Prep Profile - New Hampton School
The 2017-18 season is best remembered as one of tremendous growth for the New Hampton School program.
One of the youngest and most inexperienced rosters in the AAA ranks took their fair share of bumps early but got better along the way and ultimately culminated their season with an inspired run to the finals of the NEPSAC tournament.
This year, they’re still young, but more experienced and ready to build off of what they learned and accomplished a year ago.
There’s a four-man core that is back from last year’s team and it begins with senior point guard Mika Adams-Woods, who made a commitment to Nebraska last week. A long lefty with an efficient game on both ends of the floor, what Adams-Woods may lack in style he more than makes up for with substance. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always get him the credit he deserves, but he has size, length, skill, and IQ that all help win games now and also translate to the next level.
Three juniors are also back from last year’s team in Dyondre Dominguez, Bas Leyte, and Kerem Ozturk. Dominguez had some terrific moments in his first year in the prep ranks and will need to take the next step with his consistency to become the type of producer the Huskies can rely on nightly. Leyte is a skilled and heady 6-foot-10 big man who returned this year in great shape and better suited to contend with the speed and physicality of the game with a full year of experience under his belt. Similarly, Ozturk added some clear muscle mass to his frame since last year and should be ready to play an increased role for NHS this year as another ball-handler and playmaker in the backcourt.
Max Davis, a heady senior wing, could contend for minutes as well after playing with the Varsity B team last year.
Of the five incoming post-graduates to join the roster this year, Christ the King graduate Tyson Walker is expected to make the biggest contributions. No stranger to New England after previously starring with the New England Playaz and Team New England, Walker may be undersized but he’s a maestro in terms of his basketball I.Q. and understanding of all the subtleties that go into being a pure point guard.
George Tsikopoulos is a big 6-foot-6 guard from Greece who can make shots and facilitate alike. Brenan Mora, a physical 6-foot-5 wing, has exceeded expectations since his arrival and could end up playing an important role while Chance Jackson, a 6-foot-7 stretch-four, and fellow California native Connor Strambi will also fight for time in the rotation.
While the team doesn’t appear to have any true underclassmen set to contribute, they are a group that will rely heavily on their junior class. Beyond the returning trio of Dominguez, Leyte, and Ozturk, the Huskies have also added two more sure-fire division I prospects in Trey Hall and Canberk Kavsuk. Hall, a transfer from East Catholic High School in Connecticut, has a wealth of natural talent and has shown great maturation of the course of the last year. He’ll look to build off that this year while harnessing his versatile weapons as a mismatch forward. Kavsuk joins Ozturk as the second product of the Turkish national team on the roster, and while he is a true big man, he too has versatile offensive tools with a tremendous natural touch. Marcus Peterson, a two-sport star who doubles on the football field, is a high-level athlete on the wing and a bit of a wildcard for this group.
This is a team that returns four players from a year ago, which is more than any of their AAA counterparts. The vast majority of their firepower though is still just in the junior class and so from that perspective they’re actually still as young a team as there is in the league. That contradiction is the real story of this team heading into the season.
From the outside looking in, it looks as if they’re likely to take another step this year and build towards a potential big 2019-20 season with Dominguez, Hall, Leyte, Ozturk, and Kavsuk all being seasoned veterans at that point. However, what that projection doesn’t take into consideration is the collective efficiency of this year’s backcourt tandem. Adams-Woods and Walker won’t be the flashiest or highest recruited backcourt in New England this year, but they just might be the most solid as their collective maturity, decision-making, and leadership should bridge the gaps to New Hampton’s youth and give them a fighting chance to make another run come March.