Prep Profile - Worcester Academy
Worcester Academy head coach Jamie Sullivan made a calculated decision a few years back when he opted to invest in his program’s future by bringing in primarily underclassmen as opposed to chasing post-graduates.
That young core has had some growing pains along the way but more than anything, they’ve benefitted from the trial by fire and now, as upperclassmen, they’re ready to reap the rewards as they should be one of the more formidable contenders in Class AA of the NEPSAC this year.
It’s a lengthy list, as the Hilltoppers have 8 upperclassmen returning with experience in the rotation including a trio of seniors who have already wrapped up their recruitment and consequently will be able to focus solely on the upcoming season.
It isn’t a stretch to say that Mitch Doherty, who recently committed to Albany, is completely unmatched in New England as a frontcourt passer. His ability to not just facilitate, but also read the game and thread the needle with his passing, makes him totally unique. He’s also owns elite hands and a deceptively crafty face-up game off the dribble. Manav Randhawa and Dylan Lien are both headed to Bowdoin College next year but first will return to the Worcester rotation to provide valuable floor-spacing and shot-making.
Jordan McAllister and Matthew Corey remain unsigned in the class of 2019 but continue to attract wide-ranging scholarship level interest. McAllister has been one of the team’s most consistent players this fall as his strong body, physicality, and attacking style have come to the forefront on a daily basis. Corey is a shot-making forward who picked up a D1 offer last spring but then missed the summer recruiting period with mono and is just now getting back to full speed. Zack Latifi will add more perimeter depth.
Worcester’s junior class may be even more talented, especially after Michael Rabinovich’s decision to reclassify over the summer. The 6-foot-9 late blooming big man has improved immensely since last season and holds a couple of recent D1 offers to prove it. He’s joined by another 6-foot-9 big man Josh Ogundele, who provides a nice compliment with his wide-frame and a soft touch both inside and out.
Junior point guard Quest Harris looks like the heart and soul of the team. What the southpaw may lack in sheer height he more than compensates for with his toughness and warrior like mentality as he gets after it on the defensive end, runs the show offensively, but is capable of getting in the lane on demand. Judson Martindale is the most versatile player in the class, if not the entire roster, as he has a combination of size and skill to play multiple positions and impact the game both in transition as well as from behind the arc.
While the roster is again full with upperclassmen, Worcester is again starting to build for their future with the arrival of a handful of youngsters. Jhamyl Fricas, a high-level athlete with a relentless motor, also stars on the gridiron but is the headliner of the hardwood sophomore class while 6-foot-7 big man Kyle Rizy will have the benefit of competing with, and learning from, the likes of Doherty, Rabinovich and Ogundele every day.
In 2022, Dasonte Bowen has all the signs of a future high-level prospect. He’s actually nowhere near as flashy or boisterous as many other celebrated youngsters, and that early humility and maturity is a great indicator of future success, but he’s a budding big point guard with natural feel for the game and court vision. He’s joined by fellow guard Eddie Fisher in the team’s freshmen class.
They have a deep and experienced roster with good positional balance. They’ve got a hard-nosed point guard to lead the team on both ends of the floor, one of the most skilled bigs in the league, and plenty of size and shot-making in the supporting cast.
On the surface it sounds like an ideal recipe for a winner, and it just might be, but the one thing Worcester may lack is true star power. Last year’s NEPSAC AA final came down to two teams being led by top 100 national prospects. Worcester doesn’t necessarily have that, nor someone who can go bucket for bucket with the like’s of MacDuffie’s Bouknight or Vermont’s Torrence.
They’re AA’s version of the 2004 Detroit Pistons and what that means is that they may not have a roster full of the biggest names in the league, but they’ve got all the various ingredients to put something special together.
They’ll get started this weekend when they return to the field of the National Prep Showcase after a few year hiatus.