Correia Headed to UMass; Cheeks and Kwaitkowski off the Board | Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Correia Headed to UMass; Cheeks and Kwaitkowski off the Board

Coming into his senior season Gary Correia had a good deal of interest from schools in the Atlantic 10 and the CAA among others.  But when several of the schools pursuing him got commitments from other points guard Correia was forced to play out his senior season without a scholarship. 

As luck would have it the Rhode Island native had a terrific season leading Northfield Mount Hermon to one of their best seasons in recent memory.  Correia, who was the captain, was the consistent leader of the squad all year long.  In addition to his patented three-point shooting, he ran the team, showed an ability to attack the rim, and showed a high basketball I.Q.  Consequently, he racked up scholarship offers from the likes of UMass, Tulane, St. Louis, and Drexel while Providence, Penn. State, and Iowa State were all expressing strong interest. 

But ultimately Gary decided to stay close to home and attend the University of Massachusetts and Head Coach Travis Ford, fresh off their Atlantic 10 regular season championship. 

“Gary and Coach Ford just had a great connection,” said Northfield Mount Hermon Associate Head Coach John Carroll. 

“It’s a great fit for Gary because he’s going to be playing for a coach who not only played the same position Gary does, and played the position the same way.” 

“Gary shot over 45% from the three-point line in both of his last two seasons and Coach Ford was another point guard who shot the ball extremely well.” 

At UMass Correia will offer the flexibility to play both guard positions because of his strength and ability to shoot the ball.  He is likely to see some immediate minutes coming off the bench for the Minutemen next year. 

Correia is the fifth New England product that has committed to UMass for next year joining his Northfield Mount Hermon teammate 6’7 shooting guard Matt Glass, 6’7 power forward Travon Wilcher from Lee Academy, 6’7 forward Matt Hill from Tilton, and 6’10 center Papa Lo from Winchendon. 

Mark Lyons to Xavier
Despite the fact that Xavier Head Coach Sean Miller is rumored to be the man that Minnesota will introduce as their new head coach on Friday, Coach Miller and his staff accepted a commitment from South Kent’s 6’1 junior point Mark Lyons earlier this week. 

Lyons is an extremely fast and quick point guard who is at his best when attacking the basket in the open floor.  He was generating a good deal of interest from programs at the high major level but he was apparently intrigued about going to a situation where he would have a chance to be an impact player right away. 

At Xavier, Lyons would step in for Drew Lavender who led Xavier to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament and a near upset of Ohio State that would have sent them to the Sweet 16. 

Before arriving at Xavier, Lyons will return to South Kent for his senior season where he will team with Isaiah Thomas to form one of the most explosive backcourts in the country. 

Tomasz Kwaitkowski Commits to SMU
Tomasz Kwaitkowski , the 7’1 Polish native who played at Lee Academy in Maine this year, committed to SMU earlier this week.  At SMU he will join two other New England prep school products in South Kent teammates 6’8 small forward Manuel Cass and 6’0 point guard Mike Walker.  Kwaitkowski had offers earlier in the year from the likes of Virginia and other high major conferences but ultimately decided to join Head Coach Matt Doherty at SMU. 

Kwaitkowski is a big man with some excellent potential as he has good instincts around the basket.  As his body and game with his back to the basket continues to develop he could end up being a very important player at SMU.