Prep Profile – New Hampton School
It is that time of year again, when we start to preview the top prep programs in New England.
This year, we are going to begin with the local teams who will take part in the National Prep Showcase, held November 19th – 21st at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut.
Because we didn’t really have a prep season last year, many people forget that the defending NEPSAC AAA champions still reside in New Hampton where Andrew Gale showed a rare ability to develop chemistry and buy-in from his players from day one upon becoming the program’s head coach.
3 Things You Need to Know About This Year’s Team
1. There Will Be No Excuses
Let’s start with the elephant in the room and get it out of the way. Alex Karaban transferred to IMG Academy for his post-graduate season. But if you’re expecting Gale to allow that to be the narrative of this year’s team, then you’re seriously mistaken. To the contrary, the ‘we over me’ collective mentality remains the same here this year as it was two years ago, when the Huskies made what many considered to be an improbable run to the AAA championship. They weren’t the most outwardly talented team in New England then and they aren’t now either, but that doesn’t mean they can’t grow throughout the year and be ready to compete in March.
2. Nurse Poised to Emerge
Perhaps the most impressive player this fall has been Lexington Christian transfer Jabari Nurse, who was a late addition to the roster in August. Nurse played a complimentary role for Expressions Elite in the EYBL, but is going to have the opportunity to prove himself on the biggest prep stages this winter. Thus far he looks up to the task. He’ll join senior guard Kyle Hicks to give New Hampton a pair of strong, athletic, and physical guards to put constant pressure on the rim offensively and utilize similar advantages on the defensive end of the floor.
3. Skilled Bigs to Stretch the Floor
Attacking guards are ideally paired with skilled frontcourt players who can stretch the floor with their shooting range and thus open the lane. The Huskies have exactly that in Julian Margrave and Juju Ramirez, who are both originally from Kansas. Margrave, who is already committed to South Alabama, is 6-foot-10 with a pure release and deep range. Ramirez is a southpaw who handles and passes the ball very well at 6-foot-8 and can consequently create lots of mismatch problems away from the basket.
3 Questions Heading into the Season
1. Will Incoming 2023 Guards be Ready to Step-In?
The program welcomes a pair of talented 2023 guards in Anthony Gibson Maxwell and Cam Oates. Gibson Maxwell is an attacking guard with burst, pace, and an exciting style. Oates, a southpaw, is more of a pure point guard. Both will have an opportunity to earn immediate minutes this year and the extent to which they are able to contribute could go a long way towards determining how effective this team will be.
2. Who Will Step-Up in the Second Unit?
Beyond those first five or six core players, it remains to be seen who will step-up to solidify the team’s depth and second-unit. Joe Joe DuBrul, Charlie Truesdale, and Gehrig Brynda are all New England natives who will have a chance to measure themselves in the region’s top league. Alex Tawhili and Bobby Piplani are incoming international products from Uganda and Singapore respectively. Reid Neumann is a versatile 6-foot-5 post-grad from California who will also be relied on to provide consistent minutes. Maurice D’Alessandro is an incoming junior from Virginia who will compete as well.
3. Do They Shoot it as Well as Usual?
While the overall depth of the roster is the overarching theme of the questions surrounding the team, it isn’t just with regard to who is capable of playing minutes, but also who can make shots. Being able to earn rotation minutes at New Hampton, or most places for that matter, has historically been a matter of being able to defend your position, share the ball, hold your own physically, and then, being able to space the floor and knock down open shots. The players that can check those boxes this year will be the ones most capable of supporting the team’s starting five.