The Best Left on the Board – Face-up Fours | Monday, February 4th, 2008

The Best Left on the Board – Face-up Fours

The game is changing.  Very few teams currently rely on conventional line-ups that feature two post players inside of three perimeter players.  Instead, most teams play with four “guards” or perimeter players around a single post.  While this has helped to make the game quicker and more high scoring, it has also eliminated the need for so many true big men.  Consequently, bigger players are now stepping to the perimeter as face-up fours or forwards. 

With this position in such high demand, New England has already seen several of these types of players commit.  That list includes: Allan Chaney (Florida); Devin Hill (DePaul); Jake O’Brien (Boston University); Mike Howlett (Pennsylvania); Patrick Saunders (Princeton); Greg Mangano (Yale); Andrew Van Nest (Harvard); Ryan Olander (Fairfield); and Josh Riddle (Dartmouth) among others. 

But there is still plenty of talent left available.  Check out the list of face-up fours still on the board: 

Kellen Thornton – Brewster Academy (NH):  In truth, Thornton has the versatility to play either as a face-up four or a wing.  While his game is based on his perimeter abilities, his size (6’7”) would allow him to guard many opposing power forwards.  He is also a phenomenal athlete who would be great in a transition system. 

T.J. Robinson – St. Thomas More (CT):  Similar to Thornton, Robinson could also be considered a wing by many.  However, this top notch athlete definitely does his best work in close proximity to the rim, although you will rarely see him playing with his back to the basket. 

Genesis Maciel – Worcester Academy (MA):  Maciel is an extremely skilled big man who is equally comfortable shooting from the perimeter or on the low post, where he has a very crafty overall game.  Some mid-major coaches are very intrigued by him so don’t be surprised if he ends up going to that level. 

Branden Doughty – St. Thomas More (CT):  He could also be considered a traditional big.  While he is comfortable from the high post knocking down the 15 footer he is also a threat in the paint with a developing jump hook shot. 

Andrew McCarthy – Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols (MA):  McCarthy has been limited by a back injury for the better part of the year.  Before he went down he was hearing from schools as big as Michigan.  Look for him to go to prep school and continue draining shots from the perimeter with his southpaw stroke. 

Brian Hanuschak – St. Andrew’s (Barrington, RI):  Hanuschak can beat defenders inside and out.  With a good shooting stroke he can make shots from the three-point line and is terrific at the high post.  He also has some deceptive athleticism that allows him to throw down some powerful dunks. 

Justin Johnson – Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, NH):  Johnson gives Brewster Academy Head Coach Jason Smith a quality option off the bench.  With his combination of size (6’8”) and skills he is the prototypical mismatch problem as he has to be guarded on the perimeter and in the paint. 

Samer Jassar – Lee Academy (ME):  The Israeli native has a good skill set, a high basketball I.Q., and a tough and hard-nosed approach for the game.  Consequently it isn’t hard to figure out why he has been a significant contributor for Lee Academy as well as someone who has generated plenty of interest among college coaches. 

George Jgerenaia – MCI (ME):  The key word with Jgerenaia is potential.  Anyone who stands at 6’11” and can put the ball on the floor or shoot it from the perimeter with equal efficiency certainly has a lot of talent, now it is just a matter of putting it together consistently. 

Others:  Aloysius Henry – MCI (ME); Brian Fitzpatrick – Xavier HS (CT); Matt Welch – Lowell HS (MA); Robert Harrigan – St. Joseph’s HS (CT); Marco Radovic – Proctor Academy (NH).