High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Kaleb Tarczewski

St. Mark's uses size to dominate Friends'

January, 15, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- St. Mark’s (Southborough, Mass.) forward Nik Stauskas had an epiphany while he sat inside the Lions’ locker room at halftime of their game against Friends' Central (Wynnewood, Pa.).

Kaleb Tarczewski
J. Anthony Roberts/ESPNHSArizona commit Kaleb Tarczewski scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds for St. Mark's.
“If we could just continue getting the ball inside to Kaleb (Tarczewski) things would be a lot easier,” said Stauskas, a senior who is signed to Michigan. “That’s what we focused on. That’s where I felt we’d have the best chance to win.”

Good call.

Tarczewski, a 7-foot senior, scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Lions past the Phoenix 67-57 Sunday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.

Stauskas chipped in with 16 points and Jaymie Spears added 15 for the Lions. Conrad Chambers led the Phoenix with 19 points.

“They didn’t have much size down there and we knew that working inside-out was the best plan,” said Tarczewski, an Arizona signee who is ranked No. 6 in the ESPNU 100. “Amile (Jefferson) was their tallest player (6-foot-9) and he picked up two fouls early and they left him in so he was trying not to foul out. That’s when we really started rolling.”

The Lions jumped ahead early behind the hot hand of Spears, who drained two 3-pointers in the first quarter to give St. Mark’s a 14-11 lead.

The Lions extended their matchup zone in the second quarter, which wreaked havoc on the Phoenix and Tarczewski and Stauskas combined to score 11 points in the final two minutes of the half to give the Lions a 32-24 lead.

St. Mark's forced eight first-half turnovers.

“We really buckled down defensively and forced them into situations where they weren’t as comfortable,” Stauskas said. “I felt like we would have to turn up our defensive pressure even more in the second half.”

The Lions started punishing Friends' Central in the paint in the third quarter, pumping the ball inside to Tarczewski who, often times, managed to either get fouled or finish with an easy layup or dunk.

Then midway through the fourth quarter, Spears swiped a steal from Karonn Davis and took it the other way for the score and came back on the next play and drained a three to extend the Lions’ lead to an insurmountable 13 points.

“They’re a tough team and obviously Kaleb is a big body down there,” said Jefferson, a senior forward who is ranked No. 24 in the ESPNU 100. “That gave us a lot of problems all game, but we continued to fight. We definitely could’ve played a lot better, but I was proud of my team for continuing to fight.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Players dish on hoops resolutions for 2012

January, 2, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Nik Stauskas is completely aware that New Year’s resolutions are practically synonymous with famous last words.

Still, he thinks it’s important to have aspirations, especially on the court.

“It’s important to have something to reach for in basketball,” said Stauskas, a senior shooting guard at St. Mark’s (Southborough, Mass.). “You need those goals for sure.”

Nik Stauskas
Courtesy of Brendan NolanNik Stauskas said New Year's resolutions are important on the hardwood.
We caught up with players at the High School OT Holiday Invitational and had them dish on their basketball-related New Year’s resolutions.

Rasheed Sulaimon
Strake Jesuit (Houston), 2012, SG
College: Duke
New Year’s resolution: “Get bigger, stronger and quicker so I can absorb contact when I’m driving into the lane and finish on a more consistent basis.”

Nik Stauskas
St. Mark’s (Southborough, Mass.), 2012, SG
College: Michigan
New Year’s resolution: “Wake up at 6 a.m. four days a week and get in the gym and work on my floaters and my midrange game. That’s something that I really want to improve on before I get to Michigan. I just want to stay consistent and stay motivated, and I think this will help me.”

Rodney Purvis
Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), 2012, SG
College: North Carolina State
New Year’s resolution: “Get more consistent with my jump shot and my handles. Those are the things that I’m constantly trying to improve so with 2012 here I’m determined to master both of those areas.”

Andrew White
Miller School (Charlottesville, Va.), 2012, SG
College: Kansas
New Year’s resolution: “Work on my scoring off the dribble. That would be so huge for me because I’m a shooter. Also to work on my foot speed and my dribbling, those are the main things I’m making my New Year’s resolutions.”

Kaleb Tarczewski
St. Mark’s (Southborough, Mass.), 2012, C
College: Arizona
New Year’s resolution: “Get my team to continue to jell together so that we can accomplish our goals. We want to win the states and we’ve come up short in the past and this is the year that I want it to all come together so my main resolution is to do everything that I can to continue to help this team grow.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Five to watch at the HS OT Holiday Invitational

December, 27, 2011
As much as Rasheed Sulaimon loved ripping open gifts and scarfing down hefty portions of Christmas dinner, he knows that taking home the High School OT Holiday Invitational title would trump it all.

“I’m all about winning,” Sulaimon said. “There’s nothing better than that.”

It won’t be easy.

Here are the top five players who will be in attendance at the basketball tournament in Raleigh, N.C. from Dec. 27-30.

Anton Gill, Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.), 2013, SG
Committed to: Louisville
Gill, who is ranked No. 48 in the ESPNU 60, is a talented combo guard with an exceptional mid-range game and remarkable athleticism to get to the basket and finish with authority almost at will.

Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), 2012, SG
Signed to: North Carolina State
Purvis, who is ranked No. 16 in the ESPNU 100, is one of the best guards in the country and attacks the rim exceptionally well. When he makes up his mind to get into the lane there's little the defense can do to stop him.

Kaleb Tarczewski, St. Mark’s (Southborough, Mass.), 2012, C
Signed to: Arizona
Tarczewski has some of the best hands of any big man in the country and finishes in the lane with authority. Tarczewski, who is ranked No. 6 in the ESPNU 100, runs the floor well and erases shots in the lane.

Theo Pinson, Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.), 2014, SF
Pinson, who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 25, dominates with his versatility. Pinson knocks down the trey and gets in to the lane and finishes with authority.

Rasheed Sulaimon, Strake Jesuit (Houston), 2012, SG
Signed to: Duke
Sulaimon, who is ranked No. 12 in the ESPNU 100, is a defender’s worst nightmare because he can break down his defender with his ball handling ability or knock down deep 3-pointers efficiently. It’s virtually impossible to stop him when he gets rolling.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN