Prep Profile - Northfield Mount Hermon
While some prep schools have yet to arrive on campus, Northfield Mount Hermon is now well into their second week, which allowed us an early look at a program that has been a model of consistency over the years.
The 2012 and 2013 campaigns were certainly the pinnacle of NMH basketball, winning NEPSAC AAA and National Prep Championships in consecutive seasons, but perhaps even more impressive is the fact that they’ve advanced to the Final Four of both the NEPSAC and National tournaments in each of the last three years.
If NMH is going to keep that streak alive this year, they’re going to do it with the youngest roster in Class AAA.
There are only four seniors returning to the program – A.J. Brodeur, Ian Sistare, Nick Seretta and Patrick Racy – supplemented by incoming post-graduate David Reynolds. The rest of the roster is comprised of six juniors, six sophomores and a freshman.
Brodeur will step into a role of leadership this year. The 6-foot-8 forward had a breakout junior season for NMH, taking his recruitment to the highest levels in the process before committing to Penn earlier this summer. He’ll have to be even better this year, not just as a focal point of the team’s offense, but also as a key rebounder and interior defender as this year’s NMH squad lacks the true centers we’ve seen in year’s past.
Sistare will also be asked to play a major leadership role this year as the longest tenured member of the roster. He’ll be a jack of all trades for the club as a key perimeter defender and versatile guard who will look to pass on his toughness and competitive spirit to the youngsters and newcomers on the team.
Seretta has been arguably the best player in NMH’s open gyms through the first two weeks of action. Coming off another successful summer, and his first division I scholarship offer from Manhattan, he’s playing with a lot of confidence along with his trademark power and aggression.
Racy too seems to have made nice strides since last season, looking noticeably stronger than a year ago, will the addition of Reynolds provides a skilled and heady forward to help solidify the frontcourt rotation.
While NMH’s 2016 class leads the way, their junior class is one of their most talented in a long time. Tomas Murphy and Jerome Desrosiers return while they will be joined by Kellan Grady, Andrew Platek, Matt DeWolf, Matt Donahue and Jordan Sechan.
Murphy has had a strong start to the fall and looks like the favorite to start next to Brodeur up front while Desrosiers could both play next to him at the three or provide another option at the four. DeWolf may be the closest thing the team has to a five-man, so he should see minutes from day one, while Donahue becomes the last of the sharp-shooting string of brothers to arrive in Northfield and Sechan another sharp-shooter from deep.
The junior backcourt of Grady and Platek will be as important to this team as anyone though. Grady has made great strides in the last two years, but now he’s going to be asked to be a full time point guard against the highest level of competition in the country, and while some growing pains are inevitable, his ability to make that transition will go a long way towards determining the success of this year.
Platek is a knock-down shooter with a ton of confidence and experience after starring with the City Rocks on the EYBL circuit. He’s going to have to learn to rein it in and show better shot-selection and decision making, yet still find a balance between being aggressive, since he might be the most natural scorer on the team.
Chuck Hannah, Calvin Whipple and Akeil Shakoor return in the sophomore class and are joined by Nate Laszewski and Zach Light. Whipple looked very good the day we were in the NMH open gym while Hannah, who was out with a minor injury, is expected to play serious minutes up front. The potential star of the group though is Laszewski, who combines great perimeter size with a great shooting stroke. He landed on the high-major radar this summer and while there are numerous areas he still needs to improve, he looks to be making a fairly seamless transition to prep school life and may even find himself in contention for a starting spot once the season rolls around.
Maxwell Lorca-Lloyd is the team’s only freshmen and will challenge for the #1 ranking in the 2019 class. He won’t be physically ready to compete with the grown men you see inside the paint in AAA just yet, but he might just have to be thrown into the fire nonetheless as his length, athleticism and agility could be too valuable to keep off the floor.
All in all, this is an undeniably young, but equally talented, NMH team. While they may lack the size we’ve seen up front in the past, they have terrific positional size in the backcourt and the ability to get up and down the court in a hurry. That tempo will be a key factor as they look to keep up with the legacy of their predecessors while building towards what could be another two-year run similar to what we saw in 2012 and 2013.