 – undecided
Eric Suder – Cheshire Academy – 2013 – undecided
Tank Roberson – St. Joseph Central – 2013 – undecided
Kamali Bey – Wilbraham and Monson – 2013 – undecided
Thomas Rivard – Worcester Academy – James Madison
Skylar White – Northfield Mt Hermon – 2013 – undecided
Donte Gittens – Masters School – 2013 – undecided
Austin Carter – Masters School – 2013 – undecided
Kendall Jackson – Suffield Academy – 2013 – undecided
Max Risch – Williston – 2013 – undecided
Goodluck Okonoboh – Wilbraham and Monson – 2014 – Undecided
Kerem Kanter – Wilbraham and Monson – 2014 – undecided
Matt Cimino – Worcester Academy – 2014 - undecided
Cane Broome – St. Thomas More – 2014 – undecided
Sem Kroon – Northfield Mt. Hermon – 2014 – undecided
Gerard Adams – Catholic Memorial – 2014 – undecided
Godspower Ogide – Bishop Kearney – 2014 – undecided
Thomas Bryant – Bishop Kearney – 2015 – undecided
Josh Sharma – Northfield Mt. Hermon – 2015 – undecided
DJ Baptiste – Wilbraham and Monson – 2015 – undecided
Luis Montero – Wilbraham and Monson – 2015 - undecided
David Watkins – Catholic Memorial – 2015 – undecided
Darrick Boyd – Springfield Cathedral – 2015
Mustapha Heron – Wilbraham and Monson – 2016
Tyonne Malone – Williston - 2016

NEPSAC: St. Mark's 59, Tilton (N.H.) 53

March, 4, 2012
3/04/12
8:00
PM ET
BEVERLY, Mass. -- Nik Stauskas wrapped his arms around Eli Lubick, as his St. Mark's teammate approached the free throw line to shoot the game-clinching free throws.

It was poetic in a way: the son of St. Mark’s coach David Lubick had the opportunity to put an exclamation point on the season and secure the NEPSAC Class AA Championship that had eluded this senior class the last two seasons.

His older brother Nate, now a starting forward at Georgetown, watched in the right corner, hoping his brother would have the opportunity to feel the championship feeling he had when he won the same title at St. Mark’s years ago.

Eli hit them both. The clock hit zero, and the whole team rejoiced at center court, celebrating the Lions’ 59-53 victory over the Tilton Rams. It was an unknown feeling for Tilton, which had previously won four straight NEPSAC championships -- three straight Class B titles from 2008-10, and last year's Class AA title against these same Lions.

“This is so crazy for us, because after last year’s loss to them, for like, a year exactly to this day, we’ve been thinking about this rematch against Tilton,” said Stauskas, who finished with 19 points and has signed with Michigan for next season. “There’s no better feeling in the world than just working hard and achieving your goals.”

St. Mark’s (26-1) jumped out to an early lead behind the shooting of players like Jaymie Spears (eight points, four steals), Aaron Falzon (eight points, five rebounds), and Lubick (12 points).

While Stauskas and Arizona-bound 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski get their share of publicity, and rightfully so, it was the contributions of the players around them that allowed them to end their high school careers on such a high note.

“Those are all big-time players,” said Stauskas. “A guy like Jaymie has been working so hard this year and really stepped up big for us today. Eric Green (four points, five rebounds) stepped up big, Aaron is only a freshman so he’s definitely going to have some big years ahead of him.”

As the crowd thinned outside the Endicott College gymnasium, players trickled out of the locker room and into the lobby to board their respective buses back to their campuses. The Tilton (27-5) players were gone just moments after Lubick entered the St. Mark’s locker room.

Months from now, the St. Mark’s starting five will be at different colleges around the country beginning a new chapter in their lives. Who knows where their basketball careers will take them. No matter, they will always be able to look back and know they went out a champion.

Neutralizing Nerlens: St. Mark’s accomplished what so many teams want to do when playing Tilton: keeping the ball away from Nerlens Noel on offense. The nation's No. 1 overall senior can single-handedly change a game with his defense. St. Mark’s has it’s own big man in Kaleb Tarczewski, the No. 5 overall player in the Class of 2012.

When looking at the scorebook and seeing Tarczewski’s eight points and nine rebounds, one can think it was because Noel neutralized him. It had more to do with Lubick’s decision to play his offense out on the perimeter.

The team took advantage, hitting 10 three-pointers. Twelve of Stauskas’ 19 points came from behind the 3-point line.

“We know Nerlens and Goodluck (Okonoboh) are big-time shot blockers,” he said. “Our main goal today was to get a lot of drive-and-kicks for threes. We have a lot of guys that can shoot the ball. Our real key was to get into the key as far as we could and kick it right back out for open three’s.”

Noel’s shot-blocking is so feared that in one possession in the first half, Eric Green caught an outlet pass and saw Noel separating him from the basket. Rather than going at the 6-foot-11 center and risk getting his shot blocked, Green circled back to the perimeter and waited for his teammates to set up the offense.

“We wanted to not challenge them at their strength, which is the rim,” said David Lubick. “We thought if Kaleb could challenge Nerlens and get into his body and get him into foul trouble, that’s great. He used a couple of nice up-fakes and stuff like that, but we didn’t want the rest of our guys attacking the basket. Even an athletic guy like Eric Green or Nik Stauskas who can attack the basket, we didn’t want them to do it because we were afraid we’d get our shots blocked, then they’d go off to the races the other way.”

“Our focus was on making plays on the perimeter and getting into the paint in order to find somebody,” he added. “Consequently, they had to take Goodluck out of the game and adjust to us. If we had gotten behind, they wouldn’t have had to do that. Our guys doing what the gameplan dictated allowed us to dictate the terms on personnel.”

Loss of Selden hurt: Tilton appeared to struggle at times without its starting point guard Wayne Selden. The Boston resident and one of the nation's top sophomore players in the country, has been sidelined for weeks with an ankle injury. He had no choice but to watch the game from the bench in street clothes holding crutches.

“Him playing definitely makes a big difference for them,” said Stauskas. “We wish he could have played because it’s obviously not the same without him, but injuries happen. You just have to deal with them, so it is what it is. He’s probably one of the guys that creates most off the dribble for them, so he’s definitely a huge difference-maker.

"Georges Niang played a huge game for them (19 points, six rebounds) so he definitely stepped up. Everyone else was doing their normal job. They’re a heck of a team, so we feel blessed just to beat them.”

Warm surprise: Lubick received a nice surprise just moments before tipoff. As he was standing on the sideline during team warmups, he turned around and was noticeably taken aback when he saw his son Nate, a sophomore at Georgetown, standing their to greet him.

He was not expecting him to be there, since he had played against Marquette the previous night, but he flew up to surprise his dad and cheer him on during the important game.

“That was a huge surprise for me,” he said. “I was a little steamed and perturbed that my wife didn’t show up early and on time. I was thinking, ‘Where is she?’ We’ve been through this together for a long time, and then I figured out why she was late: she was picking up Nate. It was great, just unbelievable.”

National Prep School Invitational primer

January, 25, 2012
1/25/12
5:34
PM ET
Media Director Pat Stevens forwards along a press release on what to expect from the annual National Prep School Invitational, February 2 through 5 at Rhode Island College.



PROVIDENCE, R.I. --- Thirty of the country’s top prep school basketball teams, up to 100 college coaches on hand to evaluate prospects, and several NBA scouts will gather for the 14th annual National Prep School Invitational.

Held at Rhode Island College from Thursday, February 2 through Sunday, February 5, the nation’s elite exposure event during the school year will once again have its top games broadcasted on COX Sports.

With an upwards of 50 players impressively already committed to colleges, the event’s main goal is to provide a springboard for many more to join that group.

The featured young talent competing ranges all the way from the traditional powers of the New England Prep School Athletic Conference to as far as the Canarias Basketball Academy of the Canary Islands.

Highlighting the field is last year’s National Prep Championship Tournament winner St. Thomas More (CT) and NEPSAC champion Maine Central Institute (ME). Previous titleholders Brewster Academy (NH), Bridgton Academy (ME), Notre Dame Prep (MA) and Tilton School (NH) return as well.

Considered the strongest All-American candidates for their success throughout their high school and prep school careers are South Kent’s Ricardo Ledo (Providence) and Tilton’s Nerlens Noel (Undecided) along with Brewster Academy duo Mitch McGary (Michigan) and TJ Warren (North Carolina State). Notre Dame Prep recently welcomed Steven Adams (Pittsburgh) for the second semester, a talented center from New Zealand who made waves this past summer with his play at the Adidas Nations global event. Some of college basketball's top contenders are also showing high interest in a number of underclassmen on the rise - Tilton's Wayne Selden and Goodluck Okonoboh, New Hampton's Noah Vonleh and Jared Terrell, and Vermont Academy's DaQuan McNeil, Dominic Woodson and Jamel Artis.

St. Andrew’s (RI) star All-American guard Michael Carter-Williams (now at Syracuse) took home back-to-back NPSI MVP awards in 2011 and 2010. The 2009 MVP went to Lawrence Academy’s Shabazz Napier, who has since gone on to win a NCAA National Championship at the University of Connecticut.

Currently, 28 active NBA Players have participated in the NPSI. Those once awarded the NPSI MVP for their performances in the event include Michael Beasley (Notre Dame Prep ‘07/Kansas State/Minnesota Timberwolves), Lazar Hayward (Notre Dame Prep ’06/Marquette/Oklahoma City Thunder), Shawne Williams (Laurinburg Institute ‘05/Memphis/New Jersey Nets) and Dorell Wright (South Kent ‘04/1st Round Draft Choice out of prep school).

For more information, visit NPSIhoops.com and NationalPrepInvitational.com.

Tickets are $10 per day or passes for the entire event can also be purchased at the door.

MEDIA REQUESTS please contact Pat Stevens at pat@npsihoops.com


2012 NPSI SCHEDULE

Thursday, February 2
10 - Lee Academy (ME) vs. Robinson (NJ)
11:30 - St. Thomas More (CT) vs. CJEOTO Academy (NJ)
1:15 - Brewster Academy (NH) vs. St. John’s Northwest Military Academy (WI)
2:45 – NIA Prep (NJ) vs. Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain)
4:15 - Notre Dame Prep (MA) vs. Wilbraham & Monson (MA)
5:45 - La Jolla Prep (CA) vs. South Kent (CT)
7:15 - Phelps (PA) vs. Cushing Academy (MA)
9 – Mont Clare (PA) vs. New Hope Academy (MD)

Friday, February 3
9 –CJEOTO Academy (NJ) vs. Lee Academy (ME)
10:30 - Robinson (NJ) vs. La Jolla Prep (CA)
12 - SJNWMA (WI) vs. New Hampton (NH)
1:30 – Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain) vs. Notre Dame Prep (MA)
3 - South Kent (CT) vs. NIA Prep (NJ)
4:30 - Mont Clare (PA) vs. St. Thomas More (CT)
6 - Worcester Academy (MA) vs. Phelps (PA)
7:30 - Vermont Academy (VT) vs. Winchendon (MA)
9 - New Hope Academy (MD) vs. Bridgton Academy (ME)

Saturday, February 4
9 – Marianapolis (CT) vs. SJNWMA (WI)
10:30 – Winchendon (MA) vs. Mont Clare (PA)
12 – Cushing Academy (MA) vs. New Hope Academy (MD)
1:30 – REDA (Canada) vs. Vermont Academy (VT)
3 – Bridgton Academy (ME) vs. Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)
4:30 - La Jolla Prep (CA) vs. Notre Dame Prep (MA)
6 – New Hampton (NH) vs. Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain)
7:30 - Maine Central Institute (ME) vs. Next Level Prep (Canada)

Sunday, February 5
9 - Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain) vs. Bridgton Academy (ME)
10:30 - Wilbraham & Monson (MA) vs. Winchendon (MA)
12 – Next Level Prep (Canada) vs. St. Thomas More (CT)
1:30 - Tilton (NH) vs. REDA (Canada)
3 - Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) vs. Lawrence Academy (MA)
4:30 - St. Andrew's (RI) vs. Maine Central Institute (ME)
6 - New Hope Academy (MD) vs. Worcester Academy (MA)

2012 NPSI COLLEGE COMMITTED PLAYERS
Semaj Christon (G - Brewster Academy - Xavier)
Mitch McGary (F - Brewster Academy - Michigan)
Jalen Reynolds (F - Brewster Academy - Xavier)
Aaron Thomas (G - Brewster Academy - Florida State)
TJ Warren (F - Brewster Academy - NC State)
Jarryn Skeete (G - Bridgton Academy - Buffalo)
Alex Furness (G - Cushing - Bentley)
Tyler McFarland (G - Cushing - Bentley)
Darrell Bowie (F - La Jolla Prep - Northern Illinois)
Strahinja Gavrilovic (G - La Jolla Prep - Southern California)
Darnell Harris (F - La Jolla Prep - Cleveland State)
Jarion Henry (G - La Jolla Prep - Oklahoma)
Travion Leonard (C - Lee Academy - Fordham)
Jean Yves Toupane (F - Lee Academy - Saint Bonaventure)
Barry Webster (F - Lee Academy - Maine)
Jared Brandon (F - Maine Central Institute - Cal State Fullerton)
James Farr (F - Maine Central Institute - Xavier)
Tobe Okafor (C - Maine Central Institute - Loyola Marymount)
Barrington Alston (F - New Hampton - Towson)
Zach Auguste (F - New Hampton - Notre Dame)
Olivier Hanlan (G - New Hampton - Boston College)
Ramon Johnson (F - NIA Prep - Coastal Carolina)
Tommy Carpenter (F - Northfield Mount Hermon - Dartmouth)
Evan Cummins (F - Northfield Mount Hermon - Harvard)
Ethan O'Day (F - Northfield Mount Hermon - Vermont)
Steven Adams (C - Notre Dame Prep - Pittsburgh)
Myles Davis (G - Notre Dame Prep - Xavier)
Adonis Filer (G - Notre Dame Prep - Clemson)
Shawn Valentine (G - Phelps - Rider)
Richard Audu (G - REDA - Siena)
Naz Long (G - REDA - Iowa State)
Jarrod Davis (F - Robinson School - Maryland Eastern Shore)
Laimonas Chatkevicius (C - South Kent - Kansas State)
Ricardo Ledo (G - South Kent - Providence)
Chris Ortiz (F - South Kent - Kent State)
Cedric Kukamensah (F - St. Andrew's - Brown)
Josh Hall (F - St. John's Northwest Military Academy - Cal Poly)
Andy Martin (C - St. John's Northwest Military Academy - Montana)
Curtis Jones (G - St. Thomas More - Manhattan)
Barrington Stevens (G - St. Thomas More - South Alabama)
Dominique Bull (G - Tilton - Missouri)
Kevin Crescenzi (G - Tilton - Dartmouth)
Georges Niang (F - Tilton - Iowa State)
Tevin Falzon (F - Winchendon - Sacred Heart)
Akosa Maduegbunam (G - Winchendon - Penn State)
Nick Victor (G - Winchendon - Yale)


Noel-McGary matchup lives up to billing

January, 15, 2012
1/15/12
10:33
PM ET
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- It was like a clash of basketball titans Sunday at the Hoophall Classic when Brewster Academy squared off against the Tilton School.

There was a playoff atmosphere with two well-traveled crowds verbally jousting in the stands while two NEPSAC teams featuring highly-touted recruits did battle on the court, which Brewster won 57-53.

Nerlens Noel, a 6-foot-11 Tilton junior -- ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2013 by ESPNU -- went up against the No. 2 ranked recruit in this year’s class, Mitch McGary, at the center position.

It’s not often that a player can record seven blocks in a game and have it be considered an average night, but that is what life is like now for Noel now.

He has become so notorious for his defensive presence and penchant for having double-digit block totals, that when he has a game like he did Sunday, some might even call it an off night.

Nerlens still was able to make his presence felt on offense though. He was 7-of-10 from the field, finishing with 22 points.

In one defensive sequence in the first quarter, he had two blocks that brought the crowd to its feet. It immediately set the tone for what Brewster would be facing around the basket all night.

Brewster was able to get the big man in foul trouble though, picking up his fourth foul with 2:13 left in the third quarter, which forced him to the bench.

“Our guards got more open looks at the rack [when Noel went to the bench] and we had a lot better rebounding,” said McGary. “We had to box out, but we didn’t have to look out behind our backs for Nerlens and Goodluck (Okonoboth) going over the top of us.”

That left Okonoboth alone to protect the Tilton basket for the rest of the third quarter, and part of the fourth. He knew he was up for the challenge though.

“I knew I just had to play smart, move my feet, because I wasn’t trying to get in any foul trouble,” he said. “When Nerlens is in foul trouble, and he’s rarely in foul trouble, you just have to play really smart.”

Together, they held the Michigan commit to 3 points all game, but couldn’t keep him away from the glass. He finished the game with 12 rebounds.

“Mitch, he’s a very rugged player, very strong,” said Noel. “He posts up where he needs to, uses his body real well.”

McGary’s frontcourt mate, JaKarr Sampson, had an efficient night offensively matched up against Okonoboh, finishing with 13 points and 7 rebounds. He is a perfect counterpart to McGary’s game, providing speed and quickness to balance McGary’s strength and power in the post.

He had two highlight reel put-back dunks in the fourth quarter that showed off his athleticism. After Aaron Thomas put up a shot from the perimeter, Sampson came from the foul line and then rather than trying to out-muscle the already positioned post players, he just jumped over them and put the ball in the basket for a thunderous two points.

With his team down by 12 points early in the fourth, Noel reentered the game before it could get out of hand. He was noticeably cognizant of his situation, and would often not jump when defending players equally as strong as him, like McGary.

He was not having his most successful night from the field (1-for-8), but that did not stop him from attacking the basket against the Tilton big men.

“You just have to get into their body and back them down in the post,” said McGary. “Offensively I didn’t do as well tonight because they’re such major factors down low. There’s not much you can do. They’re both really good shot blockers, so you just have to body them up and get up and go through their body when you’re shooting.

With five and a half minutes to go in the game, Noel converted an and-one to make the score 50-43. On the next Brewster offensive possession, he blocked two Brewster shots in a row, then got the ball and sent an outlet pass to teammate Wayne Selden, who dunked the ball in front of an oncoming McGary.

The respect Noel and McGary have for each other was evident when they both reentered the game in the fourth. When they checked in and sat down at the scorers table, McGary said something to Noel, who nodded in response and reached out his hand, which McGary high-fived.

Sunday was a chess match between four premier big men who came to play on a big stage. For a few hours, there was no talk about rankings or college commitments. It was simply a competitive basketball game between two quality teams who wanted nothing more than to win. Brewster came out on top Sunday, but it was one of those games where people will remember who and what they saw from both teams for a long time to come.

BABC Prep School Classic primer

January, 13, 2012
1/13/12
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Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) Director of Operations Jay Demings forwards along some information regarding this weekend's BABC Prep School Classic, this Saturday and Sunday at the Kroc Center in Dorchester.



BOSTON -- This weekend’s Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) Prep Classic at the Kroc Center in Boston will not only feature some great games, but will give fans an up-close look at the elite-level basketball talent that permeates the New England region.

In the event’s first matchup on Saturday, two talent-laden teams in Notre Dame Prep and the Tilton School (NH) feature two potential NBA lottery picks in Notre Dame’s Steven Adams and Tilton’s Nerlens Noel.

Adams is a seven-foot center from New Zealand who just arrived at Notre Dame Prep as a post-graduate and will make his debut on Saturday. He is signed to play at the University of Pittsburgh for the Fall of 2012. Only a junior, Noel is a 6’11’’ center from Everett, MA who is ranked second in the class of 2013 by ESPN. Both players have drawn serious attention from NBA scouts.

“I have yet to see Steven Adams play live but, based on all accounts and video I’ve seen, this is a can’t-miss matchup between him and Nerlens," said BABC’s Director of Operations, Jay Demings. “Many of us are familiar with Nerlens’ skill set, but fans will get to see how Adam’s size, strength and skills translate to the American game. Experts believe that both players are certain future NBA lottery picks.”

The two-day event will also feature many signed Division 1 collegiate players and those that are expected to make their college choices soon. The field of teams include the following committed players:

Myles Davis - ND Prep - Xavier
Adonis Filer - ND Prep - Clemson
Mandell Thomas - ND Prep - Fordham

Georges Niang - Tilton - Iowa State
Dominique Bull - Tilton - Missouri
Kevin Crescenzi - Tilton - Dartmouth

Evan Cummins - NMH - Harvard
Tommy Carpenter - NMH - Dartmouth
Ethan O’Day - NMH - Vermont

Nick Lund - Rivers School - Claremont McKenna

Akosa Maduegbunam - Winchendon - Penn State
Tevin Falzon - Winchendon - Sacred Heart

Jake Fay - Brimmer & May - Fordham

Others to watch:

Tilton - Goodluck Okonoboh, Wayne Selden, Jr., John Witkowski, Cameron Durley
Wilbraham & Monson - Kamali Bey, Jaylen Brantley, Marcel Pettway, Djery Baptiste
Worcester Academy - Matt Cimino, Rene Castro
Marianapolis Prep - Kristian Medina, Nigel Sydnor, Bobby Ahearn
Brimmer & May - John Powell, Adrian Oliveira
Rivers School - Shaquor Sandiford, Kyle Reardon, Andrew Kaufman, Carlin Haymon
Boston Trinity - Elijah Okagbare, Zach Petion
Winchendon - Tre Tipton, Tom Bajda, Malique McLaren, Malcolm Smith
Putnam Science - Oscar Assie, Tyree Robinson, Jonathan Joseph, Dayshon Smith
Notre Dame Prep - Sam Cassell, Jr., Nehemias Morillo
Northfield Mount Hermon - Ryan Oliver, Lucas Van Nes, DeKeeba Battee


Domonique Bull Brendan HallMissouri's aggressive style of play is a good fit for Tilton (N.H.) guard Domonique Bull, who committed to the Tigers on Friday afternoon.

Domonique Bull committed to Missouri on Friday, reuniting himself with former BABC teammates Phil and Matt Pressey, as well as former Tilton (N.H.) teammate Tony Lester.

Bull, who visited Missouri campus officially last weekend, was previously committed to Rhode Island before re-opening his recruitment last spring.

The Worcester native made a name for himself early in his grassroots career, earning a starring role for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club well before arriving at Cushing Acacdemy as a freshman.

Bull played a pivotal role in BABC’s 2010 sixteen-and-under AAU National Championship, teaming with Georges Niang to lead the team in scoring while Nerlens Noel anchored the team’s defensive efforts.

Following that summer, and three successful seasons at Cushing, Bull made the decision to join Niang, Noel and fellow AAU teammates Wayne Selden and Goodluck Okonoboh at the Tilton School. Six months later and the group would take another championship, this time the inaugural NEPSAC class AA title.

This past summer Bull made his final appearance on the AAU circuit, and he went out in style with yet another championship, taking the title at the Nike Peach Jam, the culminating event of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League.

Ultimately, his role in his teams’ collective success has repaid him with individual accolades, namely the opportunity to play high-major basketball. Now the question becomes what role can Bull expect upon arriving in Missouri.

Fortunately for Bull, Missouri plays with one of the deepest benches in all of college basketball, and while there is a new head coach in town, there doesn’t appear to be a major change in philosophy.

Former head coach Mike Anderson’s "40 minutes of hell" system revitalized Missouri basketball, bringing them to three straight NCAA tournaments, and while Anderson left to take the reigns at Arkansas this spring, new head coach Frank Haith appears content to stick with a similar style. So while Haith has yet to coach a game on the Tiger’s sidelines, all indications are that Mizzou will continue to defend the length of the floor, attempt to create tempo at every opportunity, and play at least a 10-man rotation.

That’s a style of play that suits Bull perfectly. A powerful guard, Bull can make plays on both ends of the floor. Offensively, his bread and butter is his dribble penetration, which allows him to create for both himself and his teammates. Defensively, he likes to attack opposing ball-handlers, using his strong body and aggressive approach to force turnovers.

While Bull’s strength are well suited for a transition game, equally important is the system’s ability to camouflage some of his deficiencies. While his jumper has improved over the years, it’s still streaky. Similarly, while he’s a playmaker who likes the ball in his hands, he isn’t a pure point. Those traits are much more easily exposed when attempting to grind out a game in the half-court, but given the extra space that the open floor allows, they are much easier to mask.

Ultimately, if Bull’s goal was to play high-major basketball there may not be a better place than Missouri where he’ll reunite with former teammates and play a style that suits his skills. That’s a recipe that has led to numerous championships at the high school and AAU levels, whether or not it will do the same in the SEC is a question that only time can tell.

Adam Finkelstein is the founder and editor of the New England Recruiting Report and also covers recruiting in the northeast for ESPN Scouts Inc. Adam has the rare distinction of having coached or scouted at the high school, NCAA, and NBA levels, having worked as a Division I assistant at the University of Hartford and spent three years under the NBA's director of scouting Marty Blake.

Tilton's Okonoboh flying under the radar

September, 22, 2011
9/22/11
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During his annual preseason tour of the open gyms offered at New England prep schools, ESPN's Adam Finkelstein checked in with Tilton (N.H.) big man Goodluck Okonoboh, who has been steadily flying under the radar playing alongside high-profile recruits like Georges Niang, Nerlens Noel and Wayne Selden.

Don't mistake it for lack of talent, though, because the 6-foot-9 junior center and Boston native has plenty of it. Gonzaga, Syracuse, Minnesota and Missouri are high on him, all offering scholarships; and that list will most certainly grow over the next nine months.

Finkelstein writes:



"I've never been worried about rankings or anything like that. I know what I can do and these guys do to," he said, nodding his head toward his teammates.

What he can do is a little bit of everything. He's an excellent athlete capable of rising up to block a shot, throw down a hard dunk at virtually anytime or play on the perimeter with a soft touch and a passer's instincts.

But does he mind doing the dirty work?

"No, no," he said, "I don't mind doing the dirty work at all."

And again, that may be his biggest value, while he says he is continuing to make progress with his skill set and his back-to-the-basket game, this guy is a proven winner. He's been a part of two AAU national championships with the BABC and also taken a league championship in both of his seasons at Tilton.

While winning is its own reward for Okonoboh, his experiences are going to serve him well upon reaching the next level.

When mostly highly-touted prospects first arrive at college one of their biggest challenges is learning to be a piece of the puzzle for the first time in their careers, and not be "the man." Okonoboh won't have a problem with that transition. He already knows what it means to sacrifice for the team. He's been doing it for years and he's got a collection of championships to show for it.


For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school talent, be sure to check out Finkelstein's ESPN blog as well as his New England Recruiting Report.

Nerlens Noel No. 2 in latest Super 60

August, 11, 2011
8/11/11
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ESPN's basketball recruiting section has updated the Super 60 rankings for the Class of 2013 today, and it should come to little surprise where Tilton (N.H.) big man Nerlens Noel comes in.

After an explosive summer on the AAU circuit with the Boston Amateur Basketball Club, the 6-foot-11 Everett native comes in at No. 2, ahead of Prestonwood Christian (Texas)'s Julius Randle but behind Simeon (Ill.)'s Jabari Parker.

South Kent (Conn.) shooting guard and Denver native Chris Thomas comes in at No. 13, while Northwest Catholic (Conn.)'s Kuran Iverson continues his slide down the list. Once a top five prospect on ESPN's list, the Windsor, Conn. native fell to No. 30 on the list.

Brewster Academy (N.H.) small forward and Milwaukee native Deonte Burton also comes in at No. 36. ESPN's Dave Telep also lists Tilton (N.H.) forward Goodluck Okonoboh as one of the players "knocking on the door" of the Super 60.

The full Super 60 can be found here.

Telep goes on to explain his placement of Parker, Noel and Randle:



After the summer, if you polled recruiting analysts and college coaches, there's a good chance SF Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) would prevail as the top overall prospect in high school basketball, regardless of class. When an underclassman draws reviews like that, it's a big deal. Parker is a smooth operator with NBA bloodlines, poise and an overall package that features a competitive game with grace and skill. The fact that he's in the conversation about the best prospect in high school basketball is an achievement. The fact that he's ranked ahead of C Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton School) and PF Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood) is almost as big of a statement. The three have separated themselves from the pack as high school players, similar to what O.J. Mayo, Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love and Eric Gordon did in the 2007 class.

Entering the summer, our rankings read Randle, Parker and Noel, in that order. After Parker continuously set the standard, the question became: Who's No. 2? Enter Noel. Not since Greg Oden has high school basketball had as dominant a shot-blocker in its ranks. He's an elite rim-protector and his summer team's accomplishments were aided by this enormous presence at the rim. You couldn't have asked for a more successful summer run.

Randle, our former No. 1, also had a tremendous summer. From his work at the Nike Skills Academy right on through July, his game was in bloom. A powerful 4-man with a perimeter skills package, he's a matchup problem in different areas of the court. These guys -- and the order may one day change -- could easily go 1-2-3 in a future NBA Draft.


Player Perspective: Georges Niang

August, 3, 2011
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HAVERHILL, Mass. -- When Methuen native and Tilton (N.H.) forward Georges Niang committed to Iowa State last May, it turned a few heads -- some of them with an air of suspicion. Was he ready for the Big 12?

Then Niang hit the road with the Boston Amateur Basketball Club, and whatever dissidence was out there evaporated. Lauded for his throwback, physical style around the rim, the Methuen native isn't afraid to throw his elbows around, and takes pride in wearing down the opposition's top scoring threat. Together with fellow teammate and highly-suited center Nerlens Noel, the BABC were a dominant inside force during the Nike EYBL season, culminating with BABC director Leo Papile's first Peach Jam title in his eighth finals appearance, last month in North Augusta, S.C.

This week, Niang and New Hampton's Noah Vonleh were back home in the Merrimack Valley helping run the Elite Youth Players Camp, an annual youth basketball clinic put on by Utah Jazz scout Jeff Nelson at the Cedardale Athletic Club. Following this afternoon's session of the week-long camp, which ends Friday, Niang talked to ESPNBoston.com about his explosive summer, and the future.

Q: Going into the summer, what were some of your goals? What were you looking to accomplish?
A:
"Going into the summer, my goals were definitely to win the Peach Jam, bring one home for Boston and definitely for Leo, giving him his first one at the Peach Jam. And to repeat for the Nationals with the 16's, since we didn't have enough guys to play for the 17's. But just, to win as many games as we could, and enjoy my last summer of AAU. I mean, I really did that with the guys. It was great spending time with them, and down at the houses in Florida. But winning the Peach Jam was definitely the highlight."

Q: What about personally, was there anything motivating you this summer?
A:
"Definitely. There was a lot of stuff being thrown around, like, 'Oh, now that Georges committed, is he still going to put up the same kinda numbers that he did?' And I definitely wanted to show that I belonged in the Big 12, and that I belonged to Iowa State. Just by going out there and proving it every night against ranked guys, that was something that motivated me deep down."

Q: What do you think you've improved upon the most this summer?
A:
"I think just my body, and always consistently playing well. That's definitely something I wanted going into the summer, just getting my body into the best shape I could, and consistently playing well at the top level."

Q: People sometimes talk about your game as unorthodox, because you don't fit a natural position, be it a three, four or five. But the one thing that does stick out is the way you take command on the boards. Is that something you take pride in? Is it a mentality?
A:
"Oh yeah, definitely. Being the best you can be is something I strive for. Grabbing rebounds, looking for the ball down low, just doing what I got to do to stay on the floor. I feel like if you can be more versatile, you can stay on the floor as long as you want."

Q: As far as technique with boxing out, what is your strategy?
A:
"I mean, I do have a big body, so you're putting your body on someone and just banging down low. That helps a lot. But strictly, I'm just finding the man -- usually, I try to find the more athletic kids, because beating down athletic guys, they really don't want to jump around the rim anymore, and that just makes rebounding that much easier."

Q: Who is the best player you faced this summer?
A:
"In general, I have to give it to the Harrison twins [Aaron and Andrew, of Houston's Travis High]. They were tough, and they beat us [on national television, in the Super Showcase Final with Houston Defenders AAU]. But at my position, I'd definitely have to give it to Mitch McGary [of Brewster Academy]. Mitch McGary is tough to play against. He's strong, and he gets to the rim, and he's athletic."

Q: Should be a good matchup with Brewster this year, then?
A:
"Yeah, we're going to beat them (laughs). We'll get them this year."

Q: You've won four straight NEPSAC titles at Tilton. What's motivating you to a fifth?
A:
"To go out a winner, definitely. I don't want to go out a loser, I definitely want to end my high school career on a win. And not only that, we're looking for five in a row, but we're definitely going for a national championship. I definitely want to end my career on a national championship."

Q: You play year-round with Nerlens, Goodluck, and Wayne Selden. How is the chemistry?
A:
"The chemistry is great. Sometimes, like anything else, we're like brothers, so we'll argue every now and then. But all of us love each other, we're never selfish or anything like that. It's just great, because you have someone to relate to who's at your level. These guys are in your classes, they live with you, so just being around them year round, getting to know them, they're friends for a lifetime, definitely."

Q: What are the places to be seen around Methuen? Any restaurants, hangouts?
A:
"The Loop is the hangout. But...damn, I'll have to say Romano's Pizza. That's the spot. Sometimes I might get a calzone, but you know I like to mix it up with a chicken caesar salad -- make sure you tell Fred that one, too. No, but Romano's is a cool spot. And then sometimes the barber shop down in Methuen, Five Star Barber Shop, me and my boy Michael Gorman go there to get haircuts and just chill over there."

Q: You mentioned Fred Hoiberg. When did it hit you that Iowa State was the right place for you, and how did it feel when you made the call to Fred with your commitment?
A:
"I knew after my visit, it felt right. I just wanted take my time and be sure. After my visit, he came up to visit three weeks in a row, as much as he could -- as in, him, himself, not his assistants. Coach came up and told me that he wanted me, always told me that he wanted me. I felt like it was the right spot. I think it was a Sunday, maybe May 15, I came home from Mike Gorman's house, and I was talking in the car. I was trying to get Fred on the phone with my mom, because I told my mom I think I'm ready to commit. So we talked to Rick Gorman, my old AAU coach, about it. I called Leo, called my high school coach, told all of them I was ready. And then I got Fred and my dad on the phone -- my dad was overseas, because he works in the Navy. After that, I called Fred back and told him I wanted to commit and come to Iowa State.

"And I mean, it's been the best ever since. Cyclone Nation has supported me to the fullest, and I can only love that, because that's where I'm going to be playing, and these are the people that are gonna be supporting me. I can't wait to get out to Ames."

Q: Your father is in the Navy. Is that where you get your discipline from?
A:
"Yeah, definitely, definitely (laughs). He's hard on me, but he loves me, so you know, I love him to the fullest, too. My dad [Sidi Niang] moved here from Senegal when he was 18, he lived down at New Bedford and then my parents met at UMass Amherst."

Niang, Noel lead Tilton over Brimmer

January, 22, 2011
1/22/11
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Sometimes when watching the Tilton School basketball team, it is hard to divert attention from the imposing 6-foot-10 figure of Nerlens Noel in the middle. But when Georges Niang has a game like he did Saturday in a 88-64 victory against Brimmer and May, one could almost forget Noel is even on the court.

Niang, a 6-foot-7 junior, put up 28 points and five rebounds against the home team, and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
[+] EnlargeNerlens Noel
Lucas Shapiro for ESPNBoston.comTilton's Nerlens Noel (right) battled Brimmer's Ryan Canty and came up with 16 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks.

He overshadowed what was a prolific game for Noel, who had 16 points, seven rebounds, and seven blocked shots. He exhibited much of the characteristics that make him the No. 3 recruit in the class of 2013, according to ESPN. When he needed to, he utilized a jump hook, a drop-step move, and thunderous dunks to score on his former Tilton teammate Ryan Canty, a Fordham commit.

Defensively, when he wasn’t blocking shots, Noel was altering Brimmer players’ approach, making life more difficult for them in the paint.

“When you have Nerlens, who blocks everything, and Goodluck (Okonoboh), who are such good rebounders and have such good knacks for the ball, sometimes I can run past a three-point shooter and start heading the other way (on offense),” said Niang. “I hate to do it, but sometimes you’re allowed to.”

Tilton (13-2) played most of the game in a full-court press, which stymied the Gators (4-10) and forced them to turn the ball over, giving the prep juggernaut layup opportunities that were more often than not turned into points.

“We thought if we just kind of sat back, they are pretty good in the half-court,” Tilton head coach Marcus O’Neil said. “They knocked down three-point shots, they’re good with their pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop stuff, so we didn’t want to just sit back and let them pick us apart. We tried to create turnovers. I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to do it but we did.”

His team jumped out to a 10-0 run to start the game and it never looked back. The pressure defense supplied by the likes of Dominique Bull, Aaron Law, and Wayne Selden wreaked havoc on the Gators' offense, allowing Marco Banegas (20 points) and company to get over half-court only three times in the first four minutes of the game.

“We knew they couldn’t stay with us if we kept the game moving,” said Niang. “We knew they could shoot the ball real well so we tried to push them off the arch. We felt that if we pressed them and made them go up against Nerlens, who blocks everything, that would help.”

Tilton even extended their lead to 23-2 with 11 minutes left in the first half, and had a 48-26 lead headed into the break. Brimmer was not the only team to face difficulty against these guys, however. Twelve of the Rams’ thirteen wins have been double-digit wins.

With that in mind, it can be hard for some to believe a 13-2 team has to improve on much as the season progresses, but O’Neil knows that to avoid complacency, his team has to keep working to get better, regardless of the record.

“Every day brings new challenges, sometimes those are successes and sometimes they are failures,” said O’Neil. “We try to take each day by itself and try to get better. If you don’t, you’re going to get beat.”

National Prep Showcase: Day 3 notes

November, 21, 2010
11/21/10
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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.

TOP PERFORMERS OF THE DAY:
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.

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