Boston High School: Mandell Thomas

Recap: Notre Dame Prep 89, Canarias (Spain) 70

February, 3, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -– According to Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd, 7-foot center Steven Adams was quite ill when the Crusaders played Canarias Basketball Academy Friday in the 14th annual National Prep School Invitational at Rhode Island College.

“He’s wrestling with the flu,” Hurd said after the Crusaders prevailed, 89-70. “He’s doing his best to fight through it and wrestle with it a little bit. You’re getting him in spurts. He’s able to gut it out a little bit at a time and then he wants to take a seat for a few minutes.

“Twenty-four hours ago he was throwing up everywhere. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of mitigating it.”

How true.

Just ask the Canarias players.

Adams, a transplant from New Zealand who’s already committed to Pittsburgh, scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots in only 26 minutes (tournament games last 40 minutes). As a result, he was named the game’s MVP.

But that being said, Adams wasn’t using his illness as a reason why he didn’t play better.

“Not at all,” Adams responded when asked how the flu affected his play. “It’s not an excuse. I chose to suit up, so there isn’t a reason to blame it on the sickness.”

Sick or not, Adams still connected on 9-of-12 shots and committed only two turnovers.

And he was at his best during a 14-0 run late in the first half which enabled the Crusaders (18-5) to expand their lead to 43-26.

Myles Davis led Notre Dame with 21 points, burying 6-of-10 three-point shots, while Adonis Filer added 13 and Mandell Thomas 12.

Davis drained a trio of treys in the first half as Notre Dame got off to a fast start.

Simon Krajkovic paced Canarias (12-2) with 13 points while 7-1 center Boris Borjanovsky added 12 and grabbed nine rebounds.

Adams, who enrolled at Notre Dame for the second semester, has had to adjust not only to a different culture but also to a different style of basketball – which, in his opinion, is the more difficult adjustment he’s had to make.

“Pace...the game is played by fast people,” Adams said. “Stamina has been a problem. I got really unfit over the (holiday) break. I’m quite disappointed in myself.”

Unfit or not, Adams applied an exclamation point to his performance when he slammed down a monster jam to finish a fast break with just under four minutes left on the clock.

Hurd disappointed: After Notre Dame built that 43-26 lead, it let Canarias back into contention.

The team from the Canary Islands went on an 11-1 run in the last 2:46 with Aleks Rostov scoring four points and pulled within 44-37 at intermission.

“We’re playing three in three days down here and for whatever reason I think they looked down there and saw their size and thought they weren’t going to be able to play with us,” Hurd said. “It took as a little while to respect them. That’s something that’s a character flaw on our part and we have to fix it.

“Overall, I wasn’t tremendously happy with the effort but I think we’ll bounce back tomorrow and do it the right way.”

Notre Dame plays La Jolla Prep at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Then, Hurd launched into specifics about the Crusaders’ play.

“The trademark of what we’ve been dable to do so far has been that we are a tremendously unselfish team,” Hurd said. “I think that little bit of selfish play reared its ugly head today. We’ll fix that tonight and we’ll get out there.

“These guys enjoy being around each other. They enjoy each other’s success. For whatever reason, we broke that for 20 or 30 minutes today. Fortunately, we’re a talented bunch of guys and at the end of the day we were able to overcome that.”

Tall task for Adams: If nothing else, Hurd expressed sympathy for Adams who’s been placed in a difficult situation -– especially since he’s been greeted with a ton of hype.

“I think it’s unfair to take a kid all the way around the world and pluck him on a team in the middle of December or January and say ‘Go do it.’

“But, all things considered I think he’s handled it really well and our guys have handled it really well. He’s trying to understand the pace and speed with which we play here in the United States. He’s willing to do whatever it’s going to take.

“The funny thing about prep school basketball is, yes we want to be successful, but you’re going to be able qualify and quantify our success with what he does eight months from now at Pitt,” Hurd continued. “Did he understand what we were doing? Did he understand what we were saying? And I think that he does.”

BABC Prep School Classic primer

January, 13, 2012
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