Boston High School: Kaleb Tarzcewski

Recruiting 'Wide Open' for Tarzcewski, Ledo

November, 29, 2010
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein had a brief update over the Thanksgiving holiday on two of New England's top prospects, Kaleb Tarzcewski of St. Mark's and Ricardo Ledo of South Kent.

Kansas assistants Joe Dooley and Danny Manning were reportedly in attendance to watch Ledo at the National Prep Showcase two weekends ago. The Jayhawks are one of several teams making a big push for the 6-foot-6 Providence native's services for the Class of 2012, along with UCLA, Kentucky, Providence, Texas, Syracuse, West Virginia, Louisville and Villanova.

Ledo refuted previous internet reports that said he had trimmed his list to seven.

"It's still wide open," he told Finkelstein.

Likewise, Tarzcewski says things are very much open at this point in time. The 7-foot Claremont, N.H. native, sought after highly for his play on the blocks and his ability to run the floor, is another local being targeted by Kansas. Other schools in the running include West Virginia, Duke, Indiana, Boston College, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Arizona, Marquette, Providence, Vanderbilt, and Iowa.

"I'm hoping to come out with a list soon," Tarzcewski told Finkelstein. "I'm starting to think more about it but trying not to think about it too much so I can focus on the season."

For more recruiting updates on the locals, be sure to check out Finkelstein's ESPN blog and his New England Recruiting Report.

National Prep Showcase: Day 2 Notes

November, 21, 2010
The big news on day two of the National Prep Showcase didn’t actually happen on the court. Instead, it was word that Notre Dame Prep’s Khem Birch, the second ranked junior in the nation, was foregoing his post-graduate year and had in fact signed a National Letter of Intent with Pittsburgh earlier this week.

Birch’s mother, Wendy Sparks, confirmed to ESPN that both she and Birch had signed the letter of intent on Wednesday, the last day of the early signing period.

“He’s a Panther,” Sparks said. “Khem is ecstatic and we are all so happy.”

Birch was literally on the floor, leading his Notre Dame Prep team to a hard fought victory over Westwind Prep from Arizona but had the opportunity to talk about his decision following the game.

“As the year went by my coaches told me I might have a chance to go to 2011 and I thought that was a good idea because it will help me to get better in college instead of staying in high school,” Birch said.

“I just felt really comfortable with all of the coaches and players at Pittsburgh and I wanted to get there as quickly as possible because I knew it would help me to become a better player.”

The move is significant on a number of different fronts as Birch’s reclassification takes him from the second ranked junior in the country to the ninth ranked senior according to the ESPNU rankings. His addition to Pittsburgh’s 2011 class propels them into the top fifteen in the country. Another consequence of the decision is that the state of Massachusetts has another candidate for this year’s McDonald’s All-American game as Birch should seemingly be a strong candidate.

On the court, the action was non-stop as a total of eight games were played throughout the day featuring some of the top post-graduate teams in the country.

Top 3 Performances

1. Andre Drummond, St. Thomas More
Coming off a disappointing 8 point 4 rebound effort on day one of the showcase, Drummond came out and made a statement on day two turning in 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 blocks. What was most impressive though was how much better he can still get once he learns to maximize his tools. His physical tool set is virtually unparalleled with incredible length, athleticism, and mobility. He runs the court like a deer and plays above the rim with effortless agility. Once he learns to polish his skill set with his back to the basket, both establishing position prior to the catch and then operating with the ball, his upside is virtually unlimited.

2. Kaleb Tarczewski & Alex Murphy, St. Mark’s
The junior tandem was phenomenal on Saturday night leading St. Mark’s to a big win over a much more experienced Lee Academy squad. Tarczewski dominated the paint, establishing position in front of the rim, finishing at a high rate, and being a defensive intimidator. Murphy stood out by proving his prowess on the glass, which is ironic since his rebounding is often considered to be among his most noticeable deficiencies. Not only did Murphy pull down a game high 17 rebounds but he did it while playing with the ball in his hands from the point for a significant portion of the game.

3. Jordan Laguerre, New Hampton
UMass bound guard Jordan Laguerre led his New Hampton team against arguably the nation’s best team in Hargrave Military Academy from Virginia. Laguerre put up 23 points on 10-18 shooting from the floor while adding six rebounds from the backcourt. The New Hampshire native has a tremendously quick first step and took advantage of New Hampton’s court spacing in order to attack the rim. Laguerre made good decisions while in first gear, varying his speeds, and finding his teammates when the defense rotated.

N.E. talent high on new ESPN rankings

September, 3, 2010
Could New England be turning into a high school basketball hotbed?

ESPN released its new basketball rankings today, and some of the region's premier talent ranks highly on the list.

In the Class of 2011's ESPNU100, St. Andrew's (R.I.) shooting guard Michael Carter-Williams is ranked 18th overall. The Hamilton, Mass. native is committed to Syracuse. Meanwhile, Brewster Academy point guard and Worcester native Naadir Tharpe comes in at 66th; St. John's Prep two-sport star Pat Connaughton was one of the players who just missed the cut.

Four New Englanders are in the top 25 of the Class of 2012's ESPNU Super 60, including St. Thomas More's Andre Drummond at the top overall spot and Notre Dame Prep's Khem Birch at No. 2. St. Mark's stars Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarzcewski are ranked seventh and 24th, respectively.

Kuran Iverson of Northwest Catholic (Conn.) ranks No. 2 in the Class of 2013's ESPNU Terrific 25, with Tilton (N.H.)'s Nerlens Noel right behind him at No. 3. Brewster's Deonte Burton, a Milwaukee native, is also ranked No. 14 on the list.

Locals shine at Adidas Nations

August, 11, 2010
St. Mark's highly-touted duo of Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarzcewski continue to turn heads this summer after a strong showing at this past weekend's Adidas Nations Championship in Chicago. On Monday, their USA 2012 squad lost in the championship game, 82-68, to a USA 2011 squad that featured nationally-touted recruits like Deuce Bello, LeBryan Nash and Quincy Miller.

ESPN recruiting analyst Reggie Rankin had this to say on the two Lions on day two:

" Alex Murphy (South Kingstown, R.I./St. Mark's) has been nursing a tender knee, but when he's on the floor his skill is a thing of beauty. The No. 1-ranked small forward in the 2012 class lets the game come to him, but he can handle the ball, pass and knows when to make his move to score.

" Kaleb Tarzcewski (Claremont, N.H./St. Mark's) is a 7-0 center with great upside. He ran the floor well and finished drop-off passes above the rim. Tarzcewski also made some great passes out of the post that led to easy baskets for open and cutting teammates.