Prep Profile Brewster Academy
Brewster Academy was the undisputed champion of prep school basketball last year. They began the year as the number one seed in the country, went on to claim the NEPSAC Class A title, and then take the National Prep Championship. Some even went as far as to say that the 2009-2010 Brewster Academy squad was among the best prep school teams ever.
Attempting to follow up on that type of year will be no easy task for this year’s Brewster squad, but head coach Jason Smith has once again assembled a loaded roster that looks like the early favorite to take the title.
Point guard Naadir Tharpe returns as the leader of the squad. The Worcester native ran the show for last year’s championship team and will look to do the same this year. If Wednesday’s open run was any indication, the playmaker is poised for a big year. He was the vocal leader of the team, scored it from all spots on the floor, and created easy looks for his teammates, especially out of the pick and roll.
The beneficiary of that pick and roll was often big man Mitch McGary, a six-foot-nine 245 lbs post player from Indiana who counts Illinois, Indiana, Miami, and Pittsburgh among his suitors. McGary teams with Villanova bound Markus Kennedy to give Brewster a mammoth one-two punch up front.
Jakarr Sampson marks the third high-major option along the Brewster frontline. A long and explosively athletic forward with a world of upside, Sampson had a final five of Baylor, Kansas, Louisville, St. John’s, and Tennessee before selecting St. John’s on Thursday.
Six-foot-six swingman Durand Johnson is already committed to Pittsburgh and is another high level athlete who could see time at a variety of different positions for Brewster this year. Six-foot-five Deonte Burton will have three years at the Academy and counts Iowa State, Marquette, and Maryland among his early suitors. Five-ten Richard Obrien also joins the class of 2013 to provide backcourt depth.
Max Hooper and Khalid McCaskill are two familiar names for New England fans. Hooper is a big time shooter who turned in what Coach Smith said “was the best shooting performance in the history of Brewster open gyms on Tuesday,” knocking down 13 of 15 three-pointers.
Smith had equally high praise for McKaskill, the post-graduate from Phillips Academy in Andover who he said has been the most pleasant surprise on the roster thus far this fall.
Tharpe’s running mate in the backcourt will be Elijah Carter, a scoring combo-guard who starred for legendary head coach Bob Hurley at St. Anthony’s High School in New Jersey for the last few years.
As for Smith himself, he begins his 11th year at the Academy after having spent the last decade building the Brewster program from the ground up. Now, he finds himself at the helm of what has become one of the nation’s perennial powerhouses. His resume speaks for itself as Brewster has advanced to semi-finals of both the NEPSAC and National Prep Championship for three consecutive years, claiming two New England titles and one national championship in the process. Smith also holds an unblemished 3-1 record in championship games.