Prep Profile New Hampton
The New Hampton School is going to have an especially deep and versatile basketball team in the coming 2013-2014 season, one that should be capable of contending in Class AAA of the NEPSAC.
The Huskies have become known for the skillful and intelligent brand of basketball that they’ve played in under head coach Pete Hutchins, and this year’s team will be no exception. Mike Leblanc, Anthony Pate, Elijah Bryant, and Tyler Lydon are all capable of spacing opposing defenses out and executing in a half-court set.
But New Hampton will have other weapons at their disposal as well, and will be able to win games in a number of different ways.
This is as long and athletic a group as Hutchins has had in his tenure and with guys like A.J. Turner, Aubrey Dawkins, and Jeremy Miller in the fray, the Huskies will have the ability to impose staggering length at all five positions on the floor, making them a team that could potentially be far more aggressive defensively, utilizing more run and jump concepts and attempting to create offense from their defense.
Along with their skill, length, and athleticism comes some old-fashioned beef inside the lane. Tory Miller is likely the best true center in the league while Mike Auger will be bringing his trademark toughness to the frontline as well. Incoming junior Nick Morris will add additional size and strength, and so this is a team who will also be capable of finding success by pounding the ball inside.
New Hampton won’t just be versatile with their line-up, they’ll also be incredibly deep. A quick glance down the roster reveals no less than 10 players who are widely expected to be division I players, many of whom could make it to the high-major level.
Additional weapons like Josh Repine, Matt Dean, Danny Levitt, and Quincy Aubertine provide arguably the longest bench in the league protecting the Huskies against the threat of injury or illness this season.
The hope is that such depth will create a battle for minutes and ultimately feed a culture of competition within the program. While that certainly has certainly appeared to be the case this fall, the correlating challenge will of course be to find enough minutes, touches, and shots to keep everyone happy.
Like any other deep and talented team, the question will be just how well New Hampton’s individual pieces can come together, put aside their individual interests, and rally behind the collective goals of the team.
The other major question is who will run the team from the point. The most natural option is a true sophomore in just his first season beyond junior boarding school, and while there is no denying Donovan Love’s unique talent, that’s a huge jump for any youngster to make.
That means that guys like Bryant, Dawkins, and Turner might all have an opportunity to play with the ball in their hands, while the basketball I.Q. of players like Leblanc and Pate will become all the more important.
While there are certainly questions and challenges, more than anything else there is opportunity. The squad has depth, versatility, and talent along with a veteran core to provide leadership and so they should have as good a chance as anyone of challenging for this year’s AAA championship.