There were two quality gatherings of prep schools over the weekend. In the Northeast, and in Woodstock, Va at Massanutten Academy. College coaches from all over the country flocked to the gyms, scouting out talent, talking to kids, frankly, they won’t get, and kids who can help them turnaround programs.
Over the weekend, I saw a great story over the weekend about the kids who aren’t five-star prospects, but the guys who every team needs to be successful. Ironically,those guys are more likely to stay in one place for four years as opposed to the star high school guy, who when a certain amount of lip balm isn’t applied to his rear end, says I’m out of here and headed to stop number two.
Prep schools are great way for youngsters to get AWAY from home and the hangers on who often help lead to kids making bad decisions on where they want to go. Most times its because a coach or ADVISER (define how you wish) has a relationship with a school, not the player. Most Prep schools have great avenues to a school if a kid really wants to go to school.
The track record of an A.W. Hamilton at Hargrave speaks for itself. They play a great schedule, help kids get grades in order, and his current roster has commits to Virginia Tech, Minnesota, UMKC, and two to Wake Forest.
The host Massanutten has Zac Grossenbacher headed to Wofford, and multiple recruits, being courted by division I schools. Bryan Harris has an A-10 commitment, and Terry Brutus, Corban Collins, Dwayne Foreman, Cody Joyce and Chase McEwen have all fielded calls from division-I staffs. Believe Prep had Henry Uwadiae headed to Wichita State. Queen City Prep featured Arnold Okechukwu going to Vanderbilt.
Most prep schools play national schedules, gaining exposure for the kids all across the country. The schedule gets the kids exposed to many different coaches and programs, and frankly is the way a kid should go if they feel they are a legitimate prospect for the division I level.
On to the schools who will look to secure some of these young men.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Former George Mason coach Jim Larranaga managed to stay calm while his team melted down the stretch blowing a 16-point lead and allowing Duke to get into overtime at Cameron Indoor Stadium. However, I think it’s because of that calm. no panic, demeanor, that Miami was able to win in overtime. Reggie Johnson was a beast for the Hurricanes and for a guy who is coming off surgery, is just really getting into basketball shape.
Pittsburgh, given up for dead, have really rallied behind a healthy Tray Woodall. He has been brilliant, and wins over Georgetown and Villanova later, the Panthers are headed back toward the tourney radar. I still think late collpase at DePaul could come back to haunt them.
DePaul needs to move to the Horizon they are not making progress in the Big East.
Georgetown and Virginia remained the only locals ranked in both polls this week. The Hoyas locked down South Florida Saturday, 75-45 and face Syracuse on Wednesday night. Paging Markell Starks, the Hoyas will have to have some long range knock down from someone other than Jason Clark to win the game.
Maryland had as a good an effort as they could muster against a more talented North Carolina team Saturday. However, please stop complaining about the John Henson dunk at the end of the game, I’m sure Roy Williams has already handled it. You look less classy when you complain publicly about it, than he did for doing it. As I have stated here before, Mark Turgeon has gotten more mileage than anyone thought this year. They will make life miserable for someone early in the ACC Tournament.
Loyola is 17-5, and 11-2 in MAAC play. The MAAC tournament may be the best tournament of all the post-season ventures. Five teams could win what many people thought would be the IONA invitational early this year. Friday night is a huge game in the MAAC as Loyola hosts Iona at 7pm. “People don’t realize how good the job Steve Masiello has done at Manhattan this year. He’s a rising star in our profession,” said one MAAC Assistant coach this weekend. Manhattan has been a major surprise in the MAAC.
George Mason just keeps winning. However, Drexel and VCU are also finding their strides as well. I still think as long as the GMU and VCU keep winning and split regular season match ups and play in CAA final, the Colonial could get two bids. This could be a ridiculous tournament also. I mean, do you really want to play ODU or Georgia State in the quarters? Circle February 14 for VCU at GMU.
George Washington remains hard to figure. Two straight nice wins against Richmond and Charlotte have now followed four straight losses, including an excruciating 59-58 loss to Xavier.