Boston High School: St. Thomas More

Video: Hoophall Classic Day 4 Highlights

January, 16, 2012
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- ESPN Boston correspondent Lucas Shapiro highlights the top action from yesterday's slate of games at the Hoophall Classic, at Springfield College's Blake Arena.




New England Roundup: Connecticut

January, 12, 2012
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Temple coach Steve Addazio's familiarity with the football landscape in Connecticut has paid off this month, when Temple received verbal commitments from two former Connecticut high school standouts: running back Montrell Dobbs (Ansonia) and 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker Tyler Matakevich (St. Joseph).

ConnecticutBoth Dobbs and Matakevich graduated from high school in 2011, and played prep school football at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., last season.

Addazio is a Connecticut native who played at Central Connecticut State (1978-81) and coached at Cheshire High School (1988-94).

Dobbs originally committed to Connecticut, but could not gain admission because of an academic issue. He said he thought about playing for Marshall, until Temple entered the picture. He met with Addazio and Temple assistant coach Sean McGowan last Friday. Temple extended a scholarship offer Tuesday.

“I really didn't have to think about it much, especially since Tyler and I have become good friends and he's going there,” Dobbs said. “I wanted to stay closer to home anyway. I was a good fit for me.”

Dobbs rushed for 3,445 yards and scored 45 touchdowns during his senior season at Ansonia. He was Milford Academy's offensive MVP last season.

Dobbs said he may be a partial qualifier and not allowed to play next season.

“I don't know if I'm going to be playing this year,” he said. “I'm gonna find that out. All I know is I'm definitely going to school at Temple.”

An injury forced Matakevich to miss the first five games of his senior season, when he helped St. Joseph win the second of back-to-back Class S championships. St. Joseph beat a Dobbs-led Ansonia team 49-28 to win the 2010 championship. Matakevich scored four touchdowns in that victory.

Matakevich was a two-time all-state selection who caught Temple's eye at a postseason college combine.

“I love everything about Temple,” Matakevich told the Connecticut Post. “I'm so happy to finally get this done after all that hard work. It's finally paid off.”

(Read full post)

Andre Drummond heading to UConn

August, 27, 2011
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STORRS, Conn. -- Andre Drummond, a 6-foot-11 center from Middletown, Conn., who was expected to attend prep school at Wilbraham & Monson Academy this year, has instead said he will play basketball for defending national-champion Connecticut.

Drummond confirmed an earlier report by The Hartford Courant with a posting on his Twitter account Friday that read, "It's official I'm heading to the university of connecticut to be a husky this year! Do I hear repeat."

A message was left with a school spokesman seeking comment.

Drummond is considered one of the top prospects in the nation. He's ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 100 class of 2012. Earlier this month, he said he planned to attend prep school in Massachusetts.

It's not clear where his scholarship will come from. Connecticut has none available after losing three due to NCAA rules violations and a poor academic performance rating.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

New Hampton knocks off STM in AAA semi's

March, 5, 2011
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BEVERLY, Mass. -- Nick Paulos came off a back screen, dribbled once and let it fly from a few steps inside the three-point line, at the top of the key. Then he pumped his fist, and let out a shout.

And then a few seconds later, after St. Thomas More's Adam Jones missed a potential game-tying three at the buzzer, Paulos exhaled. Amidst all the hype behind Brewster Academy's loaded starting five, and STM's prized 2012 center Andre Drummond, it's Paulos and his hot-handed New Hampton teammates that are punching their tickets to the NEPSAC Class AAA finals against an unheralded Maine Central Institute squad. New Hampton downed STM, 59-56, in the nightcap of tonight's Class AAA finals at Endicott College's Post Center.

The Huskies (21-11) will face MCI for the championship Sunday at 5 p.m., at the Post Center. The two teams split their regular-season series.

"I'm glad I could make it, and help us go to the the championship, you know," smiled Paulos, a UNC Greensboro-bound post-graduate who finished with 16 points (including four 3-pointers) and seven rebounds. "I'm pretty excited."

Paulos' winning shot came off an inbounds pass with 22.5 ticks left in regulation, the his team holding a 57-56 lead over the Chancellors (27-7), and just seven seconds left on the shot clock. St. Thomas More had two more chances at the other end, the first one an errant Damion Lee three-point attempt out of a timeout called with 13.9 seconds to go. Fairfield-bound senior Adam Jones pounced on the loose board, calling another timeout with 4.3 seconds to set up another try.

Out of that, Jones got a great look at the top of the key, pumped once and fired up a flat shot that clanked off the rim as time expired.

In this uncharacteristically low-scoring affair, the Huskies didn't allow a field goal in the last 2:11 to seal this.

"We just talked about guarding their stuff, which we've seen," head coach Peter Hutchins said of those final minutes. "We've played them twice now, [STM head coach] Jere [Quinn] does a great job...the last couple possessions, we were switching alot. When you have the lead like that, you're just trying not to give it away."

Meanwhile, the Huskies had to account for STM's 6-foot-10, 275-pound, Amare-like figure in the middle, No. 1 Class of 2012 recruit Drummond. The junior dominated the glass in the first half, with 12 of his game-high 15 rebounds, but struggled from the field by going 3 for 12. In the second half, he didn't register a point.

Credit Hutchins' game plan, which called for double-teams, sometimes triple-teams, in the post; and for the Huskies to deny a second touch for Drummond in a possession, forcing the hand of shooters like Lee, Jones, Roy Mabrey and Indiana Faithfull. Suffice it to say the Chancellors struggled from the perimeter, negating a relatively mistake-free evening.

"When you look at us statistically, we have two turnovers the first 30 minutes of the game," Quinn said. "And our third came within the last two minutes. Our team has always played everyone difficult and tough. Of our seven losses, five have been by three points or less. So on a day like today when we're not making shots, the kids competed. And that's all you can ask for."

Jordan Laguerre led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds for New Hampton, while Lee (16 points) and Jones (11) reached double-figures for the Chancellors.
The ninth annual National Prep Showcase took place this weekend in New Haven, Connecticut. The event featured 23 of the top prep school teams in the country and well over 100 division I prospects, including some of the nation’s highest-ranked players. By the time the weekend had come to an end, close to 200 college coaches had come through the doors to evaluate talent along with 30-plus members of the national and local media.

The three full days and 21 games of action provided insight on what to expect from the upcoming season as well as some intel on the world of college basketball recruiting.

Here are five lessons we came away having learned:

1. Khem Birch is a Panther…in 2011
The gym was abuzz on Saturday with news that Khem Birch had signed a National Letter of Intent with Pittsburgh, meaning that he was forgoing his intended post-graduate year at Notre Dame Prep and reclassifying from 2012 to 2011. The implications of the decision were widespread as Birch went from the second ranked player in 2012 to the ninth overall prospect in ESPNU’s Super 60, Pittsburgh’s recruiting class went from unranked to the 12th best in the country, and Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon solidified the highest ranked recruit he has ever landed. Birch was dominant with his performance on Friday and there is little doubt that he will be an instant impact type freshman next season in the Big East.

2. Brewster Academy has a chance to repeat
Brewster Academy was the consensus top prep school team in the country last year after scoring both the NEPSAC Class A title, as well as the National Prep Championship. And based on what we saw this weekend they have a very good chance of repeating. Head coach Jason Smith’s squad is loaded at every position and returns Naadir Tharpe, the Kansas-bound floor general who was at the helm of last year’s squad. That is really only the beginning as Brewster has two legitimate high-major big men inside with Markus Kennedy and Mitch McGeary, a pair of high athletic swingmen in Jakarr Sampson and Durand Johnson -- who are pledged to St. John’s and Pittsburgh, respectively -- a knockdown shooter in Max Hooper, and a scoring combo-guard in Elijah Carter. The squad was dominant both times they took the court this weekend, scoring blowout wins over Fishburne Military Academy as well as Princeton Day Academy.

3. New England is loaded in 2012
The local boys defended their home turf this weekend as all of the top players in New England’s class of 2012 played to rave reviews. St. Thomas More’s Andre Drummond, the top-ranked player in the country, was dominant on Saturday turning in a 22-point, 16-rebound, and six-block performance with his incredible physical talents inside. The St. Mark’s duo of Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski was no less impressive as Tarczewski established position inside and finished with power for 26 points and 12 rebounds. But it was Murphy who owned the glass as he pulled down a career high 17 boards while also handling most of the ball-handling responsibilities, creating for his teammates, and scoring 18 points of his own. Rhode Island native Ricardo Ledo was no less impressive on Friday night going for 30 points by showing his ability to create his own shot at virtually anytime. With all four players proving themselves against the highest levels of competition, it only reinforces that this junior class is among the best ever in New England.

4. High-Majors are desperate for big men and point guards
All six of the BCS conferences were represented by various coaches this week and almost all of them were looking for the same things -- big men and point guards. With 96 of the top 100 prospects in the ESPNU 100 having signed during the early signing period, high-major programs all around the country are starting to look for Plan B. The simple matter of fact is that there are more spots than there are suitable high-major prospects at those two crucial positions. The consequence will undoubtedly be a trickle down effect as high-major schools will settle for mid-major prospects, mid-majors will be forced to settle for low-major types, and so on.

5. Every game will be a battle in NEPSAC AAA
All eight members of the newly formed class AAA of the NEPSAC were in action this weekend. While Brewster was dominant, it was hard to establish much of a hierarchy after that. St. Thomas More, Northfield Mount Hermon, Bridgton Academy, Maine Central Institute, and South Kent all went 1-1 while New Hampton and Winchendon both suffered hard-fought losses to go 0-2. But even Winchendon and New Hampton proved plenty as the Green were arguably the grittiest team in the field and New Hampton will undoubtedly be dangerous once they get more experience with the team’s offensive strategies. Outside of Brewster’s supremacy, the only thing we can come away from this weekend having learned about the new league is that it will be as competitive as ever with virtually any team capable of knocking off anyone else on any night.

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