Thursday, December 4, 2008

2008-09 boys high school basketball preview - large schools

Hopefully you picked up a hard copy of our preseason boys basketball teams, but for posterity's sake, here is a digital version.

The Record's
2008-09 large school boys basketball preseason preview:

Top 10 teams
1. Bishop Maginn – The Griffins won the New York State Class AA championship a season ago and they are still the team to beat in Section II. Junior guard Taran Buie and senior point guard Bunduka Kargbo comprise the smartest and most athletic backcourt in Section II.
"(Bunduka) is a team-first guy, a defense-first type of player," head coach Rich Hurley said. "He always looks to pass first and score second, plus he’s so strong and physical."
Ten new players join the mix this season, including a handful from Maginn’s undefeated JV team. Terron Victoria, Antonio Davis, Shimeek Johonson and Khaliq Gross - all college players this season- were crucial members of last year’s team and new players will need to emerge to fill those roles.
With Kargbo and Buie in the backcourt and James Torres powering his way through the paint, it looks like the Griffins are headed for another unstoppable run through the Big 10 and beyond.

2. Albany Academy – It’s fitting that the school abbreviat¬ed as ‘AA’ finally gets a chance to compete in Class AA. The Cadets, who went on an undefeated run through the Colonial Council last season, will compete as an independent team in 2008-09.
Point guard Jimmer Bennett is the all-time leading wide receiver in Section II football history and he is the key to the Academy offense. Big man Chris Pelcher, who will play his college ball at Iona, will be a force in the interior. Shooting guard Jamel Fields and small forward Tyler Foster round out a sharp shooting squad.
While the Cadets are full of talent, the question remains – can they com¬pete at the Class AA level? Albany Academy advanced to the Section II Class A championship game a year ago, but fell to Bishop Gibbons of the Big 10. Gibbons, a very small school enrollment-wise, toughened itself up playing against Class AA competition in the Big 10 and the Golden Knights zoomed through their Class A opponents in Sectionals.
"We don’t have any league to prepare us for sectionals this year," said head coach Brian Fruscio. "But we put our schedule together to try and play against as many AA schools as possible."

3. Colonie – The Garnet Raiders are going to have one tena¬cious frontcourt this season. Forwards Herb Tedford, Sean Peer and Mike Branche are as ferocious on the glass as any group in Section II.
Colonie, however, needs to find a replacement for shooting guard Tashan Newsome, who is playing Division I basketball for Mississippi Valley State.
Kyle Mafrici, Kraig Arnold and Colin Mooney all figure to contribute in the backcourt for Colonie this season.
"We’re a good team on paper," said Colonie head coach Doug Kilmer. "It’s just a matter of reaching our potential. We have good size and good chemistry."

4. Bishop Gibbons – The Golden Knights are the defending Section II Class A champions, pulling off an upset of sorts over Albany Academy in the title game last winter.
Brian Hamor is back and he promises to be one of the most exciting players to watch in the Big 10. He averaged 17.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7 assists per game last season, earning third team All-Area accolades from The Record.
The Golden Knights are clearly the team to beat in Class A but Lansingburgh and Suburban Council teams such as Mohonasen and Burnt Hills will certainly have something to say about that when sectionals begin.

5. Schenectady – Derrick Millinghaus a sophomore, showed flashes of brilliance last season as a ninth grader. He came on strong at the end of the 2007-08 season after starting the year as a role player. After spending time with the Albany City Rocks in AAU action, Millinghaus should be a major threat in the Big 10.
The Patriots would love to get back to the glory days of Schenectady basketball and to do so they’ll need senior leadership from forwards Mark Blair and Rashard Taylor. Schenectady won New York State Class A championships in 2001 and 1998.
"They have a lot of size and quickness and I think they’ll be back into the swing of things, just like old times," said Catholic Central head coach Blain Goverski.

6. Saratoga Springs – Jordan Stevens, who has committed to Holy Cross, hopes to make the most of his senior season. A broken hand sidelined him during the middle of his junior campaign and the Blue Streaks were just not the same team without him, as they struggled to a 6-15 finish.
When he did play, Stevens averaged 22.5 points per game and few defenders in the Suburban Council will be able to keep up with him.
"It’s tough every single night in the Suburban," said head coach Mitch Snyder. "Every team we play absolutely, positively poses a challenge for us."

7. Lansingburgh – It’s going to be a new-look team on the north side of Troy this season, as seniors Jared Teta and Haneef Scott are expected to fill the shoes of three players lost to graduation. Connor Gallo and Matt Harte led the Knights to a second-place finish in the Colonial Council, but are in the collegiate ranks now.
Tyler Hammett, who stands 6-foot-9, is back in uniform for the Knights after missing last season with knee trouble. He could be an immediate presence in the post in the Colonial Council when he rounds into basketball shape.
"I don’t see an easy game on the schedule," said Lansingburgh head coach Guy DiBacco. "There is a lot of experience in the league."
A tough non-league schedule includes a home-and-home set with Academy and berths in the Averill Park and Kirvin Cup (Mohonasen High) Tournaments. The Knights, who struggled in non-league games last season, should be well-primed for a Section II tournament run.

8. CBA – Another team hard-hit by senior losses, underclassmen Kameron Ritter and Gelal Cancer will need to fill a hole in the backcourt left by Malcolm Austin.
DeAndre Kennedy-Ebron, who had been solid under the hoop for the Brothers in recent years, also graduated, leaving another vacancy for CBA. Someone will have to provide the 15.3 points per game he contributed.
But the Brothers are always well-coached and as long as they get leadership from senior center Andrew Stire, the Brothers should still find themselves towards the top of the Big 10 standings.

9. Catholic Central – Gerard Jacques and Denzel Pasqual will need to be big players for the Crusaders this season as last year’s big three - Jordan Gettings, Devin Grimes and Chris Bouchard – were all lost to graduation. Jacques and Pasqual are both skilled guards with explosive potential.
Andrew Clement will man the post and he has two years of varsity experience as a role player under his belt and Kevin Wilkes scored 20 points on Saturday in a loss to Albany Academy.
"There will be a lot of opportunities for our young guys," head coach Blain Goverski said. "We have a good junior class and probably five guys up from our JV team are going to get a lot of chances."

10. Troy – The Flying Horses might not have a go-to guy for scoring points, but they plan on shutting teams down with a furious defense.
Dan McClaren, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, is a team captain and will lead Troy’s rebounding in the paint. Seniors Zach Dolan and Steve Seebald also return and will give the Horses a physical presence. Sophomore point guard Dan Dahaney is back and looks to take the Flying Horses back to the Class AA semifinals – and beyond.
"With some of the offensive firepower in the Big 10, it’s going to be tough," said Troy head coach Jeff Sitterly. "We might be the underdog every night, but as a team, I think we’re going to play pretty good defense."

Preseason Dream Team

Taran Buie
6-foot-2, junior, guard
Bishop Maginn

Buie averaged 16.4 points per game for the state champion Griffins in 2007-08, but it was his defense that sparked a comeback in Bishop Maginn’s crucial 54-52 victory over Mount Vernon in the state Class AA semifinals.
Major Division I colleges such as Notre Dame, the University of Maryland and Georgia Tech, among others, are all clamoring for Buie to suit up for them beginning in the fall of 2010.
He’s grown about an inch and gained approximately 10 pounds since his sophomore season. While he is recuperating from an injury sustained in workouts this fall, Buie knows he has an additional responsibility this season: team leader.
"We’re still counting on him to have a big year for us," Bishop Maginn head coach Rich Hurley said. "He’s been part of the program for two years and we’ve asked him to be a leader on and off the court. The only thing he’s experienced is winning in the last two years."

Jamel Fields
6-foot-2, junior, guard
Albany Academy

Fields is an athletic guard with a great drive to the basket and he led the Cadets to the Section II Class A championship game a season ago. Now that his former teammate Shavar Fields is gone, Jamel will be relied on more than ever for his scoring ability and knack to hit the big shots.
"Jamel was named to the preseason 2k Sports New York All-Stars top five players outside of New York City," said Albany Academy head coach Brian Fruscio. "Only Jamel and Taran Buie were picked from this area, so it’s quite an honor."
Buie and Fields were among 21 high school players from around the Empire State honored at halftime of the Coaches vs Cancer Tournament NCAA championship game at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21.
The reigning Colonial Council MVP averaged 18.6 points per game and was a third team All-Area selection by The Record in 2007-08.

Jordan Stevens
6-foot-5, senior, small forward
Saratoga Springs

Stevens missed nearly half of last sea¬son with a broken hand, but averaged 22.5 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks per game when he played.
He has signed a letter of intent to play at Holy Cross and will be suiting up in the Division I Patriot League next fall.
Stevens has already scored 1,401 points in his varsity career and he’s not only looking to add to that total, but also to take the Blue Streaks deep into the Section II Class AA playoffs.
"He’s excited to have his decision made and he’s glad that’s over," said Saratoga head coach Mitch Snyder. "It’s relaxing to him to know he can sit back and have some fun in a Saratoga uniform this year."

Herb Tedford
6-foot-6, senior, power forward
Tedford, an All-Area honorable mention selection by The Record last season, was a big reason why the Garnet Raiders advanced to the Section II Class AA semifinals. He is rangy and aggressive on the boards, but his game also features a deadly jump shot he can hit from anywhere inside the three-point arc.
"He’s a huge, very good, experienced kid," said Averill Park head coach Dave Pugliese. "He’s going to be a handful."
Alongside fellow forward Sean Peer, Tedford has the Garnet Raiders expecting to be one of the teams to beat in the Suburban Council.
"Tedford and (Sean) Peer give Colonie a nice 1-2 punch," said Saratoga head coach Mitch Snyder. "(Tedford) shoots the midrange well and he’s a real tough-nosed kid who hits the boards hard."

Chris Pelcher
6-foot-9, senior, center
Albany Academy
Pelcher will graduate from Albany Academy next summer, but he will be a frequent visitor to the Capital Region in the years to come, having signed his letter of intent with Iona College, a MAAC rival of Siena College.
There is no other big man in the region quite like him and very rarely do opponents have an adequate matchup for him.
"He’s signed and he is going to have a big year for us," Albany Academy head coach Brian Fruscio said. "He’s been working himself into good shape and really worked on his skills. He’s extended his jump shot out to about 17 feet and he’s going to be tough to guard."
Pelcher scored 45 points and snared 26 rebounds in two games played at the Catholic Central Roundball Classic last weekend, earning tournament MVP honors.

Second string
PG Bunduka Kargbo, Bishop Maginn
SG Chris Hooks, Shaker
SF Brian Hamor, Bishop Gibbons
PF James Torres, Bishop Maginn
C Andrew Stire, CBA

-- Compiled by Will Montgomery

Notes: The 2008-09 girls previews will run in Friday's edition of The Record.
We do not consider players or teams from the Adirondack League, Western Athletic Conference or teams outside our coverage area.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

The following comments represent views of the individuals making the comments. Comments are screened only to keep out spam and uncivil behavior. All opinions are welcome.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home