Prep Profile – Vermont Academy

New England Recruiting Report | Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Prep Profile – Vermont Academy

Whether it was Class B of the NEPSAC or Class AA since the realignment of 2010, this is the first time in recent memory that the league hasn’t had a heavy pre-season favorite.  

That’s good news for Vermont Academy, a program that has been making steady inroads under head coach Jesse Bopp, now in his third season in Saxtons River.  

The 2011-2012 Vermont Academy squad was built with a clear purpose…to be able to compete with the most talented teams in the NEPSAC.  The 2012-2013 edition of the group has similar aspirations, but they’re going about it in much different ways.  

Dominic Woodson has moved on to Huntington Prep and Jamel Artis and Donnele Munda are at Notre Dame Prep.  There is no replacing the sheer size or potential physical dominance that Woodson provided in the middle, but then again there is no Nerlens Noel or Kaleb Tarczewski to try and contend with in the league this year.  

Instead Vermont will rely on a pair of big men to anchor their team inside the paint.  Hassan Hussein is a skilled six-foot-eight pivot from Washington D.C. and the D.C. Assault travel program.  His counterpart, six-foot-seven George Funtarov, ran with Kansas City Pump n’Run, and provides another skilled asset in the frontcourt capable of producing both inside and out.  

While the plan up front may be a little different his time around, the backcourt has a similar look despite some new faces.  

One face that isn’t new is that of senior guard Daquein McNeil, who returns for his third season at the school.  McNeil was part of Bopp’s first team at Vermont Academy and will be looking to bring his team to unprecedented success in his final go round.  

McNeil is a scoring combo-guard, not dissimilar to New Hampshire native Dimitri Floras, who is in his first season in Vermont after transferring from Merrimack High School in New Hampshire.  Without a true point guard on the roster, the duo is likely to split the majority of the ball-handling responsibilities, while continuing to look for their own individual offense.    

Six-foot-four swingman Rich Williams is among the team’s most notable newcomers and should be one of the group’s most consistent scoring threats.  Williams is coming off a big summer running with the New York Lightning and is the type of guy who is capable of putting points on the board in both the open floor as well as the quarter court.  

His efforts will be supplemented by Marcel White, a six-foot-five post-grad from Florida.  White is a superior looking athlete with a chiseled frame.  He was battling some lingering injuries the day we visiting the Vermont Academy gym, and so in many ways he’s the X-factor for this group.  If his athleticism lives up to its reputation, then he’ll add another dimension to an already dangerous group.  

With a rock solid six man rotation, Vermont Academy has the core of a contender this year.  Just how far that will take them will depend on their ability to come together as a unit, stay healthy, and get contributions from their bench.  

Here’s a video recap of the Vermont Academy open gym provided by Ballas TV.