High-SchoolConnecticut: Kuran Iverson

POWERADE hoops rankings: Week 13

March, 6, 2012
The regular season has come to an end, and it's tournament time in Connecticut. Several of the state's top teams stumbled to the finish line, however, as Hillhouse, Hartford Public, Capital Prep and Northwest Catholic all lost games in the final week.

The state tournament offers a chance for redemption, as all of those teams are title contenders. Northwest Catholic, led by junior forward Kuran Iverson, is the No. 1 seed in the Class L tourney. Hillhouse, led by senior guard Andre Anderson, is the No. 2 seed in Class LL.

New London, which opened the season at No. 1 in the POWERADE state rankings, returns to the top spot this week. The Whalers are the No. 5 seed in Class LL, and senior guard Kris Dunn is determined to defend the state championship they won last season.

POWERADE State Basketball Rankings
  1. New London (20-2) — Last week: No. 2
  2. Windsor (22-1) — Last week: No. 4
  3. St. Joseph (20-1) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.
Saturday is going to be very busy for two of Connecticut's top basketball teams, as Windsor and Northwest Catholic are both set to play out-of-state opponents as part of the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Hoophall is a pretty great event that always draws top talent from around the nation (the No. 1 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 and the No. 1 player in the ESPNU 100 will be participating), and it should be fun to see how a couple of CT's best teams stack up.

Let's take a closer look at the marquee matchups.

Hoophall Classic Preview

The Game:
Windsor (7-1) vs. Springfield Central (7-0)
Saturday, 12 p.m.
at Springfield College

The Players:
Windsor (7-1) is No. 4 in the POWERADE state rankings, but the team is coming off its first loss of the season after dropping a 63-60 decision to East Catholic on Tuesday, so the Warriors could really use a big win on Saturday. Springfield Central is currently ranked No. 19 in Massachusetts by ESPN Boston, so Windsor can't afford the kind of sloppiness that hurt them against East Catholic. The Warriors need good performances from the sharpshooting duo of senior guards Garey Allen and Jerry Buchanan. Combined, Allen and Buchanan average 32 points per game, and both shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point land. Allen is averaging more than seven assists per game as well. It they can control the perimeter and handle the bulk of the scoring, Windsor should come out on top.

The Prediction:
Windsor 68, Springfield Central 62
The Game:
Northwest Catholic (8-0) vs. DeMatha (16-0)
Saturday, 8 p.m.
at Springfield College

The Players:
Unlike most of the teams Northwest Catholic has played this season, DeMatha stacks up to the Indians, talent-wise. In fact, DeMatha is almost certainly more talented. Just like Northwest Catholic relies on the 1-2 punch of junior small forward Kuran Iverson and senior shooting guard Zach Lewis, DeMatha rolls out senior forward Jerami Grant (No. 43 in the ESPNU 100) and senior point guard James Robinson (No. 48). The problem for Northwest Catholic is that DeMatha goes even deeper, especially with big men. Iverson is forced to play center defensively most of the time, but DeMatha has legitimate big men who will be happy to hammer away at the undersized Indians. Iverson needs to come through with a man-sized performance on the boards in order to keep Northwest Catholic in this one, and Lewis will need to put the ball in the basket.

The Prediction:
DeMatha 74, Northwest Catholic 58

Disagree with these predictions? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and let me hear it.
The weekly Stock Watch was impressed with the way two of the state's top basketball teams kicked off the new year, and two stars in particular handled their business last week.


UP — Kris Dunn, New London
The senior guard is the top-rated player in Connecticut, and he made his case as the best player in all of New England when he led New London to a 66-55 win over St. Rapheal (R.I.) on Saturday night. St. Rapheal is considered to be the top dog in Rhode Island, coming off a state championship last year. But Dunn was unstoppable, posting 32 points and 22 (!) rebounds in the victory. Check out this recap by ESPN Boston writer Brendan Hall and you'll understand what made Dunn's performance so special. His stock is already high, but games like this keep him in the UP category.

UP — Zach Lewis, Northwest Catholic
Lewis has already had some monster games this season, including a 43-point performance in a win over New Britain in December. But still, he tends to fly under the radar because Northwest Catholic junior forward Kuran Iverson is one of the nation's top prospects in the Class of 2013. Last week, Lewis was the main man for the Indians, pumping in 22 and 26 points as Northwest Catholic defeated Farmington and Southington, respectively.

Have a candidate for Stock Watch? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and let me know.

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today : The five best NBA players ever to come out of Connecticut.

Kris Dunn, Kuran Iverson and Kahlil Dukes are all standout basketball recruits who are likely headed to D-I colleges — and possibly beyond. Connecticut has sent its share of high school players to the NBA, but who's been the best? Here's our list of the five best NBA players from Connecticut.

5. Ryan Gomes
Credentials: A Waterbury native, Gomes was a standout at Wilby before moving on to play at Providence. The fact that he was under-recruited by UConn proved to be a thorn in the side of Huskies coach Jim Calhoun (a recurring theme in this list), as Gomes went on to average 18.4 points and 8.9 rebounds during his four-year college career. He was then drafted in the second round of the 2005 draft by the Boston Celtics, and he's been a productive pro ever since (10.8 points per game in six seasons).
4. Michael Adams
A 5-foot-10 point guard, Adams came out of Hartford Public in 1981 and enjoyed a nice four years at Boston College, posting 15.3 points and 5.2 assists as a senior. Adams bounced around the NBA from 1985-96, but his best years came in Denver. In 1990-91, he averaged 26.5 points per game for the Nuggets. Adams averaged 14.7 points for his NBA career.

3. Mike Gminski
This spot came down to Gminski or Rick Mahorn, but I decided on Gminski because of his longevity and more productive peak years. A 6-foot-11 center from Monroe, Gminski graduated from Masuk in 1976 and moved on to Duke, where he posted 19.0 points and 10.2 rebounds over four years. Drafted seventh overall in the 1980 draft, Gminski played 14 years in the league, averaging 11.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.

2. Marcus Camby
Another Hartford Public grad (1993), Camby is also another recruit who got away from UConn, sparking the feud between Jim Calhoun and UMass coach John Calipari. Camby averaged 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds as a junior at UMass, leading the Minutemen to the Final Four before declaring for the NBA draft and being selected No. 2 overall. In his 15-year NBA career, Camby has averaged exactly 10.0 points and 10.0 rebounds, and he's led the league in blocks four times. The 6-foot-11 center was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2006-07, when he averaged 11.7 rebounds and a league-best 3.3 blocks for the Denver Nuggets.

1. Calvin Murphy
The only Hall of Famer on this list, Murphy graduated from Norwalk High School in 1966 and proved to be an all-time great scorer in college, averaging 48.9 points per game as a college freshman at Niagara. Drafted into the NBA in 1970, Murphy played 13 seasons (all for the Rockets) and posted 17.9 points per game for his career. One of the most feared outside shooters in league history, Murphy averaged 25.6 points in 1977-78, the first of three straight years of 20-plus ppg. Despite being a slight 5-foot-9, Murphy was also a noted ironman, playing all 82 games in five seasons.

Tomorrow: Wild Card! Check back tomorrow to find out what our list is.

Five Days of List-Mas: CT's A-List

December, 12, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you're putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you're making that special list for Santa, there's nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we're bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: Connecticut's A-Listers

What is an A-Lister? In Hollywood, it's the George Clooney and Julia Roberts crowd. In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. The A-List is the best of the best. So which athletes can be considered A-Listers in Connecticut this year? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state.

Casey Cochran, Senior
Masuk, Football
Credentials: Two-time Gatorade State Player of the Year, Connecticut's all-time leader in touchdown passes and passing yardage. Committed to UConn.

Kris Dunn, Senior
New London, Basketball
Credentials: Ranked No. 29 in ESPNU 100; led New London to state championship in 2010-11. Committed to Providence.

Kuran Iverson, Junior
Northwest Catholic, Basketball
Credentials: Ranked No. 30 in ESPNU 60; averaged 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds as a sophomore.

Arkeel Newsome, Sophomore
Ansonia, Football
Credentials: Broke the state record for rushing yards (3,763) and touchdowns (62) in a single season. Led Ansonia to Class M state championship.

Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Senior
Kent School, Hockey
Credentials: This isn't the first "A-List" for Nieves. The NHL Central Scouting service lists him as an "A" prospect, meaning he's a potential first-round pick in the next draft.

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Tomorrow: The top underclassman football players from Connecticut.

Think I missed someone who should be on the A-List? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and make your case.

All-State Hoops: Connecticut

November, 8, 2011
See all 51 All-State teams.

With the 2011-12 hoops season set to tip off, ESPNHS has all the info you need on the top players in Connecticut.

We’ve broken down the state’s top 20 players into four teams based on their talent, and included a whole lot of other players who just missed the cut. Keep in mind, these selections are based on past accomplishments and projected on-court performance in addition to recruit rankings.

For a list of the top senior basketball recruits in Connecticut, click here.

Connecticut All-State Basketball

First Team

G: Kris Dunn, New London, 6-3/180, Senior
This month’s cover athlete is state’s top player.

G: Ricardo Ledo, South Kent, 6-6/180, Senior
No. 22 recruit in ESPNU 100 will head to Providence with Kris Dunn.

G: Chris Thomas, South Kent, 6-5/190, Junior
Forms arguably the nation’s top backcourt with Ricardo Ledo.

F: Kuran Iverson, Northwest Catholic, 6-8/200, Junior
Averaged 14.6 points, 8.1 rebounds for Class L runner-up.

F: Kyle Washington, Hotchkiss, 6-10/205, Junior
Transfer from Minnesota is No. 55 recruit in the ESPNU 60.

Second Team

G: John Papale, Choate, 6-3/180, Senior
Boston University recruit named NEPSAC Class A tournament MVP.

G: Terry Tarpey, Fairfield Prep, 6-5/190, Senior
William & Mary recruit led squad to Class LL state final.

F: Austin Colbert, Hotchkiss, 6-9/200, Junior
St. Patrick (N.J.) transfer is the No. 41 recruit in the ESPNU 60.

F: Chris McCullough, Salisbury, 6-9/210, Sophomore
Rated the nation’s No. 11 recruit in the ESPNU 25.

F: Timajh Parker, St. Joseph, 6-7/185, Senior
Towson recruit averaged 17 points per game for Class LL state champion.

Third Team

G: Kahlil Dukes, Capital Prep, 5-11/185, Junior
Averaged 14.8 points and 6.5 assists for Class S state semifinalist.

G: Mikai Mason, Hotchkiss, 6-1/155, Sophomore
One of only two freshmen named to NEPSAC Class AA All-Star team.

G: Clyde Smith, Hotchkiss, 6-2/170, Senior
Texas Christian recruit selected to last year’s NEPSAC Class AA All-Star second team.

F: Jason Boswell, Trinity Catholic, 6-7/200, Junior
Crusaders get huge boost from this talented St. Patrick (N.J.) transfer.

C: Laimonas Chatkevicius, South Kent, 7-0/245, Senior
Lithuania native can step out and knock down the 3.

Fourth Team

G: Cane Broome, East Hartford, 6-0/150, Junior
Lit up the scoreboard with 21.3 points per game as a sophomore.

G: Ryan Frazier, Salisbury, 6-0/182, Senior
Bucknell recruit dished out 4.9 assists per game last year.

F: Samuel Dingba, Salisbury, 6-6/205, Junior
Contributed 8.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game last season.

F: Darren Payen, Hamden Hall, 6-8/210, Senior
Named NEPSAC Class C Player of the Year after leading the Hornets to the title.

C: Paschal Chukwu, Trinity Catholic, 7-2/220, Sophomore
Blocked four shots in 14 minutes in last year’s Class M state final.

Other Top Players
Chier Ajou, St. Thomas More, C, Senior
Garey Allen, Windsor, G, Senior
Kenny Armstead, Career, F, Senior
Kahari Beaufort, East Hartford, G, Sophomore
Antwaun Boyd, Westhill, G, Senior
Bernard Brantley, Stratford, G, Junior
Rich Bronson, Lyman Hall, G, Junior
Tim Butala, Fairfield Prep, F, Junior
Schadrac Casimir, Trinity Catholic, G, Junior
Earl Coleman, Notre Dame-Fairfield, G, Junior
Eddie Danek, Suffield, G, Sr.
Chase Daniels, Hillhouse, F, Jr.
Daniel Garvin, Bethel, G, Junior
Levi Gillespie Jr., Capital Prep, G, Sophomore
Denzel Gregg, St. Thomas More, F, Junior
Andy Hurd, Windsor, G, Senior
Ebrahim Jallow, Hartford Public, F, Sr.
James Jennings, St. Joseph, G, Senior
Curtis Jones, St. Thomas More, G, Senior
Victor Joshua, Hamden Hall, G, Senior
Ed Lawrence, Canterbury, C, Senior
Zach Lewis, Northwest Catholic, G, Senior
Nolan Long, Waterford, F, Senior
Mike Mallory, Holy Cross, G, Senior
Jack McCarthy, Lyman Hall, F, Sr.
Billy McDonald, North Haven, F, Sr.
Quincy McKnight, St. Joseph, G, Sophomore
Kristian Medina, Marianapolis Prep, F, Senior
Arkel Miles, Notre Dame-Fairfield, F, Senior
Sean Obi, Green Farms Academy, C, Junior
D.J. Perry, Kolbe Cathedral, G, Senior
Tre’Von Perry, Holy Cross, F, Senior
Ben Pollack, Farmington, F, Sr.
Keith Porter, New London, F, Junior
Trachone Preston, Enfield, G, Senior
Mikie Rhodes, Middletown, F, Senior
Tyshon Rogers, Crosby, F, Sophomore
Jovan Santos, Xavier, F, Senior
Malcolm Simmons, New London, F, Senior
Dayshon Smith, Putnam Science, G, Junior
Jaquann Starks, Classical Magnet, G, Senior
Patrick Steeves, Hotchkiss, G, Junior
Kurt Steidl, Ridgefield, F, Jr.
Dan Upchurch, Notre Dame-Fairfield, G, Junior
Tyler Veretto, East Catholic, F, Junior
Chris Walters, Westhill, F, Senior
Erikson Wasyl, Coginchaug, G, Senior
Stefon Williams, Kent, F, Senior
Jared Wilson-Frame, Windsor, G/F, So.
Diamonte Zarba, St. Joseph, F, Junior
New London begins the 2011-12 season where it left off last year, at No. 1 in the POWERADE state rankings. Led by senior guard Kris Dunn, the Whalers will look to claim their second consecutive Class L state championship. Last year's Class L runner-up, No. 4 Northwest Catholic, should also be in the running again behind junior forward Kuran Iverson.

Strengthened by incoming transfers like junior forwards Kyle Washington and Austin Colbert, No. 2 Hotchkiss sports a stacked roster that should be the cream of the NEPSAC.

Connecticut POWERADE preseason rankings
  1. New London
  2. Hotchkiss School
  3. St. Joseph-Trumbull
  4. Northwest Catholic
  5. Trinity Catholic
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings