Prep Profile - Worcester Academy
A new day has dawn in Worcester Academy basketball history. Longtime head coach Ed Reilly has stepped back to concentrate on his duties as the school’s athletic director and turned the reigns of his program over to assistant Jamie Sullivan.
While Sullivan will undoubtedly utilize his years of experience at Reilly’s side to his benefit, his blueprint for building the program moving forward is slightly different than we’ve seen in Worcester in recent years.
The 2011-2012 team will be the youngest we’ve seen in quite some time. With only one post-graduate on the roster, this team has been built for longevity and continuity moving forward as Sullivan’s biggest additions have come with underclassmen like Rene Castro and Matt Cimino.
The team’s greatest strength will be in the backcourt where Castro will join two returning starters from last season, Olivier Paul Betu and Ausar Madison. Together the trio will afford Sullivan the versatility to play small and fast or go with a three guard rotation without a chink in the armor.
Ben Mesuda will add a fourth dangerous guard to the line-up as the junior from Albany appears poised to contribute right away.
While the firepower may lie in the backcourt, Worcester’s success this season is likely to be decided up front where the talent is no less impressive, just a little younger.
Just a sophomore, Cimino will be asked to grow up quickly and make a big contribution right from day one. Fellow sophomore Tyriek McCauley will be asked to do the same while freshman Sam Joquin may need to contribute some minutes as well.
The most productive forward we saw the day we watched was junior Thomas Rivard. Still young for 2013 prep standards since he has never repeated, Rivard is just starting to turn the corner physically and playing a much more assertive floor game than he was a year ago.
Andrew Scocca will also be heavily depended on. The team’s lone post-graduate, Scocca brings a much needed physical presence up front, not to mention a deceptive skill set on the perimeter. Also don’t forget about Canaan Severin, the one-time basketball prospect who is now in the fast lane to high-major college football, but looking forward to his final season on the hardwood.
From top to bottom, Jamie Sullivan’s first squad at Worcester Academy is built on talent, speed, and quickness. They’ll be an undeniable threat in class AA this year and build towards a potentially very bright future with the core of their team intact beyond just the 2011-2012 season.