Prep Profile Cushing Academy
Cushing Academy senior forward Andrew Chrabascz has done just about everything over the course of his high school career. He’s won individual awards, an AAU national championship with the BABC, and been as heavily recruited as any player in New England before committing to Butler.
Now there’s only one thing left to do before his high school career comes to an end, and that’s to try and lead Cushing Academy to a NEPSAC title.
The 2012-2013 season certainly appears to be his best chance yet as Cushing is one of a handful of teams who could legitimately have a chance to make a run come late February and early March.
Chrabascz is the unquestioned leader of this year’s Penguin team, not only because of ability to score and rebound the ball in high volume, but more importantly, because of the toughness, dedication, and heart that he plays with on a daily basis.
He’ll continue to anchor the team’s frontline, but will also have help from a pair of incoming post-graduates in Cam Smythe and Matt Mareno. Smythe is a seven-footer with a soft touch that extends all the way out to the perimeter. His ability to stretch the defense should open up the lane for Chrabascz to go to work while his size alone will give Cushing the type of shot-blocking presence they haven’t had in years past. Mareno is going to be a stat stuffing jack of all trades for this team. He’ll be the Robin to Chrabascz’ Batman when it comes to doing the dirty work, and be one of the team’s defensive standouts.
In the backcourt, head coach Barry Connors has as much firepower at his disposal as he’s had since the days of Phil Pressey. It was at this time last year that Kaleb Joseph pushed his stock to the high-major level and his maturation since that time has him now ready to run a team from the point guard position. His partner in crime will be Jalen Adams, who gives the team a pure scorer on the perimeter capable of putting up 30 points on virtually any night.
With guys like Chrabascz, Joseph, and Adams, who are all capable of making plays from various spots on the floor, the Penguins need a supporting cast to space the floor and punish opposing defenses for rotating secondary defenders. That’s where Bentley bound senior Matt Barr, sharp-shooting post-graduate Casey Woodring, and second year senior Chris Mullin Jr. come in.
Barr is a New Hampshire native who initially intended to repeat his junior year before Bentley scooped him up in the 2012 class, while Woodring has more post-season experience than any player on the roster after playing in back-to-back finals in Class A. Mullin is much improved since last year and ready to make more of an impact off the Penguin bench.
Is Cushing Academy the favorite to take their first NEPSAC AA title this year? Probably not. Are they contenders? Absolutely. More specifically, they are a team with great leadership, a warrior inside, firepower on the perimeter, and a perfectly placed supporting cast.