#BeSeen Prep Profile - Avon Old Farms
Before Matt Mihalich became the head coach at Avon Old Farms he coached at the college level, with stops in both the Atlantic 10 and America East.
Before that though, he was a college athlete, which should come as no surprise given that he literally grew up in and around the game of basketball. His father, Joe Mihalich, is the head coach at Hofstra and led the program at Niagara for the 15 years prior to that. Both of his brothers are now college coaches as well.
That’s the pedigree he brought with him to Avon Old Farms and the life experiences he’s relying on to rebuild this prep school program.
After an initial 2019-20 season that showed flashes of promise, the 2020-21 season looked poised to be a breakout campaign for the Winged Beavers. The roster returned key pieces, added immediate impact talent, and had a starting five that would have been as good as anyone’s in Class A of the NEPSAC.
It begins with Tyler Warner. The 6-foot-10 big man is back for his senior season, providing unmatched size up front. More than that though, Warner is also as improved as any frontcourt player in the league. He totally dedicated himself to the weight room during the quarantine months and has transformed what was an already strong frame while simultaneously continuing to develop and expand his skill-set.
The return of Anthony Clayton provides an experienced floor general to match the big man inside. “Ace” is ultra-reliable and experienced with a solid basketball I.Q., reliable approach, and vastly improved shot-making ability. He also comes with all the requisite intangibles and toughness that coaches value, especially at the point guard position.
Post-graduates Aidan Horan and Omari Salvi are both division I caliber prospects who should make a significant impact from day one. Horan is already powerful and skilled with a mature floor-game. The upstate New York native ran with New York Lightning Select this summer and picked up his first D1 offer last spring.
Salvi has a chance to be a true sleeper. From the basketball rich Maryland area, he’s loaded with upside and just starting to tap into his long-term potential. He’s long and athletic with a good basketball body type and already making rapid strides with his skill-set and understanding of the game.
Fellow post-grad Myles Johnson provides another high-level athlete, this time in the backcourt. Johnson thrives in the open floor and can attack the rim and make plays anytime there is space to operate in.
Rock Swann is the type of complimentary, blend player every contending team needs because he’s strong, tough, a quick ball-mover, but also a capable open-shot maker.
Junior guard Jared Flaks is also expected to be a contributor this season as well as a long-term prospect that now projects to the college level. He’s earned rave reviews for his work-ethic, not just in terms of being a gym rat but also for the gains he’s started to make physically.
Finally, Thomas Prendergast is a sophomore wing with a potentially bright future. He has good size and a strong build at an early age and is able to attacks the rim and be a scoring threat off the bounce.
Nate Walters and Banks Monin are two others players who project as potential contributors this year.
In a typical year, it would be about this time when Avon Old Farms would be preparing for their opening games of the season. This, of course, is not an ordinary year though.
Whether or not there is a season remains to be seen. If there is, there’s no doubt AOF will be one of the most improved teams in Class A. If there’s not, it’s still a destination that coaches from all three levels of college basketball will be recruiting this year.