Boston High School: UNC Tar Heels

Brewster's McGary to take six official visits

September, 2, 2011
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein checks in today on his recruiting blog with Brewster Academy (N.H.) big man Mitch McGary, who will be taking six official visits this fall.

Wait, isn't a recruit only permitted five such visits? Finkelstein explains:

With McGary set to take an official visit to Michigan's campus this weekend and consecutive trips to North Carolina and Duke scheduled for the following weekend, it appeared as if he would only have two official visits left to choose between Kentucky, Maryland and Florida.

Turns out that's not necessarily the case.

Because McGary was a senior in 2010-2011, and will be a post-graduate this year, it will be possible for him to visit all six schools officially this fall if he so chooses.

According to Brewster Academy coach Jason Smith, McGary's upcoming three official visits will all take place before Brewster begins classes and will technically fall under McGary's five allotted senior visits. That means he'll be eligible for five more official visits, as a post-graduate, as of Oct. 15. In other words it's very possible that McGary takes official visits to all six schools on his final list between now and November's early signing period.

The only downside for Kentucky, Florida and Maryland is that they're now in a holding pattern, hoping McGary doesn't fall in love on any of his first three visits, and having to wait until at least Oct. 15 to have him on campus.

That makes it especially difficult if Kentucky was hoping to add McGary to an already star-studded list of recruits expected to attend their Big Blue Madness on Oct. 14 including Shabazz Muhammad (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman), DaJuan Coleman (Dewitt, N.Y./Jamesville-DeWitt), Willie Cauley (Spearville, Kan./Olathe Northwest), Archie Goodwin (Little Rock, Ark./Sylvan Hills), Alex Poythress (Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast), T.J. Warren (Durham, N.C./Brewster Academy), among others.

As for the chances that McGary ultimately ends up seeing all six campuses officially, Smith said he expects that his star big man will, but admits it could change as he visits each school along the way.

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

Brewster's Mitch McGary cuts it to six

August, 9, 2011
ESPN's Dave Telep is reporting that highly-touted Brewster Academy (N.H.) power forward Mitch McGary has cut his list to six schools, in no particular order: Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Michigan, Duke and Kentucky.

The Indiana native, currently ranked the No. 1 power forward in the Class of 2012 by ESPNU, shut it down during the summer, declining interviews and communicating with coaches only on occasion.

From Telep:

"I stayed low in July but I talked to coaches on Facebook and stuff like that," said McGary. "Some of the schools like Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky, they've got great coaches there. I like Michigan and Maryland in the rebuilding stage and they gave me good vibes. Florida's pretty good and they do a lot of similar things with guys like me who are versatile."

In-state schools Indiana and Purdue are not being considered and McGary feels good about his list, though he left the door cracked.

"Maybe if another school stays in contact, but I kind of wanted to narrow it down to these six," said the No. 4 overall player in the 2012 class. "I've got strong feelings about these six schools."

McGary's rise is one of the central stories in the Class of 2012. Midway through the year at Brewster Academy, McGary went from rotation player to beastly power forward. His spring on the travel team circuit was filled with intense performances that set up his June and July national breakout. From the NBPA Top 100 Camp to his play with SYF, McGary's been a dominant player in the class. His trademark intensity is reminiscent of Tyler Hansbrough and his offensive game extends to the perimeter.

Player Perspective: Noah Vonleh

August, 3, 2011
HAVERHILL, Mass. -- When last checked in with Haverhill's Noah Vonleh, he was just a shy, unassuming kid with Bird-like intrinsic motivation, practicing his dribble on the living room floorboards in the middle of the night.

That was before the 6-foot-7 swingman blew up this summer running with the Mass. Rivals AAU club. In a profile on Vonleh last December, his AAU coach Vin Pastore said "He's got a God-given talent". Last March, Vonleh was named to ESPNBoston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team. Earlier this week, ESPN's Joel Francisco said Vonleh "belongs in the discussion for being among the top players in the Class of 2014".

In other words, there's no looking back now, even as he transfers to New Hampton (N.H.) Prep, where he will repeat his sophomore season. This week, Vonleh and Georges Niang were back in the Merrimack Valley, helping run an annual youth basketball clinic put on by Utah Jazz scout Jeff Nelson at the Cedardale Athletic Club. Following this afternoon's session of week-long camp, which ends Friday, Vonleh talked to about his explosive summer, and the future.

Q: What goals did you make for yourself going into the summer?
"Trying to prove I was one of the top players in the country for the Class of 2014, and I think I proved it. I wanted to develop a pull-up game, mid-range game, and make my handle a lot better."

Q: What do you think was your breakout performance this summer?
"My second game in Cali [the Double Pump Best of Summer Showcase, in Anaheim], I think we were playing D-One Sports [N.C.], and I went off on them for something like 27 points I think. A lot of the ESPN writers, the Rivals writers, were there, and a lot of college coaches came out to see me."

Q: Who was the best player you faced this summer?
"Probably Andre Drummond. He's a beast. He's so big, and there's no one to cover him. He can handle the ball, he can do everything, step out and shoot, all that."

Q: You've been under a microscope for a little bit now, going back to Haverhill. How has it been handling all the attention?
"It's pretty hard to handle. You've got a lot of people calling you, coming at you, saying all this stuff, what they can do for you. You've just got to listen to it, but don't pay much attention to it. Just get better each and every day, stay in the gym every day."

Q: What are you looking forward to most this year at New Hampton?
"To get my shot better, and to be a leader on the team. Zach Auguste is up there already, I know him. Jared Terrell's going to be up there, as well as Mike Auger, and the point guard Olivier Hanlon from Canada. We should have a pretty good team."

Q: What's your favorite move on the court?
"Probably isolate on one side, go between the legs twice and then come back at the defender with an in-and-out and go by, and try to dunk it."

Q: Who are the players you try to model your game after?
"Kevin Durant. He's my favorite player. I like Harrison Barnes from UNC, too. One of the assistants at UNC told me he's going to send me some tape of Harrison Barnes for me to watch, so I can try to add some of his stuff into my game."

Q: What's your daily routine right now?
"I start out with ballhandling, then I work my way to some shooting stuff, and then do some movement, working on my pull-up. I take a lot of free throws -- my free throws were not good in the high school season. I missed a lot. I practice at the Rockingham Athletic Club [in Salem, N.H.] with Scott Hazelton and Vinny Pastore. I'm in the gym probably 20 hours a week."

Q: What's the biggest motivating factor for you going forward?
"I want to be the best player in my class."

Q: What do you think you need to do to get there?
"Develop a pull-up, like I said. Make everything in my game better -- my handle, get better defensively, get quicker to be able to cover quicker guards. Stuff like that."

Q: From what I understand, you're a fan of old-school rap. What are your favorite artists and songs?
"I like 2Pac, Biggie, I kinda like Wiz Khalifa and Rick Ross right now too. My favorite song right now would probably be "By Any Means", by Rick Ross."

Q: What's the top five in your iPod right now?
"Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, 2Pac and Biggie. And of course Nas is in there a little bit, too."

Q: Where do you go hang out back in Haverhill?
"Nothing really, I'm just always at the gym. If I'm not doing that, I'll just chill with friends, play video games or something, or go to the mall. That's about it."

Q: One word to describe this upcoming season at New Hampton.
"Experience. It will be an experience. I'll be going against kids bigger than me, stronger than me, so experience is probably the right word."

St. Mark's Tarczewski planning visits

May, 27, 2011
In his popular "Shooting 3's" column today, ESPN basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep checks in with coveted St. Mark's big man Kaleb Tarczewski, who is set to take an unofficial visit to Kansas next month.

Things are still considered wide open for the 7-foot New Hampshire resident, but the Jayhawks have been hot on Tarczewski's trail for some time now. Telep thinks the center's recruitment will become a whole lot clearer next month, and also praises his coachability:

Kansas, Arizona and North Carolina are high up on his list of schools. The 6-foot-10 Tarczewski is going to take an unofficial visit to Kansas during June and maybe the other spots as well. His schedule is more open now than it was in early May since baseball season is over. Baseball? Yes, St. Mark's requires students to participate in three sports. Tarczewski's spring sport was JV baseball, but not as a player. Kaleb is officially one of the tallest team managers in the history of JV baseball.

Tarczewski is a commodity as a collegian and beyond. Blessed with a sturdy body, his offense is coming along and the next step is to be a consistent point- and rebound-producer. His summer coach is John Carroll, the former coach of the Boston Celtics. Carroll is tough on his guys and by now, Tarczewski's heard every name in the book. Some kids aren't ready to be coached hard in college; Tarczewski was ready two years ago for that. He's a willing student of the game under Carroll and isn't fazed by the intensity or volume at which Carroll comes at him. It's a trait not lost on college recruiters because Tarczewski comes ready-made to be coached and coached hard as a freshman.