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March Madness 2018 (New England)

The 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is lined up with the nation’s best teams in hopes of winning a national title. Hoop Dreams Magazine takes an in-depth look at which prospects have a chance to make a major impact and what teams have a chance to make deep run in the tournament.

We start with the Kansas Jayhawks and the Big 12 Player of the Year Devonte Graham. The Jayhawks are #1 seed in the Midwest region that open up the tournament against Penn. Graham comes leading the charge as a Naismith Player of the Year finalist. Graham comes in averaging 17 points and almost 8 assists per contest. With Graham anchoring this offense the Jayhawks could see themselves in the final 4.

Jared Terrell, Andre Berry and Jarvis Garrett will hope to help the Rhode Island Rams out of the 1st round for a second round match up against Duke. Last time the two clubs met were in December of 2016 where the Blue Devils got the best of the Rams with a 75-65 win. The three seniors and former New England student athletes would love to have a win over Duke added to their list of accomplishments. Terrell, the Rams leading scorer at 17 points a game will be looked towards closing out his senior in a big way.

Staying within the A-10 conference Kellan Grady of Davidson continues his freshmen campaign. Coming off of an A-10 tournament title and conference Rookie of the Year, Grady has a tough first round match up against the Kentucky Wildcats.

Matt Mobley and Idris Taqqee make up a group of seniors that help and experienced St. Bonaventure’s team pose as a threat. Taqqee does the work on the glass while Mobley contributes his high level scoring and combined the duo keeps the Bonnies flowing.

As the team’s leading scorer, Seton Hall will need Myles Powell and his perimeter shooting to help the Pirates out of and up and down end to the season. Powell’s and the Pirates can hopefully pick this to be the time they right that ship.

More Big East Play comes with Alpha Diallo and Makai Ashton-Landford of Providence. Providence fell to Villanova in overtime in the Big East tournament title game. The Friars have Diallo’s all around inside and out game to look towards when matched up a very good Texas A&M team.

Mustapha Heron and Head Coach Bruce Pearl’s Auburn Tigers have the potential to be a sweet 16 team. Heron, the team’s leading scorer runs the show and it’s about that time for curtain call. Mustapha Heron has always been known to perform on the big stage and it’s ShowTime.

Hamidou Diallo brings the toughness to the Kentucky Wildcats with the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket allowing with his ultra-athleticism makes him difficult to contain. A matchup between Kellan Grady and Hamidou Diallo is set for the first round. Wenyen Gabriel had a strong SEC tournament and Coach Calipari is hoping he can carry that momentum throughout this tournament run.

A tournament favorite in Villanova is equipped with Omari Spellman the Big East Rookie of the Year, Jermain Sameuls and Eric Paschall. Spellman and Paschall make a great tandem from an offensive and defensive standpoint. Both possess toughness, with Spellman who is very skilled on the offensive end and Paschall’s defense along with dominance on the glass helps Nova’s chances at competing for a title.

Notable Names to Watch: Arkel Lamar (UMBC), Joe Sherburne (UMBC), Jarrell Brantley (CofC), Abdul Malik-Abu (NC St.), Daxter Miles Jr. (WVU), AJ Brodeur (Penn), Keyon Jones (NM St.), Shadrac Casimir (IONA), EJ Crawford (IONA), Francis Alonso (UNCG), Duncan Robinson (MICH), Terance Mann (FSU), Tyrique Jones (Xavier), Karem Kanter (Xavier), Kyle Washington (Cin), Kyle Washington (Cin), Raiquan Clark (LIU),


2108 Hoop Hall Classic (New England Edition)

The 2018 Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield brings the best prospects from around the country to Springfield College for a weekend of great hoops. New England prep prospects held their own against some of the best teams the field had to offer.

Cole Swider – The St. Andrew’s forward and Villanova commit went 6-11 from beyond the arc to the tune of 41 points in a losing effort to Woodstock Academy.

Tre Mitchell – The 6-foot-8 forward had a great shooting day from the field completing eight makes off nine attempts to lead Woodstock Academy with 19 points in a win over St. Andrew’s.

Derek Culver – Bob Huggins landed himself a stud and Covers overall game was on display Sunday against Cushing Academy. Despite owning the glass and hauling down 12 rebounds, Cover ended the game with 15 points while shooting 6-7 from the field. The 6-foot-10 West Virginia commits game is as large as his stature.

Dana Tate – The URI commit fought hard but came up short in an effort to wheel his team to a win against Montverde Academy. Tate finished with some highlight plays showing his above the rim athleticism. Finishing with 18 points and 11 Rebounds for Macduffie.

Tyler Bertram – The crowd may have shown up to see a potential 2018 NBA draft prospect Anfernee Simmons of IMG and 2018 Vanderbilt commit Simi Shittu of Vermont Academy. But the real showstopper ended up being 2019 guard Tyler Bertram who put up 31 points along with an almost 3 point make to send the game into over time. After Sunday’s performance college coaches from all over will for sure be tking notes on the guard.

Northfield Mt. Hermon – A well balanced attack as a team lead to a win over Hargrave Military Academy. Nate Lazewski (17 points) and Noah Kirkwood (14 points) lead the charge combining for 19 rebounds. between Maxwell Lorc-Lloyd, Charles Hannah chipped in 12 points each. Hannah went perfect from the field and free throw line. Ryan Greer and Calvin Whipple combined for 29 points and 7-11 from beyond the arc.


Perry Nets 52 Points In Homecoming

Ty Perry, a Woodstock Academy (CT) guard, reached a historic milestone in his team’s win on Saturday over Tilton (NH).

The Roxbury, MA native and former Brighton Bengals star scored a career-high 50 points, including 10 three-pointers, as he helped the Centaurs to a 116-9o victory over Tilton (NH) in front of family and friends at Cathedral High School.

“I just kept on working hard and keeping my energy high to help my team win,” said Perry on his scoring performance. Tilton was a good team, we just kept our energy level high and kept staying together as a group and got the win.”

You can tell by the way Perry responds to questions about himself and finds a way to include his team in his responses is the way his game plays out on the court. Jakigh Dottin (14 points) and Joe Kasperzak (14 points also contributed to the win.

With 29 first half point off 7 threes and 13 three point makes to conclude the game perry was having a good day. That day turned to great when Ty Perry earned a division 1 scholarship from St. Bonaventure.

“I feel good. It’s a blessing honestly, i’m truly blessed but i’m going to keep it up.”

Days before his 52 point outpouring Perry scored 31 points in a win over MacDuffie School. That’s a lot of scoring power from a player who is doing this coming off the bench


Jakigh Dottin Chooses Towson

Jakigh Dottin came back home to The War Memorial Gymnasium in Cambridge, MA where he played four years as the starting point guard at Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School. Dottin announced in front of his friends, family, media and former coaches that his intentions to attend Towson University in the fall of 2018.

Dottin, who is currently doing a post-graduate year at Woodstock Academy in Connecticut chose the Tigers over Duquesne, Kent St., Florida Gulf Coast, Siena, and Bryant to name a few.

“Loyalty,” Dottin said. As a key factor to why he chose to play for Head Coach Pat Skerry at Towson University. Dottin credited Tigers coaching staff for staying in contact and attending his games throughout the AAU circuit.

Jakigh Dottin brings a winning pedigree to Tigers program. Dottin is a two-time MIAA state title winner and AAU national title winner.



College Visits Set For This Weekend

Busy weekend of college visits in New England this week. Some players are coming in for visits as well as other leaving New England to take visits.

University of Rhode Island will have Brendan Adams (Prolific Prep) and Tyrese Martin (Massanutten Academy) on campus

UCONN will play host to New England’s premier shot blocker Dimon Carrigan (Woodstock Academy) and James Akinjo (Salesian)

UMASS Minutemen and newly head coach has been landing commitments around New England are now stepping outside of the region when they play host to Tre Wood (St. John’s College HS) this weekend.

Aaron Clarke (Pope John XXIII) is set to attend Sacred Heart this weekend for a visit

Nate Lazewski will be visiting Notre Dame this weekend. The Fighting Irish has a track record of success when recruiting in New England.


GW Lands Shandon Brown

2018 New Hampton point guard Shandon Brown gathered his friends and family to make one of his biggest decisions at the Vine Street Community Center. The Boston, MA native chose the George Washington Colonials over Quinnipiac.

The 5-foot-10 floor general is one of the biggest prospects in the region with over a dozen schools but in the End GW earned the services of Brown.

“Both schools have tremendous coaching staffs. From the head coach all the way down to the last assistant. I was very comfortable with the situation both schools were in and the vision each coach had for me,”Brown stated as part of the deciding factor on his decision. “They were neck and neck in every aspect, so it came down to where I think I would develop the best as far as competition and constantly being pushed to perform at my best. The A-10 is somewhere I want to go down in history in. I got something to prove and show once I step foot in that conference.”

“Now that I’m committed and don’t have to worry about the whole recruiting process anymore, it’s all about developing and preparing. I will go all out my last year in the nepsac and while doing so will do everything I need to make sure I am as prepared as possible for next summer. Now that I am committed I have to work 100x harder, and I totally understand that. Everything I’ve received this far In my career was earned not given. I’m excited.”

Committed not only to his future school but getting better. A trait in Shandon Brown that a college coach hopes to find in all of his future recruits.

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Dana Tate To URI

University of Rhode Island Head Coach Dan Hurley is looking a class of key contributes after the 2017-18 season. The Rams will lose E.C. Matthews, Jarvis Garrett, Jared Terrell,  Stanford Robinson and will look to fill those big shoes.

Coach Hurley started in the right direction when he landed 2018 6-foot-7  forward Dana Tate, a Boston, MA native who attends the MacDuffie School and ran with the Expressions Elite AAU club on the circuit.

Tate chose the Rams over in state schools Northeastern and  UMass. The wing is skilled scorer on the perimeter and provide a key contribution from day one.

Dana Tate announced his decision at the Reggie Lewis Center where it all started in front of his family, close friends and coaches.

Dana Tate @dtate12 to URI #hoopdreamsmag #votd #basketball #urirams

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Jeenathan Williams Jr. Talks Recruitment

The AAU season has come to close and prospects are gearing up to not only head back to respected Prep/High Schools but also narrowing a final college list and planning visits.

Jeenathan Williams Jr. has grabbed the attention of college coaches from around the country and has seen his recruitment take off in the past month.

“The recruitment is great, i’m just enjoying it,” Williams Jr. stated when asked about the recruitment process. Virginia stands out. So does Virginia Tech, NC State, Rhode Island and Minnesota.”

An unsigned prospects work is never done when trying to prove that their worth is not hype and consistent. While playing on the Nike EYBL circuit with the Albany City Rocks the 6-f00t-6 Rochester, NY native wing is best known for his pure athleticism but there’s more to his game.

“I want to just continue show coaches my mid-range, outside range and just showing my versatility.”

No timetable on a decision for Jeenathan Williams Jr. but the 2018 prospect is still in the process of setting up visits.


Cole Swider Picks Villanova

Cole Swider took three official visits this month (Syracuse, Xavier and Duke) before eventually deciding that Villanova is the perfect fit for him all along.

He never took an official visit to Villanova the final of four schools listed as Swider’s top choices.

Swider is one of the nation’s best shooters from beyond the arc and early comparisons to Klay Thompson may be high but the potential is there.
At 6-foot-8 and playing on the wing it makes it hard for opponents to defend his shot. An average ball handler, Swider does enough to create his own shot.

Villanova has been there since the beginning of the recruitment stages and was able to build off of that to secure a commitment from the St. Andrew’s product. A 2017 Gatorade POY honors is one of many accolades he plans to walk away with. Swider plays with BABC on the AAU circuit and is gearing up to compete for a NIKE EYBL Peach Jam title.

The NEPSAC has sent their fair share of sudent-athletes to the Big East in recent years who have excelled at the next level. Darryl Reynolds (Worcester Academy), Eric Paschal (St. Thomas More), Jermaine Samuels (Rivers), and Omari Spellman (St. Thomas More) are NEPSAC standouts playing for Coach Jay Wright.

Add Cole Swider’s name to the list of New England prospects making their division 1 collegiate dreams a reality.


Providence Friars Land AJ Reeves

Sunday evening AJ Reeves, a Boston native attended Ed Coley’s Providence College Elite basketball camp but didn’t leave the same way he came in. Reeves, is one of the top prospects in the country and has become Providence biggest commitment in the 2018 class.

The 6-foot-5 wing that plays on the AAU circuit with the Mass Rivals will be joining current Friar and former AAU teammate Makai Ashton-Langford next year. Reeves chose the Friars over Louisville and Virginia.

Reeves, is an imposing physically athletic player who leads Brimmer & May during the regular season is one of the top perimeter players in the region. Head Coach Ed Cooley has made his mark for landing the region’s top prospects since owning the Friars sidelines. From Ricardo Ledo, Kris Dunn, Makai Ashton- Langford, Cooley has made it a point to recruit at home and has success doing so.

Look for AJ Reeves to try and recruit fellow AAU teammate and Rhode Island native David Dukes who is also being courted by the Friars. Dukes, is a fellow top 100 prospect that’s considering PC.