D-III Commitment Catch-Up

NewEnglandBasketballServices.com | Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Far too often the average fan doesn’t realize just how good players have to be to play division III basketball.  In fact, the opinion that division III is some type of inferior level is probably the most common and hugely inaccurate misconception among local basketball fans. 

The truth is that often times there is almost no difference between a high level division III program and some scholarship programs.  By the same token every good division III program has several players good enough to be successful on higher levels.  So with that in mind, here is a look at some recent commitments. 

Bowdoin Lands Two; Including One Major Steal
6’3” shooting guard Ryan O’Connell from St. John’s Prep in Massachusetts and 6’1” guard Justin Nowell from the Brunswick School in Connecticut are both heading to Bowdoin, solidifying the Polar Bears backcourt for years to come.  While Nowell is strong all-around talent who should be able to find a role next year, O’Connell is a major steal.  Not only does he have terrific size for the two-guard spot but he is a terrific shooter with virtually limitless range.  He is a definite scholarship level talent who should be able to put points on the board immediately upon arriving in Maine. 

Jordan Mickens to Williams
The 6’3” swingman from the Brooks School is on his way to the nation’s top ranked liberal arts college according to U.S. News & World Report.  The Ephs are also a national power in division III college basketball as they have won three NESCAC championships in the last five years, advanced to four Final Fours in the last ten years, and were the national champions in 2003.  Mickens is a player who should help them to sustain that level of success as he is a very good defender and versatile scorer on the offensive end. 

One of Region’s Best Shooters will Play in New York
Beaver Country Day’s star guard is on his way to Hamilton.  Ephraim Herskovitz, known as “Effy” in many local basketball circles, is one of the best pure shooters in New England.  In fact, he has knocked down 10+ three-pointers in a single game on several different occasions.  Now the talented guard is headed to Hamilton where he will instantaneously become one of the most potent long range threats in the Liberty League. 

Colby Lands Skilled Forward
Hamden Hall forward Kory Lenz has committed to Colby.  Lenz burst onto the recruiting scene with an outstanding performance at Hoop Mountain’s Academic All-American Camp earlier this summer, where he attracted the attention of numerous college coaches with his size and shooting range.  Since that time there have been several high academic division III schools that have pursued the versatile forward, but ultimately Lenz made his commitment to Colby Head Coach Dick Whitmore. 

WPI Picks Up Duo
Matt Carr and Todd Rapoport have both offered verbal commitments to WPI.  Carr is a 6’6” power forward from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Hampshire who was also recruited by Wentworth, RPI, Maine Maritime Academy, Daniel Webster, Keene State, and Plymouth State.  Unfortunately, Matt’s senior year was cut short when he tore his ACL at the team’s first workout of the season.  Nevertheless, he is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for his freshmen season.  Rapoport currently stars at Wheeler High School in Connecticut after being a staple of the Rhode Island Hawks Red team during the spring and summer. 

Conn. College Gets Big Man Early
Rob Daley has committed to Connecticut College after applying, and being accepted, through early action.  The 6’4” power forward is currently in his post-graduate season at the Taft School in Connecticut.  Prior to that, he starred for the prestigious Catholic Memorial High School program in Massachusetts.  Daley should be a good piece to the puzzle under the basket for the Camels as his ability to play from the high post should make him an excellent fit in their offensive system.