Massachusetts 2011 Rankings Announced
Khem Birch may be from Canada but he has been such a staple of New England basketball over the last few years that he has been virtually adopted by our region. A star on the scene since first arriving, Birch’s mobility and incredible athleticism had him standing out on day one. But his game has continued to progress over the years with the evolvement of his offensive skills and he put a punctuation mark on his high school career last week with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the McDonald’s All-American game. He is the highest rated recruit to ever commit to Jamie Dixon’s Pittsburgh club, and projects to make an immediate contribution in the Big East next season.
Up next is St. John’s Prep swingman Pat Connaughton, who took the country by storm last summer at AAU Nationals before walking away with handfuls of high-major scholarship offers. Connaughton’s magical run continued through his senior season as his career culminated with a state championship. He heads to Notre Dame next year where he will play both basketball and baseball and be an excellent fit in Mike Brey’s system.
Todd Mayo is the top ranked post-graduate in Massachusetts and third overall in the state. The Notre Dame Prep product finished his season in commanding fashion, scoring over 90 points in three games at the National Prep Championships and leading his squad to the final. Mayo committed to Marquette head coach Buzz Williams a few days later and should be ready to step right into the Golden Eagles line-up with his versatile scoring ability.
Massachusetts native Dennis Clifford is ranked fourth overall in the state after making incredible strides in the final two seasons of his high school career. Headed to Boston College next year where his development is sure to only continue, Clifford has a combination of size and skill that can’t be taught and is ideally suited for Steve Donahue’s sytem.
Rounding out the top five is Northfield Mount Hermon guard Aaron Cosby, who headlines Seton Hall’s 2011 recruiting class. A high volume scorer who put up big numbers for NMH this season, Cosby will be counted on to be able to contribute minutes from day one in the Big East.
The rest of the top ten consists of Wilbraham & Monson big men Braeden Anderson & Enosch Wolf (who left at mid-year to join UConn), Notre Dame Prep power forward Grandy Glaze, New Haven native and Worcester Academy swingman Tavon Allen, and Notre Dame Prep’s Fordham bound wing Jeff Short.
In total 40 players have been ranked in Massachusetts class of 2011. There are eight MIAA products on the list in Connaughton, Jules Tavares, Joe Bramanti, Kachi Nzerem, Joe Mussachia, Samir McDaniels, Jimmy Zenevitch, and Zach Hurynowicz; 16 are Massachusetts natives as Clifford, Patrick Ackerman, James Kennedy, Ryan Canty, Marco Banegas, Joe Sharkey, Tyler Strange, and Marcus Grant are all local products competing in the prep school ranks; and 18 are New England residents as Allen and Kyle Callanan join the list.