Prep Profile - Northfield Mount Hermon
We begin our annual prep profiles series with a look at the defending AAA champions, Northfield Mount Hermon, where they return 12 players from last year’s championship team.
Of those 12 players, 7 are seniors and four already off the board as Andrew Platek has committed to North Carolina, Kellan Grady to Davidson, Tomas Murphy to Northeastern and Jerome Desrosiers to Princeton.
The tandem of Platek and Grady, which started together in the backcourt last year, figures to be the foundation of the team again this year, while junior forward Nate Laszewski returns after claiming last year’s NEPSAC Tournament MVP in just his sophomore campaign.
A year ago, Grady was just beginning to transition from a two-guard into a true point. Now, that’s transformation is essentially complete and so he’ll have both the ball and the keys to the offense in his hands this year. Platek stands out as perhaps the very best shooter on a team full of shot-makers, but is just as important with his toughness and competitiveness. Laszewski provides a big perimeter forward and another player capable of making threes in bunches as was evident when he dropped 15 long-balls over the course of two games last March.
Desrosiers and Murphy will lead the way up front while fellow senior Matt DeWolf provides a more traditional center and post option as well as a still uncommitted division I prospect in the 2017 class.
Desrosiers is coming off a very successful travel season, characterized by great efficiency, and is undoubtedly one of the resident leaders here in his fourth season at NMH. Murphy has some new wrinkles to his game after spending the summer playing against FIBA competition. He’s well-known for his prowess inside the paint but showed some extending shooting range and even some face-up playmaking ability in the open gym we watched. Dewolf provides some size and strength on the inside with his blue collar mentality and expanding skill set.
Fellow seniors Matt Donahue and Jordan Sechan could both see increased minutes in the backcourt this year. Donahue is a zone-buster type with the ability to make shots in bunches while Sechan has made significant progress in the last year and evolved into more of a true point guard.
Hannah has made significant progress in the last year and is coming off a terrific grassroots season. A throwback style four-man, he makes his living from 15-feet and in and is, pound-for-found, as tough and productive a player as you’ll find in that range. Light brings a similar DNA to the perimeter where his toughness is his calling card along with a high I.Q. and strong body. Whipple has a similarly college ready frame that he combines with good shot-making ability from behind the arc.
The junior class also features three newcomers who could play important roles this season. Kai Toews, a transfer from Bridgton Academy, will team with Platek and Grady to form a lethal three-guard rotation, while distinguishing himself with his high I.Q. and ultra-crafty floor game. Davis Franks is another ball-handler and facilitator, except at 6-foot-7 he provides lots of versatility to the frontcourt. Meanwhile Simon Chamberlain is a 6-foot-7 knockdown shooter from Canada.
Maxwell Lorca-Lloyd is back for his sophomore year and ready to start turning potential into production on a more consistent basis while Brian Bennett, Darius Ervin and Garrett Kirk form an incoming freshman trio that is set to gain valuable experience this season.
In total, this is an NMH team that has the sheer talent and depth to match-up up with absolutely anyone in the country. Their greatest assets however might actually be their experience and continuity --- the bottom line, when you’re the defending champs and you return 12 players, you’re probably the favorite until someone proves otherwise.