Prep Profile Hotchkiss School
The last four years has seen the Hotchkiss School gradually emerge as one of the powerhouse programs in New England. The 2010-2011 season features what may be head coach Fred Benjamin’s most talented team yet as he returns two star guards while adding a handful of young talent.
The backcourt combination of Derrick Wilson and Clyde Smith will be the team’s primary one-two punch. While Wilson is fresh off his commitment to Marquette, the powerhouse guard undoubtedly still enters the season with a chip on his shoulder coming out of this summer’s grassroots circuit and is sure to prove himself one of the top guards in New England again this season.
Smith is another extremely talented guard who can make opposing defenses pay with his versatile scoring ability. He arrived in New England last year with the reputation for being a shot maker but quickly proved he was equally dangerous off the dribble. Having gotten bigger, stronger, and more explosive since the end of his sophomore season, Smith appears poised to be one of the top guards in class AA this year.
Although Jason Morris has moved onto Georgia Tech, Hotchkiss’ typical three guard line-up remains intact with the addition of Makai Mason. The Massachusetts native is just a freshman but arrives with a long resume of experience dating back to his success at the Adidas Phenom camps as well as with his BABC AAU club. Mason’s development is likely to follow a similar path to Smith’s as his excellent ball skills will allow him to make an immediate impact this year while he has star potential in the future as his body develops.
The most notable newcomer for Hotchkiss is six-foot-eleven big man Mike Tobey. The New York native enrolled as a repeat sophomore earlier this year but after scoring six high-major scholarship offers in the first six weeks of open gym workouts, decided to return to his original class of 2012. He is a highly skilled big man with a world of potential and equally dangerous on the block with his soft hands and feet as well as stretching opposing defenses to the perimeter with his shooting range.
Tobey’s running mate on the interior will be another newcomer in sophomore Christopher Campbell. “Topher” is an incredibly skilled six-foot-six forward who is exceptionally smooth with the ball and equally dangerous shooting, passing, or handling it. His versatility could be huge for this team as he is capable of both scoring in high volume as well as facilitating for his teammates.
Post-graduates Dylan Sinnickson and Ben Horner will help to provide experience to this relatively young team. Sinnickson is an active and athletic six-foot-five forward who makes his impact felt on both sides of the ball who arrives to Hotchkiss by way of Long Island. Horner is a six-foot-three swingman by way of Ireland who will stretch defenses with his long ball jumper and also contribute with a high feel for the game.
When you put everything together Hotchkiss has all the pieces to be one of class AA’s top contenders in one of the league’s most talented starting fives, a terrific guard tandem, and a skilled and cerebral supporting cast. But much like other programs including Tilton and St. Mark’s, their biggest challenge will be to grow up quickly as their young talent will need to battle with teams often two and three years their senior in order to contend for the first ever class AA championship.