#BeSeen Prep Profile - MacDuffie

Thursday, March 11th, 2021

#BeSeen Prep Profile - MacDuffie

The MacDuffie School, a small NEPSAC school located just outside of Springfield, has developed a proud basketball tradition over the course of the last decade with players like Omari Spellman, James Bouknight, and a variety of other D1 players coming through their doors. Even Kentucky head coach John Calipari saw the value, sending his own son, Brad Calipari, to play for MacDuffie. 

Last year, marked the beginning of a new chapter in the program’s history as Aaron Patterson took over and began the task of building the program back up to where his predecessor, Jacque Rivera, had taken it, albeit under a very different model as they joined Class C with a different enrollment model. 

He emphasized finding high-character people who truly love to play the game but balanced that with a commitment to their academics. The results spoke for themselves as MacDuffie advanced all the way to the Class C Finals in Patterson’s inaugural campaign. 

This year, the roster went to far greater heights and made them, what would have been, the favorite in Class C. Unfortunately, the pandemic robbed them of the opportunity to take that next step.  

Not only that, it has even taken away the opportunity for them to compete internally as a whole, since some players are still doing virtual school and thus not able to partake in team work-outs. That includes the likes of Josh Hopson, JoPaul McKreith, and Joey Thomas among others. 

Even without those players, the group currently in the MacDuffie gym is plenty to demonstrate the ascending nature of a program that plans to rejoin Class AA next season. 

Back for his third season is Tuscan Onuoha, a 6-foot-11 big man from Australia who has made significant strides during his time in the program. He’s an intimidating physical presence with a powerful body and athleticism to match his size. Beyond his physical tools, he’s developed his hands, post-game, and is now starting to face the basket more consistently. In short, he has tremendous natural tools along with a proven learning curve and that’s a recipe scholarship coaches need to take note of. 

The two most notable post-grads are Xavier Purnell and Eli Lenihan, both of whom have already been profiled in our NERR-TV Virtual Showcase, but proved to be even more impressive in person than they were on film. Purnell is a big and skilled guard loaded with intangibles. He shoots the ball at a high clip, competes on both ends, and showed leadership tools to match. He’s currently under-recruited and should be a target for scholarship level programs. 

Lenihan may be the smartest player on the roster. He can both see and think the game. He’s a high-level passer and an outright winner, as his record in the team’s competitive drills illustrates. He’s also extremely experienced after successfully playing with the Irish national team. The fact that he can run a team at 6-foot-4 is only an added bonus. 

Oliver Ingram, a 6-foot-3 wing guard from Canada, impacts the game in a variety of ways as he rebounds, shares the ball, and can make open shots. 

In the class of 2022, Nolan Gomis is a new prospect that we were initially introduced to over the summer when the Be Seen Tour visited the BABC combine. A late-bloomer who grew up as a guard but recently sprouted to 6-foot-7, Gomis has a unique combination of size and playmaking ability that makes him an ultra-versatile type of “point-forward” or “big guard.” 

The guy who really made an impression though was 16-year-old point guard Jeremiah Dorsey. He doesn’t have the size or jaw-dropping athleticism to catch your eye at first glance, but what he does have is an advanced skill-set and feel for the game. He shoots it with range, has his handle on a string, and fires live-dribble passes with both hands. In short, he was probably the most effective guard in the building, and bound to make a name for himself this spring and summer. 

Caleb Sampson and Timmy Fasehun are two more junior guards poised to come on. Sampson is a local Connecticut native who plays strong with the ball and has a bully-like mentality when he’s in attack mode, but also deep range on his jumper. Fasehun is a combo-guard from New Jersey with a well-rounded floor game. He has a high IQ, passes and shoots well. 

Nizar Khairy and Tayga Bayraktar should also be college level prospects when it is all said and done. Khairy is a quick and ultra-crafty guard with a deep bag of tricks inside the lane. Bayraktar, who is originally from Turkey, is an ultra-powerful wing with a very high-motor who can defend bigger players and make open shots. 

Those ten players alone would have likely been the favorite in Class C, but when the roster gets back to 100%, it becomes easy to see why they are on their way back to Class AA where they belong.