Prep Profile – Cushing Academy | Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Prep Profile – Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy was one of the best team’s in class B last year.  After a tremendously successful regular season, they advanced to the semi-finals of the conference tournament before falling in a hard fought battle. 

Despite the disappointment of ending their season in a close game, there was still plenty to be excited about as they would return one of the nation’s top point guards in Phil Pressey….that is until early this summer when Pressey decided to transfer to a school in Texas to be closer to his family. 

But Cushing head coach Barry Connors isn’t feeling sorry for himself and he won’t let any of his players either.  He likes his team and he thinks they will be just fine. 

One of the biggest reasons for that is the emergence of Cushing’s young players.  Domonique Bull and James Kennedy were both freshmen on last season’s team who were brought along very slowly.  But this season will be a different story as both will be thrust into the limelight and expected to produce in big ways.  That shouldn’t be a problem as these are two of the region’s top young players.  Bull in particular has a virtually limitless upside.  He goes to the rim like a truck, has great strength and athleticism, and is unselfish enough to create for his teammates.  Kennedy is simply a much better player than he was a year ago showing improved strength, athleticism, and touch on his shot. 

But Bull and Kennedy aren’t the only reasons for Cushing fans to be optimistic.  The other is newcomer point guard Tyler Strange.  While he certainly won’t be Phil Pressey at the point, he doesn’t need to be.  He is a super tough competitor with a contagious work ethic.  Plus the kid just does whatever it takes to win games, and with Bull and Kennedy at his side, he’s likely to win a lot of them during his three year career at Cushing. 

6’6” senior Kevin Barr will provide a major presence inside utilizing his big frame to carve out space, score, and rebound in the paint.  6’2” David Hastings is a linebacker on the football team who brings a physicality and toughness that has been invaluable to this team over the last few years. 

6’2” swingman Ryan Boyle is a post-graduate from Vermont who appears poised for a big season as he has been scoring the ball in high volume this fall – making shots from the perimeter and being productive in the mid-range area.  Tim Henault and Zach Cooke are two other ’09 products expected to be important contributors. 

Whether or not this Cushing team can duplicate the success of year’s past remains to be seen.  But with a superstar in the making, a talented young core, and enough veterans to create a good balance, this is a team that will be in the class B hunt for years to come.