St. Andrews the Story in Rhode Island 2011
Two years ago when the class of 2011 first arrived on the scene as freshmen, they looked poised to be one of the best classes to come through Rhode Island in recent years.
At the time Alex Murphy was starring for Prout High School in his freshmen season, putting up big numbers and literally playing all five positions on the floor. Over at Hendricken, a young guard named Ricardo Ledo was showing some signs of having a bright future for the reigning state champions.
Two years later the class of 2011 is, candidly, a weak one by recruiting standards in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League as both Murphy and Ledo have moved on to prep school and reclassified to the class of 2012 while no one else has emerged on college coach’s radars just yet.
Speaking of prep school, Rhode Island’s perennial powerhouse program, St. Andrew’s, has a deep and talented junior class that features four of the state’s top five college prospects.
Syracuse bound Michael Carter-Williams has a firm hold on the top spot. After going down in St. Andrew’s first game of the season and subsequently missing the next six weeks, the long and skilled guard didn’t seem to miss a beat when he returned last week in the Saints trip to Nevada, earning all tournament recognition at the Findlay Prep Classic after dropping 28 points and 12 assists on Westwind Prep from Arizona.
His teammate Michael Laplante is second. Laplante was a hard man to find last summer but he’s shown some signs of growth in his second season in the red and white, and has started to regenerate some buzz among college coaches with his long and bouncy frame.
Newly arrived Aboubacar Casse is third. The six-foot-five swingman is far more raw than Carter-Williams and Laplante but he has the talent and raw potential to eventually develop into a very good player.
Dante Gomes recently made the move to Burrillville High School. Gomes is an explosive guard with a ton of natural tools and talent who needs to grow up quickly in order to capitalize on it.
Rounding out the top five is Myles Brilhante, who has been tremendously efficient thus far this season for head coach Mike Hart, drawing interest from scholarship level schools in the process.
Coming in at number six is Cranston West's Brian Yarce, who has emerged as perhaps the best pure point guard in all of the RIIL.
Seventh belongs to another point guard in Nate Stitchell. Standing only five-feet and seven-inches off the ground, Stitchell doesn't have ideal size to play at the next level but nonetheless provides a big impact for Coventry High School.
Coming in at number eight is Zach Wells a six-foot-five big man from Westerly High School who is one of the RIIL's top big men under the boards.
Ultimately, we are all too aware that these Rhode Island rankings will undoubtedly awake the conspiracy theorists with their "prep favortism" banter, but the plain matter of fact is that the when it comes to college basketball prospects, the best the state of Rhode Island has to offer in 2011 is located in Barrington at St. Andrew's.