Boston High School: Hotchkiss (Conn.)

Locals shining at LeBron Skills Academy

July, 9, 2012
ESPN's team of basketball recruiting analysts have been checking in this week at the LeBron Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, where several locals have stood out.

To read the complete recaps, CLICK HERE (Insider only) and HERE (Insider).

On day one, Salisbury (Conn.) forward Chris McCullough and Hotchkiss (Conn.) forward Austin Colbert made a favorable impression on Paul Biancardi, Joel Francisco and John Stovall:

Austin Colbert (Lakeview, Conn./Hotchkiss)
2013, PF, 6-foot-9, 200 pounds

He is an athletic, skilled forward who always stands out during drills. He showed he could make 17-foot jumpers and finish above the rim.

Chris McCullough (New York/Salisbury School)
2014, PF, 6-9, 200 pounds

Chris has great skills and moves well for someone who is 6-9. He even worked out with the wings and fit right in.

On Day 2, Northwest Catholic (Conn.) wing Kuran Iverson made a splash:

Kuran Iverson (Windsor, Conn./Northwest Catholic)
2013, WF, 6-8, 200 pounds

Iverson is a long and lean wing forward prospect with excellent ball skills and a smooth shooting stroke. During the many shooting drills, Iverson exhibited an effortless shooting touch out to 22 feet.

Video: Wayne Selden's winning slam

May, 7, 2012
Sherwyn Cooper of has video highlights of last weekend's Mary Kline Classic, an all-star game comprised of some of the premier underclassmen in the Northeast, held at the Pennington (N.J.) School.

Among the locals featured in the three-minute highlight reel are New Hampton (N.H.) guard Jared Terrell, Hotchkiss (Conn.) forward Austin Colbert, and Kimball Union (N.H.) forward Abdul-Malik Abu. Most notable of the video, however, is Tilton (N.H.) swingman Wayne Selden's slam in the dunk contest portion of the game.

Selden was named co-champion of the dunk contest, alongside Chester (Penn.) forward Rondae Jefferson. Selden's slam starts at the 10-second mark:

Local McDonald's All-American Nominees

January, 18, 2012
Nominees for the McDonald's All-American Game were announced this morning. The Final Teams announcement for the prestigious high school basketball all-star game will be announced on Feb. 9 at 5 p.m., on ESPNU.

The boys and girls games will take place on March 28 at the United Center in Chicago, with the girls game at 7 p.m. and broadcast on ESPNU. The boys game will take place immediately after, at 9:30, and will be on ESPN.

One interesting omission to note is Andover senior guard Nicole Boudreau, a Boston College signee who is the state's defending Gatorade Player of the Year and ESPN Boston Miss Basketball. Boudreau has also been ranked in the ESPNU 100 for the Class of 2012.

Below are the nominees from the New England states:

Lexi Sells, Bishop Feehan
Jake Layman, King Philip
Ricardo Ledo, Notre Dame Prep
Kaleb Tarczewski, St. Mark's
Nik Stauskas, St. Mark's

Kris Dunn, New London
Ben Freeland, Suffied Academy
Timajh Parker-Rivera, St. Joseph
Erik Sanders, Suffield Academy
Mike Tobey, Hotchkiss
Bria Holmes, Hillhouse

Zach Auguste, New Hampton
Mitch McGary, Brewster Academy
T.J. Warren, Brewster Academy
Georges Niang, Tilton

Amber Holgate, St. Andrew's
Thomas Garrick, St. Andrew's
Cedric Kuakumensah, St. Andrew's
Kalusha Ndoubme Ngollo, St. Andrew's
Tyler Sabino, St. Andrew's
Austin Van Bemmelin, North Providence
Rob Hazard, North Providence

Darrick Wood, Bridgton Academy

Chad Copeland, Twinfield Union
Jaskin Melendez, Mount St. Joseph
Avery Whitcomb, Twinfield Union
Sara Illingworth, Hartford
Alexandra Jones, Poultney

Hotchkiss' Smith an underrated get for TCU

October, 19, 2011
Adam Finkelstein follows up today on ESPN's basketball recruiting blog with more thoughts on TCU's commitment yesterday from Hotchkiss (Conn.) guard Clyde Smith, saying the Houston native is undervalued on the national level.

The full entry can be found here. Below is an excerpt:

It’s a potentially-big commitment for TCU on a few different fronts. First and foremost, I believe Smith was widely underestimated on the national level.

After being away from home for the better part of the last two years, Smith lost his grandmother in the first week of this July’s live period. Needless to say he wasn’t himself for the rest of the month, so coaches and evaluators alike saw a player who was just a shade of his true self.

But for those who have seen Smith consistently over the last two years, they know he's a pure playmaker who can create offense for himself and his teammates. Ironically, he has the reputation for being an inconsistent shooter, but it is his shot-making that has come most naturally to him while he has worked hard to improve his body, athleticism, and dribble-drive game.

The bottom line is that he has become stronger, more explosive, and developed into a truly versatile and dangerous offensive player.

Secondly, in terms of his intangibles and mental approach to the game, Smith has that “it” factor. He plays with unrelenting confidence and takes a back seat to no one, in mind or body.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, Smith has a chip on his shoulder now. While he visited TCU and Iowa this fall, the vast majority of the high-major schools that had recruited him for the last two years fell off after this summer. Presumably, he feels undervalued and probably a little disrespected by the way the process played out. One thing he certainly isn’t feeling is a lack of confidence though, and now that he’s played his way into the Big 12, he’s likely to use the last three months as motivation to prove his doubters wrong.

Hotchkiss' Clyde Smith commits to TCU

October, 18, 2011
Hotchkiss (Conn.) point guard and Houston native Clyde Smith put an end to his recruitment on Monday when he verbally committed to TCU for the 2012-13 season, mulitiple sources are reporting.

Smith chose the Horned Frogs over Northwestern, Stanford, Boston University and Notre Dame.

His current evaluation from Scouts Inc. reads as follows:

Smith is a skilled attacking guard who plays with great presence and confidence. He is a consistent threat from behind the three-point line with a good understanding of how to come off screens and an ability to make shots in bunches. He has developed a tremendous pull-up game that he utilizes in transition as well as the half-court and is good enough with the ball to make a play for himself or his teammates going to the rim. Physically, he has become much stronger and more explosive within the last year and has the quickness to be a good defender as well.

Smith is more scorer than distributor and so still not a pure point guard despite playing more on the ball than off. He needs to prove he can make those around him better and also make more of a commitment to impacting the game on the defensive end. He doesn't have a pure release on his jumper and so rarely gets credit for being as dangerous as he is with his long ball.

Bottom Line:
Smith is a talented combo-guard with a versatile attacking game. While he isn't a pure point guard he plays with an aggressive demeanor and is the type of guy who can fill up a scoring column in a hurry.

Bay State Games: Day 5 Recap

July, 9, 2011
Courtesy Bay State Games media relations director Peter Cohenno:

New England Sports Center – Marlboro, MA

Coastal 8, West 0
Coastal jumped out early and never looked back as they defeated West, 8-0. Coastal was led offensively by Jonathan Hart (Bridgewater, Bridgewater-Raynham) and Frank Cambria (West Bridgewater, Coyle-Cassidy) who each had two goals in the victory. Combining for the shutout were Coastal goaltenders Sean Cleary (Centerville, Barnstable) and Jake Berry (Wellfleet, Nauset). Despite having a short bench, West battled to the end. Coastal improved to 2-1 in the tournament, while West falls to 0-4.

Central 6, Northeast 5
Central held on in the third period to defeat Northeast, 6-5. For the second game in a row, Northeast entered the third period trailing by one goal, but this time was unable to pull ahead as both teams scored three goals in the third. Central’s attack was quarterbacked by Cody Brier (Marlborough, Asabet Valley Tech) who had two assists in the third period, and tallied three in all. The Northeast offense was paced by junior forward Blaise Heally (Melrose, Tilton School) who finished the game with two goals and two assists. After Justin Huard (Auburn, Auburn HS) of Central found the net to push the score to 4-2 early in the third period, Northeast defenseman Matt Brett (Westford, Westford Academy) scored on the power play with a blast from the point. Brett finished the game with a goal and an assist. For the tournament, Central is now 2-1, and Northeast moves to 3-1.

Metro 6, Southeast 2
Freshman Chris Usseglio (Watertown, Watertown HS) scored two of Metro’s four first period goals to boost his team to a 6-2 win. Conal Lynch (Charlestown, Boston Latin) chipped in with two points on a goal and assist. Dean Chandler (Hanover, Hanover HS) compiled a pair of assists to lead in points for Southeast.

Central vs Coastal
Game was declared a draw.

Girls Scholastic

Central/West 2, Southeast/Coastal 2
For the second time in the tournament, Central/West and Southeast/Coastal battled to a draw, 2-2. Central/West jumped out to a two-goal lead as freshman Kayla O’Connor (Springfield, Deerfield Academy) and Samantha Pion (Easthampton, Proctor Academy) each scored a goal early in the first period. Southeast/Coastal was able to pull even with scores from Monica Riordan (Milton, Milton HS) and Samantha Fallon (Pembroke, Dexter). In between the pipes, Amanda Fontaine (Northfield, Northfield-Mount Herman) and Emily Spencer (East Longmeadow, East Longmeadow HS) were solid for Central/West while Christina Frasca (Norwood, Norwood HS) matched the effort across the ice.

Central/West 8, Metro/Northeast 0
Sarah Wilczynski (Ludlow, The Hotchkiss School), Jackie Tavella (East Longmeadow, Deerfield Academy) and Kayla O'Connor (Springfield, Deerfield Academy) each scored two goals to lead Central/West over Metro/Northeast, 8-0. O’Connor also added three assists while Wilczynski dished out two. Amanda Fontaine (Northfield, Northfield-Mount Herman) and Emily Spencer (East Longmeadow, East Longmeadow HS) shared the shutout in between the pipes.

Waltham High School – Waltham, MA

Boys Scholastic

West 3, Metro 2

Northeast 1, Coastal 0

Southeast 3, Central 0

Coastal 1, Metro 0

Northeast 3, Central 1

Girls Scholastic

Central 4, Metro 3

Northwest 0, West 0

Bronze Medal Game Play-In (4th place vs 5th place)
Southeast 3, Metro 0

Gold Medal Game Play-In (2nd place vs 3rd place)
Central 1, Northeast 0

Local bigs highlight new ESPNU 2012 rankings

May, 25, 2011
ESPN's basketball recruiting analysts have unveiled the first ESPNU 100 rankings for the Class of 2012, and to nobody's surprise much-hyped big man Andre Drummond of St. Thomas More (Conn.) maintains a vice grip on the No. 1 spot.

New England prep school talent is littered throughout the list, including Brewster Academy's Mitch McGary (4), St. Mark's Kaleb Tarczewski (9) and Nik Stauskas (100), Notre Dame Prep's Ricardo Ledo (13), South Kent's Anrio Adams, Hotchkiss' Mike Tobey, and Bridgton Academy's Kareem Canty. But what sticks out the most in this list is the number of quality big men, including Drummond, Tarczewski and McGary.

Dave Telep has previously opined that Drummond -- already profiled several times in Sports Illustrated, and tabbed by some as a once-a-generation talent -- can separate himself widely from the rest of the pack when he chooses to. Now, he writes, it's time to turn it up a gear:

ESPN analyst John Stovall summed it up best in a recent meeting when he said Drummond and [Isaiah] Austin clearly have the biggest ceilings as prospects. However, both can no longer live on potential and it's time they begin producing to meet their level of expectations. These two bigs are NBA prospects and have physical attributes and talents no one else in the class possesses. The next step is proving it beyond a shadow of a doubt. They're built like pros, they look like pros and we don't need them to play likes pros -- though it's not too much to ask for consistent, impactful efforts.

ESPN's Paul Biancardi has similar thoughts:

Drummond is a physical specimen who has a college/NBA-ready body and has the complete package for a post player. He's a great athlete who scores by finishing a break at the rim, or with his skills in the high or low post. You notice his passing instincts whether he has his back to the basket or is facing the action. Drummond has the speed to outrun defenders, and the length and timing to block shots and rebound. Overall, he has an outstanding combination of size and skill level. He'll need to challenge himself on a daily basis to get better, but he has the potential to be a dominant college freshman.

Telep and Biancardi also make note of Brewster's McGary, who has seen his stock explode since transferring into the Wolfeboro, N.H. prep school from his native Indiana and re-classifying. Perhaps nobody's made a bigger leap so far, as Telep writes:

We've postulated for a long time that 2012 would be the year of the big man and our No. 4 prospect is far and away the fastest-rising player in America. Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy) reclassified to the 2012 class and enrolled at Brewster Academy, which has paid off. Armed with an attitude and a restructured body, the Indiana native made the biggest leap onto our list.

Biancardi similarly praises the big man's frenetic energy on the court:

McGary has always been a solid prospect, but the high-energy power forward has used the spring evaluation period to catapult up the rankings. He has become one of the better rebounders in the 2012 class and can stretch the defense with his ability knock down the face-up jumper out to the 3-point line.

Not to be forgotten either is the 7-foot Tarczewski, still a developing prospect but still an ever-intriguing post player drawing praise as a true five. Biancardi writes:

Because of his size and ability to dominate the paint, Tarczewski might be the top true center prospect in the 2012 class. Whereas most big guys want to show their guard skills, he understands his strengths and rarely deviates from them. Tarczewski has shown consistent improvement every year throughout his high school career and earned his top-10 ranking.

Telep discussed the new rankings in a live chat this afternoon, a transcript of which can be found here.

Hotchkiss' Tobey commits to Virginia

January, 4, 2011
ESPN's Reggie Rankin has confirmed that Hotchkiss (Conn.) junior center Mike Tobey has verbally committed to the University of Virginia for the Class of 2012.

Tobey, a 6-foot-10 big from Ramsey, N.J., is the first commit for Tony Bennett's 2012 recruiting class. Tobey's current evaluation on Scouts Inc. reads as follows:

Tobey has a plethora of tools at his disposal and projects as a skilled inside-out five man at the next level. He has good hands and feet inside the paint, catching in traffic and showing well developed footwork both playing with his back to the basket as well as facing up from the elbow. Tobey also has a very soft touch around the rim along with an ability to stretch opposing defenses out to 18 feet.

While undeniably talented, Tobey is still very raw and likely a couple of years away from becoming a dominating force inside the paint. Physically, he needs to get into better shape and get stronger while tightening his frame. He can struggle to keep up with a fast paced game at the moment as his reaction time and agility are still developing as he grows into his body. He also needs to become a more consistent rebounder and finisher while developing a signature move with his back to the basket.

Bottom Line:
A young big man with a world of potential, Tobey has the combination of size and natural skill that simply can't be taught and while he still has a lot of improvements to make his upside is undeniable.

Hotchkiss' Wilson commits to Marquette

November, 9, 2010
Hotchkiss (Conn.) point guard Derrick Wilson gave a verbal commitment to Marquette University last night, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Wilson, a 6-foot-1 senior from Anchorage, Alaska, chose the Golden Eagles over a slew of offers that included Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Stanford and Oklahoma. He is the second 2011 commit for head coach Buzz Williams.

Our colleagues at Scouts Inc. currently have the following evaluation:

A physically imposing guard, Wilson is built like a tank with terrific muscle mass and definition. He plays the game with a warrior's mentality, competing with toughness and intensity on both ends of the ball. He has an aggressive scorer's mindset, constantly looking to attack the defense, and able to put points on the board both by overpowering defenders en route to the rim or also from the perimeter with a much improved skill set. He will also rise to challenges defensively, using his upper body strength and physicality to keep his man from getting to his sweet spots.

While Wilson typically plays with the ball in his hands at the moment, he isn't a pure point guard, and projects as a scoring combo at the next level at best. He needs to prove that he can make decisions and get the team into their offense while handling the ball against pressure in the backcourt. He is probably most naturally suited to play off the ball but is undersized at that position. He also isn't overly quick or bouncy and so he can have occasional defensive problems away from the basket and rarely finishes above the rim.

Bottom Line:
What Wilson lacks in height, quickness, and bounce he makes up for with power, intensity, and aggressiveness. While he isn't the type of pure point guard who makes his teammates better with his ability to facilitate offense, he leads by example with his toughness and work ethic and makes his teammates better by forcing them to raise the bar. He needs to continue to develop his point guard skill set and improve his ability to run a team in a half court set.

Hotchkiss guards generating interest

October, 28, 2010
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein writes on his recruiting blog today on the building interest of Hotchkiss (Conn.) backcourt-mates Derrick Wilson and Clyde Smith.

Wilson, a 6-foot-1 Anchorage, Alaska native, will take his first official visit this weekend to Marquette, according to head coach Fred Benjamin.

"The thing with Derrick is that he is college-ready," Benjamin told Finkelstein. "So he will have to look to see what's a good fit personality wise but also where he can come in and make an immediate impact."

Meanwhile Smtih, a 6-foot-3 junior from Houston, is taking an unofficial visit to Notre Dame early next month, and is in the process of scheduling visits to Northwestern, Boston College and Boston University.

"Clyde has been to Stanford twice for elite camps so he needs some other looks for his frame of reference," Benjamin told Finkelstein.

Check out more on these two budding stars, as well as updates on the Bearcats' other elite talent like Mike Tobey, Makhai Mason and Christopher Campbell, on Finkelstein's blog.