Prep Profile Brewster Academy
In Jason Smith’s ten years as the head basketball coach at Brewster Academy he has transformed the program from one that was barely on the national radar to one of the perennial national powerhouses.
The Brewster Academy program has reached its pinnacle in the last two years with a NEPSAC Class A championship in 2008 and two straight trips to the National Prep Championship Final Four in 2008 and 2009.
All indications are that it will be more of the same in the upcoming 2009-2010 season. In fact, this may be Brewster Academy’s most talented team yet.
Before the team even began their first workout of the pre-season they already had four players committed to high-major programs in Will Barton (Memphis), C.J. Fair (Syracuse), Melvin Ejim (Iowa State), and Richard Peters (Oklahoma).
Nevertheless, Brewster Academy has still been a popular spot for high major coaches this fall as Maurice Walker has attracted the likes of Kansas head coach Bill Self and Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon among others, 2011 point guard Naadir Tharpe Boston College, Providence, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and most recently Indiana, and Austin Carroll Rutgers and Harvard among others.
Once the season begins Barton is the likely choice to emerge as the team’s primary scorer. Already ranked as the top two-guard in the country by most of the national scouting services, Barton is really just beginning to realize his true potential. He has NBA type size at that position and can score the ball in a variety of ways. He made a series of jaw dropping plays the day we were in the gym including one where he ran down a loose ball, picked it up, and in one motion whipped a behind the back pass to an open teammate for an easy lay-up. Nearly ten minutes later he was soaring to the rim for an easy alley-oop until the pass was a little late getting there, but Barton hung in the air, like only a few other players in the country would have been capable of doing, just long enough to tip the ball up and in with his left hand. He’ll be worth the price of admission this year to say the least.
Tharpe will likely have the ball in his hands and given the green light to create offense for the plethora of scorers who will surround him. His much improved perimeter jumper will only make him that much more dangerous as the Worcester native barely missed when we watched and has been doing that for most of the pre-season according to Coach Smith.
Walker and Peters will form perhaps the biggest interior duo in the entire country. Walker, who measures out at 6’10” and 270 pounds, is absolutely immovable in the paint and Peters, who will anchor the Brewster frontline for the next three years, isn’t much smaller at 6’10” and 260.
Ejim’s game has really come a long way since arriving at Brewster one year ago. Last season he was primarily a defender for Smith’s club but this year he’s slashing to the basket incredibly effectively while also knocking down a good percentage of his open three-point looks. He’ll provide great versatility in terms of his two way game and ability to play/defend multiple positions.
Fair is another versatile forward who should really thrive in Brewster’s traditional pressure system. The Syracuse bound forward is 6’8” and a terrific athlete who excels in transition but also stretches the defense with his shooting range. Offensively he can play the four or the three, giving Brewster a potentially huge frontline with Walker, Peters, and Fair on the floor together at times.
Carroll is likely the glue that holds this mammoth ship together. On the surface his shot making spaces the floor beautifully, but more importantly is his passing, feel for the game, and decision making which will make the game easier for all of those around him.
Other division I targets who figure to be notable contributors are 6’1” combo-guard Ashton Khan and 6’6” forward Kyle Tazioli. Khan is a scoring guard who could see time at both backcourt positions while Tazioli is a super skilled player with deceptive athleticism who could get minutes at both forward positions.
Adam Perry and Isiah Pringle two other guards who will cotend for playing time in the backcourt while New Hampshire native Jared Fahmy has already made great strides since arriving and may just surprise some people and find a way to get on the court.
On talent alone this Brewster Academy team is as good as anyone in New England, and if they can put it all together there’s reason to be excited in Wolfeboro.