Top Ten Continues in Massachusetts
A lot can change in a year.
Now, Birch and Murphy have both reclassified to 2011 and are heading to college next year at Pittsburgh and Duke respectively. Meanwhile another battle has begun for the state’s top billing, this time between Kaleb Tarczewski and Ricardo Ledo.
While Murphy and Birch was hard to decipher, Ledo/Tarczewski is even more difficult given the vast differences in their position and game. Both are among the top prospects in the entire country and being recruited by the very highest levels of college basketball.
Perhaps the only quantifiable comparison is which is being more dominant and even that question has gone both ways in the last six months. We gave that edge to Ledo throughout the prep school season as he couldn’t have been much better in November and December. But Tarczewski has been on a tear to start the grassroots season and consequently debuts in the top spot. But this is a debate that we expect to rage on for the next year as both players are capable of out-playing anyone in the country on any given day.
The battle for the third spot is similarly tight with two sharp-shooting guards making good cases in Myles Davis and Nikolas Stauskas. Both proved themselves to be more than one dimensional shot-makers this season as Davis showed off a much improved mid-range game and even ran some point for Notre Dame while Stauskas had a tremendous season, showing deceptive creativity with his dribble along with some big time bounce to match his long-ball. Ultimately, Stauskas was probably the more impressive of the two during the prep season but Davis has opened the grassroots season with great success.
Jake Layman is the MIAA’s top prospect and ranked fifth overall in the state of Massachusetts. Still just scratching the surface of his potential, Layman is a long and athletic forward with some big time upside and has the potential to crack the top three before it is all said and done.
Sixth ranked Evan Cummins finished his junior year at NMH with a steady dose of high-major interest. The Westboro, Massachusetts native has improved by leaps and bounds in the last two years and emerged into one of the region’s top four-men as a result.
One guy who is showing signs of having a breakout summer is seventh ranked Akosa Maduegbunam. The Charlestown product made a name for himself early in his career with his explosiveness and athleticism but has quickly developed the skills to match. If he puts it all together on a consistent basis this summer his stock will rise accordingly.
The eighth spot belongs to NMH forward Tommy Carpenter. Perhaps the most versatile six-foot-seven player you will find in the class of 2011, Carpenter actually played some point guard for NMH this year while showing he could play four different positions on the floor.
Notre Dame Prep’s Sam Cassell Jr. checks in at nine. Another guy who sacrificed his individual offense on a loaded Notre Dame squad this year only to break out for the start of the grassroots season, Cassell has been making quite a name for himself in the last month.
Rounding out the top ten is Connecticut native Ethan ODay who gives NMH their third representative on this list. O’Day came a long way during his first prep year, ultimately giving the team a big boost down the stretch of their season. But he can’t get too comfortable as there are a number of talented prospects on the heels of the top ten including Demitry Coronell, Adam Bramanti, and Olivier Paul Betu.