What a Difference a Year Makes

NewEnglandRecruitingReport.com | Friday, November 9th, 2007

In the next ten days the New England Recruiting Report will publish our updated rankings that will include all of the players that have arrived in the region since the beginning of the high school and prep school season. 

And while rankings are always a fun way to project a player’s efficiency at the next level, ultimately they are only a hypothesis. 

With that in mind, today we take a look back at the class of 2007 and see how some of those players did during the first weekend of the college basketball season.  While some teams haven’t even suited up for there first regular season game yet, lots of New England products were already able to turn in excellent performances.   

Michael Beasley picked up right where he left off last year…at the top.  The Notre Dame Prep alum staked his claim as perhaps this year’s version of Kevin Durant with a 32 point and Big 12 record setting 24 rebound performance to lead his Kansas State team to a 94-63 win over Sacramento State. 

Rakim Sanders made everyone at St. Andrew’s proud as he scored 22 points on 9 of 18 shooting while starting at shooting guard for Boston College and playing 35 minutes of action.  Sanders also grabbed 6 rebounds and handed out two assists to lead his team (who was missing two starters) to a 67-55 victory over the University of New Hampshire.  UNH got strong play from two local products as well as Worcester Academy’s Dane DiLiegro started at center and played 35 minutes while scoring 7 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and blocking 2 shots.  Massachusetts native Alvin Abreu knocked down two three-pointers and scored 10 points in 19 minutes. 

Malcolm Grant was the first guard off the bench for Villanova and he made good use of his 27 minutes as he scored 16 points on 4-6 shooting from the floor.  The Winchendon alum also took excellent care of the basketball as he did not have one turnover throughout the game. 

Brewster Academy’s Craig Brackins got the starting nod at power forward for Iowa State.  He made the most out of his opportunity as he picked up a double-double in his first college game grabbing 13 rebounds in addition to 10 points to help Iowa State defeat Winston-Salem 58-46. 

Duquesne scored perhaps the nation’s biggest victory of the weekend with a 129-59 win over Howard, and they got two big performances from Notre Dame Prep and Waterbury Connecticut’s Damian Saunders along with Worcester Academy’s Bill Clark.  Saunders got an early jump on A-10 rookie of the month honors as he scored 19 points on 8-10 shooting, handed out 6 assists, grabbed 4 rebounds, blocked a shot, and picked up 2 steals.  Clark got the starting nod at small forward and finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. 

Overall, the class of 2007 did New England proud in their first weekend of college basketball.  And with others getting ready for their first game in the upcoming days, it appears as if there is only going to be more to come.