Prep Profile - Northfield Mount Hermon
The 2017-18 season was another one for the Northfield Mount Hermon record books as NMH took their third NEPSAC championship is the last seven years and came within a possession or two of winning their second National Prep Championship.
They also sent graduating seniors off to Notre Dame, Northwestern, Harvard, Brown, Fairfield, Elon, UNC Wilmington, and Colgate in the process.
With four starters and the vast majority of the rotation having departed from last year’s roster, NMH will be looking to rebuild on the fly while remaining among the top contenders both locally and nationally.
Maxwell Lorca-Lloyd, who recently made a verbal commitment to Pennsylvania, was playing the best basketball of his career at the end of last season. A mobile and athletic big man, Lorca-Lloyd is best known for running the floor, finishing at the top of the box, and protecting the rim. NMH will need him to continue to assert himself as one of the region’s best big men this year.
The only other returning player who saw consistent rotation minutes last year was Darius Ervin, an undersized but strong and confident lead guard, who served as the team’s back-up point guard last year as a sophomore.
Then there’s a relatively long list of players who are now returning for their second year in the program and hoping to take on bigger roles. Isa Maguire and Brian Bennett are two such seniors in the frontcourt while junior guard Garrett Kirk brings unique toughness and leadership. Last year’s freshman class of Kekoa McArdle, Jack Lerner, and Brett Hutchison are also hoping to crack the nightly rotation this year.
With three post-graduates and one incoming senior, NMH will rely as much on incoming upperclassmen as they have in recent years. The most obvious is Chris Ledlum, who is currently sorting between a list of high-major and Ivy offers. The 6-foot-6 forward had a breakout spring and summer with the New York Jayhawks and is as tough and competitive as he is physically strong.
The post-graduate trio of Greg Dolan, Camreon Krystkowiak, and Michael Jankovich should all provide immediate contributions as well. Dolan should have every opportunity to earn the team’s starting point guard job while Krystowiak, the son of Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak, has been an early standout in fall open gyms with new offers from UMass, Brown, and Dartmouth to show for it. Jankovich, the son of SMU head coach Tim Jankovich, is a knockdown shooter from behind the arc with good perimeter size.
Luca Magnani and Ben Callahan-Gold are two more high level shooters, both from the greater New York City area, who are joining the program in the class of 2020. Callahan-Gold has been another early standout this fall and looks poised to be a key contributor right away.
It’s no stretch to say NMH has the deepest sophomore class is New England this year with five notable newcomers joining the returning trio of McArdle, Lerner, and Hutchison. Jake Tavroff and Jack Molloy, both products of the PSA Cardinals program, are maybe the most well-known of the group as Tavroff is a force inside with a strong body and Molloy a highly skilled forward with a matching basketball I.Q. It may be Gus Larson though who is the best long-term prospect. The late blooming wing has shot up seven inches in the last two years and might not be done yet. Combine that with good touch, skill, and court awareness and you have one of the more intriguing underclassmen in the region. Fellow Connecticut native Avery Brown, a Fairfield Prep transfer, is another talented youngster with a great frame and natural tools in the backcourt. Berk Metin, a crafty interior scorer from Turkey, and Reece Clark, a versatile two-way guard from Massachusetts, round out the deep group.
This year marks the beginning of a new cycle at NMH, and one that should last for the next three years. While allowing that 2021 group to grow and develop will be a clear priority, this has never been a program to sacrifice the present for the future, and there are enough veteran reinforcements now in place so that they are capable of beating any given team on any given night, and that’s all it takes to contend for championships come March.