Towson Catholic aided by talented transfers

Towson Catholic, one of the top basketball programs in the ultra competitive Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) and the Baltimore-based MIAA A Conference, added a pair of talented junior transfers in 6-foot-5 guard Levi Noell (Montrose Christian) and 6-foot-6 forward Raheem May-Thompson (DeMatha).

The Towson Catholic Owls are coming off two straight MIAA A conference championships under head coach Josh Pratt.

"They [Noell and May-Thompson] give us a lot more size and they both are good players. Levi is a big guard who can play either backcourt position. Raheem is very athletic and he can score and rebound and really looks like he can play any frontcourt position defensively," Pratt said. "We haven't started (formal) preseason practices yet, but Levi and Raheem are working hard in our running and lifting sessions and our open gyms."

May-Thompson attended DeMatha as a sophomore last year, his first year in the United States, starting several games early in the season for the Stags. He played for DeMatha's summer teams through the offseason.

Noell enrolled at Montrose at mid-season last year after attending school in Florida for the first semester. Noell started several games for coach Stu Vetter's Montrose squad as a sophomore.

Both Noell and May-Thompson played AAU ball or Coach Keith Stevens' Triple Threat (now called Team Takeover) program last off-season.

"When we first started our preseason workouts it took him [Noell] a while to adjust to our team and our players, but lately he has really been coming on. I think Levi might even better than what we were told," Pratt said. "He could be very good, with his size and ability he could really create match-up problems for some teams."

"Raheem will be a small forward in college, but he'll probably be a power forward for us," Pratt added. "Obviously, we haven't started playing games yet or started real preseason practices, but based on what I've seen, Raheem projects as good enough to play at least at the Atlantic Ten or CAA level in college -- he is pretty talented and he just seems to get better every time out there."

Towson Catholic returns a solid veteran class and the incoming freshman class is one of the best in Baltimore, but the addition of May-Thompson and Noell might be the key to the Owls staying in contention for BCL and MIAA A conference championships in 2008-2009.

James Quinn covers high school basketball for ESPN RISE's MdVarsity.com.