Prep Profile - Brewster Academy
There is really only one place to begin our prep profiles for the year and that’s at Brewster Academy where head coach Jason Smith and the Bobcats are coming off a historic 2016-2017 season in which they finished with an undefeated record and won both the NEPSAC AAA and National Prep Championships.
On paper, last year might not have even been Brewster’s most individually talented team, but they distinguished themselves with their continuity and chemistry and became the first prep school team in the modern era to finish with an unblemished record.
Lukas Kisunas and Nate Roberts are the two players who return from last year’s team. Kisunas was the team’s starting center and Roberts provided a high-major big off the bench after coming to Wolfeboro at mid-year. Kisunas is a native of Lithuania and as physically tough a big man as there is in New England. Roberts has continued to grow and added two more inches since his arrival last year. They are set to visit UConn, Old Dominion, Illinois and Nebraska, Syracuse, Washington respectively.
Derek Culver, a top 100 national prospect in the class of 2017, is doing a post-graduate year prior to his arrival at West Virginia while Miles Norris came cross country from California before he heads to Oregon. Culver is an explosive athlete with a high ceiling while Norris is a rangy, skilled, and mobile four-man. Isaiah Mucius, fresh off his commitment from Wake Forest, is a true senior who has been playing his best basketball of his career since arriving at The Academy. A combo-forward over the years, Mucius is expected to see the majority of his time on the wing this year and has been shooting the ball at an unprecedented clip from long-range so far in open gyms.
The squad also features a trio of players with famous fathers. Buddy Boeheim, the son of Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, is set to star for his father next season and the early favorite to be this Brewster team’s starting two-guard and resident shot-maker. Walter Ellis, the son of former Notre Dame star and NBA player LaPhonso Ellis, will provide more shot-making on the wing. B.J. Shaw, the son of longtime NBA player and coach Brian Shaw, has been perhaps the most pleasant surprise this fall and provides a combination of skill and perimeter size.
Mees Ven Leeuwen, Brendan Paul, Bing Huang, and Anthony Cambo are four more post-graduates that add to the team’s significant depth. Van Leeuwen is a skilled 6-foot-10 big man while Paul is a fearless guard who impressed the day we were in the gym.
The team’s point guard position will revolve around their two juniors, Sherif Kenney and Joel Brown. Kenney made his first appearance in New England at last year’s Memorial Day Super 16 Showcase, when he led New World to a championship. He’s been no less impressive this fall as a bully type of power guard who can make plays on demand. Brown is a Canadian native and drive-and-kick type point guard who excels at getting a piece of the paint and then spraying the ball out to shooters.
Beyond their sheer talent, which we’ve all come to expect on an annual basis, this team is defined by their size. They have four high-major big men to rotate between two positions inside, and will start 6-foot-8, 6-foot-5, and 6-foot-4 on the perimeter. They should be able to out-rebound most college teams, never mind, prep teams and ought to dominate the paint on a nightly basis. The key will lie on the perimeter where they are neither as deep or as experienced, but perhaps just as talented.
Jason Smith’s program has become the standard by which others are judged over the course of the last decade and they’re coming off their best season in program history. Combine that, and the fact that they have at least seven high-major prospects on this year’s roster, and there’s no denying they are once again the team to beat and bound to get the opposing team’s best shot every time they take the floor.