Lesure, Morris, & Godwin headline recent D3 commitments
Commitments have been flying off the board at a rapid rate in recent weeks and in the process some division III schools have gotten some steals.
One of the most notable recent commitments is that of Bridgton Academy post-graduate Jack Lesure to Hobart College where he will follow in the foot-steps of his father and coach, Whit Lesure.
Playing for your father can be difficult, no matter who you are, but Jack Lesure is unique. You won’t find many young players you can match the consistency of his work ethic, toughness, or intellect for the game. He’s also a great teammate and a clear leader on the floor.
Prior to spending his post-graduate year at Bridgton, Jack previously starred at nearby Lake Region High School where he led his team to a state championship in 2016, was named the Most Outstanding Player in Southern Maine B in the process, as well as a finalist for Maine’s Mr. Basketball Award.
“Jack is very excited for the opportunities at Hobart,” Whit Lesure said. “He’s bound to exceed anything I ever did there. I’m confident that Maine toughness travels well and you can be he will pack a tremendous amount of state and local pride in his bags when he heads off to school.”
- The two-time defending NEPSAC Class B champions had a trio of commitments in the class of 2017 in recent weeks. First, 6-foot-6 forward Fru Che is heading to Amherst College to play for one of the most prestigious academic and athletic programs in the country. A longtime product of the BABC program, Che will join former teammate Tommy Mobley, who just finished his freshman season. Next, Catholic University, a strong academic school in Washington D.C. with a proud basketball history, scored a recent commitment from guard Isaiah Godwin. Another coach's son, Godwin came up the ranks as a true point guard but has developed his individual offense in recent years and had scholarship level interest throughout the course of the last year. He has been a key contributor to Brooks' consecutive championships and also starred for Wright Way Skills last summer. Ethan Gabert-Doyon is staying close by to attend Emerson College. Gabert-Doyon is a skilled and scrappy guard who competes on both ends of the floor, makes open shots, and can play either on or off the ball. He has helped to provide Brooks with unmatched perimeter depth in Class B in recent years.
- Tufts University got their latest recruiting steal from Loomis Chaffee post-graduate and D.C. Blue Devils wing Brennan Morris. The New Hampshire native has been one of the best three-point shooters in New England over the course of the last two seasons, and had scholarship offers on the board, but instead opted for the opportunity for the type of educational and athletic experience that the NESCAC provides. He should be an immediate impact player for the Jumbos.
- Another player heading to the NESCAC is Avon Old Farms guard Raheem Spence, who committed to Bates last week. A smooth and athletic combo-guard, Spence has made great strides in his game over the course of the last two seasons but has a significant upside still left to discover as his best basketball remains in front of him. He's been a major contributor in AOF's consecutive appearances in the Class A tournament as well as their 2016 Founder's League championship.
- The University of Rochester, one of the most prestigious academic and athletic programs in the country, has invaded the New England prep ranks for a number of commitiments in the class of 2017. Williston Northampton's Spencer Danforth, MacDuffie's Austin Nzige-Nyambok, Kimball Union Academy's Trent Noordsij, and Phillips Andover's Kailan Lee are all set to join the Yellow Jackets next year. Danforth graduated from St. John's Prep in 2016 and exceeded expectations at Williston Northampton this season, showing his trademark toughness while also demonstrating some enhanced scoring punch. Nzige-Nyambok is a versatile 6-foot-5 forward who has the size and strength to be productive in the lane but the shooting range to step out beyond the arc. Noordsij is a local New Hampshire native who flew largely under the radar until arriving at KUA but then quickly distinguished himself as a quality prospect with his strong body and quality skill set. Lee is an attacking combo-guard who is capable of making plays on both ends of the floor and providing a definite sparkplug.
- The defending Division III national champions, Babson College, are keeping a top local prospect close to home as Brimmer & May point guard Juquan Mills recently committed to the Beavers. Mills is a quick and feisty lead guard who has improved exponentially over the years. He's worked himself into a good jump shooter and consequently versatile offensive threat as well as a quality defender. He'll also now have the opportunity to earn a degree from one of the best business programs in the country.
- Springfield College got a good one in Worcester Academy point guard Charlie Clay. A two-year captain for the Hilltoppers, Clay is the consumate worker and leader who will bring his wealth of intangibles with him to Springfield next year. While his value often exceeds what you see on a stat sheet, Clay has also worked himself into a good shooter who now has both consistent three-point range as well as a dependable pull-up game.
- Endicott got a big commitment from Greely High School forward Matt McDevitt. The 6-foot-6 helped Greely to a state championship this season and established himself as one of the best players in the state of Maine in the process, being named Maine's Mr. Basketball following the season. His game might translate even better to the college level though as his size and skill will allow him to be a mismatch or stretch-four.
- Suffield Academy big man Manny Chukwu is heading to the University of Guelph in Canada next year. The post-graduate center is a rim protector defensively and rim runner offensively who makes his presence felt in a major way around both baskets. He was a major part of the Tigers' run to the top overall seed in Class A of the NEPSAC and spot in the NEPSAC tournament finals.
- Wentworth Institute of Technology has landed commitments from Mass Elite teammates Gavin Keough and Trey Carrier. Keough was a 1000 point career scorer for Groton-Dunstable and and selected 3rd team All-Central Mass following the season. Carrier had a huge season for Wilton-Lyndeborough and was named first-team all-state in the process.
- Rhode Island College has a trio of local products on their way to Providence in St. Joseph's (CT) guard Camren Menefee, Hyde School's Mike St. Laurent, and MacDuffie's A.J. Pettway. Menefee is an athletic guard who doubles as both a top-notch defender as well as a consistent three-point shooter. St. Laurent is a versatile 6-foot-7 forward who specializes in shooting the ball with range and stretching opposing defenses. Pettway is a playmaking guard with quick feet, long arms, and a high upside at the D3 level.
- A pair of Cushing Academy teammates are also headed for the Little East Conference as Jordan Heywood will head to Keene State and Dennis Haughton to UMass Boston. Heywood first arrived at Cushing as a football player but established himself as a highly versatile, and almost positionless, utility player for the Penguins. Haughton was part of one of the best backcourts in the NEPSAC this year as he came off the bench to back-up both Wabissa Bede and David Duke. A versatile 6-foot guard capable of playing on and off the ball, he's a solid defender and capable scorer.
- Bard College, a top liberal arts school in New York, has landed a pair of commitments out of the New England prep schools in Nobles' guard Alijah Rue and Canterbury guard Zach Jacobs. Rue is a 5-foot-9 playmaker who compensates for what he may lack in size with a polished skill set, shifty handle, and good quickness. Jacobs is a New York native who is headed back closer to home and brings a fundamentally sound skill set and good feel for the game.
- Project Triple Threat or PTT Elite has a pair of players from their 2017 class who recently finalized D3 pledges. Jeff Stockmal, who averaged over 23 points per game this year at Shelton High School and finished as the third leading scorer in program history, is heading to Roger Williams. Stockmal led Shelton to their most wins in the last decade and was generating D2 level interest before committing to RWU. Pasquale Villano is a 6-foot-5 forward from Hamden Hall who will play at Plymouth State next year. A hard-worker and valuable role plalyer, Villano was a key contributor on a Hamden Hall team that returned to the Class C tournament this season.
- Lake Forest College, a private school located on Chicago's North Shore, has landed a pair of pledges from New England as well in Wilbraham & Monson Academy forward Enike Anyia and Gunnery School guard Eoghan Kelly. Anyia, in particular, is expected to make an immediate contribution as his size and motor will immediately distinguish him, just as they did upon arriving in Class AA of the NEPSAC.
- Emmanuel College has received a commitment from Danbury High School star Marcus Fox. The 6-foot-3 swingman was named All-FCIAC is consecutive seasons and was also the leading man for a Danbury team that knocked off Notre Dame West Haven during the CIAC state tournament.
- Burlington High School guard Will Melanson will continue his basketball career at New England College. A physically tough guard who is consequently capable of playing and defending multiple positions, Melanson will bring his hard-nosed approach with him to NEC next year.
- Old Rochester High School's Matt Valles made a recent commitment to Gordon College. Valles was one of the break-out performers at last year's Elite 75 College Showcase with his combination of size and mobility. He's active with a solid motor and an offensive game that is still just scratching the surface of its potential.
- A grouop of local prep products have also recently decided on heading to the division I level as recruited walk-ons. The most notable is George Papas, a 6-foot-5 post-graduate guard from Gould Academy, who will join the program at George Mason. Papas had full athletic scholarship offers on the table from division II schools this year but was determined to prove himself at the D1 level. With a pure shooting stroke and good feel for the game, he is talented enough to do so. Wilbraham & Monson Academy point guard and captain Miles Lester will head to Rice University to play for first year head coach Scott Pera. Lester developed a reputation for his numerous intangibles during his time in New England and is bound to exceed expectations for the Owls' in future years because of his unique approach to the game. New Hampton School guard Tyler McFarland is headed to American University where he will play in the Patriot League. A talented shooter, McFarland has a chance to contend for minutes down the road as a court spacer and three-point shot-maker. Brewster Academy big man Aziz Sultan Essa is headed to Fairfield. Essa is a skilled 6-foot-9 big man who has gone through an incredible physical transofrmation during his high school career, having shed over 100 pounds from his frame to transform himself into a scholarship level player.