New England Recruiting Report | Friday, November 9th, 2012


The season is officially underway in New England’s most competitive basketball conference as all six teams have begun practice and some will play their first game this weekend.  

Over the course of the last two months we’ve profiled all six teams individually, it is now time to take a collective look at the league to see how these teams might stack up against each other.  

Brewster Academy
2011-2012: NEPSAC semifinals; National Prep Champions
Full Prep Profile
Strengths:  Their size is unmatched with Elijah Macon, Kyle Washington, and Chris McCullough along the frontline and total talent level off the charts with Kevin Zabo, Jared Terrell and Ron Patterson giving them three more high-major prospects.  The Bobcats’ depth is perhaps the best it has ever been with no less than 10 division I prospects allowing them to push the tempo and be better prepared for any injuries that may pop up during the course of the season.   
Concerns: This is the most youth we’ve seen at Brewster in quite some time, especially in the backcourt, where games are won and lost in prep school basketball.  There’s little denying they’re this year’s favorites in the NEPSAC, but it all comes down to how well you’re playing during a five day period in early March, so timing will be critical.  

Bridgton Academy
2011-2012: NEPSAC quarterfinals
Full Prep Profile
Strengths:  The history and tradition of the Bridgton program is still on the Wolverines side with four championship banners from the last ten years and an always raucous crowd giving them a definite home-court advantage.  This is a guard oriented team who will be quick and feisty on the perimeter and especially tough to match-up with because of their ability to spread the floor and make you chase them.  
Concerns:  Facts are facts and this Bridgton Academy team doesn’t have the size or overall talent to match-up with the rest of the league on a daily basis.  There obstacles are consequently more significant than any other team in the league but head coach Whit Lesure seems to relish the challenge of getting this group to overachieve.  

New Hampton School
2011-2012: NEPSAC semifinals; National Prep Championship semifinals
Full Prep Profile
Strengths: A well designed roster puts role recognition at a premium as Noah Vonleh is the clear go-to player, Travis Jorgenson the floor general, Lincoln Davis the defensive stopper, and Tory Miller the interior anchor.  New Hampton should be the best three-point shooting team in the league, with a similarly high collective basketball I.Q., and so opposing defenses should be stretched to a max, giving Vonleh more time to operate in the lane.  
Concerns:  Assuming Vonleh plays the four, the center position will be critical for New Hampton this year.  With Mike Auger not yet 100% back, they need Miller to be an enforcer inside the paint.  Similarly, collective rebounding is going to be a big key for the Huskies this season, especially during the times when Vonleh isn’t on the floor.  

Northfield Mount Hermon School
2011-2012: NEPSAC champions; National Prep Championship quarterfinals
Full Prep Profile
Strengths: Experience counts and NMH returns six players from last year’s NEPSAC championship team. They’ll also be one of the league’s most cerebral teams with high I.Q. guys like Anthony Dallier, Pete Miller, Sam Donahue, and newcomer Josh Hearlihy.  The addition of Zena Edosomwan gives them the dominant interior presence they’ve never really had before while their overall size is terrific with five players 6’9” or above and eight players 6’6” or above.  
Concerns: Backcourt depth is a bit of a concern, especially at the point guard spot, where Mike Fleming will be backed up by a trio of underclassmen.  There is also the question of who the team’s go-to player is down the stretch.  Edosomwan is the premier talent but they need a guard to emerge who can make something happen at the end of the shot clock like Spike Albrecht did last year.  

South Kent School
2011-2012: NEPSAC quarterfinals
Full Prep Profile
Strengths: They’ve got the offensive balance to beat you in a variety of different ways but South Kent’s biggest offensive weapon might be dribble penetrationShane Rector and Kamall Richards, the team’s top two offensive threats, are both especially dangerous off the dribble.  The team’s overall size will also be an advantage, not just along the frontline, but also in the backcourt where they have big guards and wings like 6’6” Richards, 6’5” A.J. Edwards, and 6’6” Zach Brown.  
Concerns:  There is no Ricky Ledo or Kevin Parrom on this year’s team so without that type of true star power, South Kent will have to do it by committee.  When it is all said and done, Rector is probably the team’s best scorer, and if he has to take that role on, the question becomes who would become responsible for distributing the ball.  

St. Thomas More School
2011-2012: NEPSAC finals; National Prep Championship quarterfinals
Full Prep Profile
Strengths:  This roster has excellent depth with no less than ten scholarship level prospects and tremendous balance between size, skill, and athleticism at different spots on the floor thanks to guys like Dylan Haines, Denzel Gregg, and Marquis Moore among others.  Add it all up and this will be one of the most versatile line-ups in the NEPSAC, capable of causing match-up problems for just about anyone they face this season.  
Concerns:  While size isn’t a problem with this group, interior defense will be a bit of a concern when facing the league’s physically dominant interior presences in the middle like Washington, Macon, Edosomwan, and Vonleh.  Then the only question is about star power as this will be the NEPSAC’s version of the 2004 Detroit Pistons – looking to win a title without a clear cut star player.  

Pre-Season Player of the Year: Noah Vonleh, New Hampton
Not only is Vonleh the most talented player in the league, but he’s also the most important player to his particular team.  He showed this summer that he’s capable of dominating the big stage and he’ll surely have the opportunity to do the same this season as he leads the Huskies.  

Pre-Season All-Conference 1st Team
C – Zena Edosomwan, Northfield Mount Hermon
F – Noah Vonleh, New Hampton
F – Chris McCullough, Brewster Academy
G – Jared Terrell, Brewster Academy
G – Shane Rector, South Kent

Pre-Season All-Conference 2nd Team
C – Elijah Macon, Brewster Academy
F – Kyle Washington, Brewster Academy
F – Denzel Gregg, St. Thomas More
G – Ron Patterson, Brewster Academy
G – Travis Jorgenson, New Hampton

Pre-Season All-Conference 3rd Team
C – Dylan Haines, St. Thomas More
F – Josh Hearlihy, Northfield Mount Hermon
F – Kamall Richards, South Kent
G – Marquis Moore, St. Thomas More
G – Kevin Zabo, Brewster Academy