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Phil Pressey and Michael Carter-Williams Hit The Big Stage

The NBA Finals tips off this weekend and a pair of NEPSAC players turned pro are looking to hopefully contribute in a way most young players in the NBA dream of.

Phil Pressey (Boston Celtics) and Michael Carter-Williams (Milwaukee Bucks) have come a long way from when they played at Cushing Academy and St. Andrews to now sporting NBA jerseys with their names stitched on the back of it.

Neither team made the post season last year and had top 10 picks in last year’s NBA Draft. Pressey, a reserve for the Celtics who appear to be underdogs matched up against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Carter-Williams, who was acquired via trade in exchange for Brandon Knight midseason and went from playing for a franchise that had no chance at making the playoffs to now potentially competing for a NBA title.

A potential matchup between Phil Pressey and Kyrie Irving will be a game of speed. I believe the matchup between Michael Carter Williams and Derrick Rose will be one of the better ones in the playoffs. Rose coming off an injury to show the world that he can lead the Bulls and MCW with the chance to prove his worth in the league.

Being an underdog is probably a new place for both players who have seen post season success in every stage of their careers. Both play the point guard position which requires being a vocal leader and the previous teams that they’ve starred on have benefited from their leadership skills. Just because that stage is the NBA it shouldn’t stop from having the same results whether it’s 100% percent or an NBA title. Both indicate that they don’t want the first round of the playoffs to be their last stop.

 

photo cred:USA Today


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Joseph Cuts List To Three

Cushing Academy guard Kaleb Joseph narrows his list to three schools on Sunday. The 6-foot-2 guard lists Syracuse, West Virginia and Providence but has not planned any visits.

All three schools have been present for most of Joseph’s games during the live period. The Providence Friars have been recruiting Joseph the longest of the three schools and has also visited the Providence unofficially this past June. The friars have gotten a recent commit from consensus 2014 top prospect Jalen Lindsey. The Friars have invested a lot into the 2014 recruiting class and have made Joseph a priority at the point guard position. The Friars have New England natives Kris Dunn and Carson Deroisers on the roster.

Syracuse has been in hot pursuit of Joseph during the 2012-2013 season. With incoming frosh Tyler Ennis as the only true point guard on the team, one would think the Orangemen have a good shot at landing the lead guard. Syracuse has had great success recruiting out of New England the past couple with former Brewster Academy play CJ Fair and Ron Patterson currently on the roster. Current Brewster Academy forward Chris McCullough is the Orangemen lone recruit in the 2014 recruiting class and could help shape a great start to a recruiting class if Joseph were to land there.

After using the 2013 recruiting class to land multiple front court players who are in need of a point guard to get them the ball. Joseph steps in as a primary target for the Mountaineers to play that role. Unlike the other two schools that are pursuing Joseph, Coach Huggins has yet to land a prospect in the 2014 class. With Joseph potentially being looked at to step right in and run the show it would be a request most floor generals ask for in terms of being able to run the show as soon as you step on campus.

Joseph breaks down his top three in his own words.

Providence: Immediate minutes from day one, with Cotton graduating it gives me some big shoes to fill.

Syracuse: Specialize in developing guards, they produce pros, and are one of the biggest stages in college basketball.

West Virginia: I like the respect the players have for there coach, players don’t play that hard for someone they know doesn’t care about them.

There’s no timetable on Joseph’s decision but one thing we do know is that one of the three programs would be landing a good player who is in pursuit of being great.

 


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Butler Gets Their Man

Butler isn’t necessarily known for landing recruits in New England, let alone the Northeast so when they do the prospect must be special. But all that changed when 6’7 bruiser of a Forward Andrew Chrabascz gave a verbal commitment to coach Stevens and his staff while on a recruiting visit.

On Saturday the power forward that is probably the most underrated, most sought after player in New England in terms of offers (over 30) made his decision.

“Walking the campus gave me goose bumps and I knew it was the right place for me,” said Chrabascz during a phone interview. “With Butler moving to the A-10 my parents get to come and watch more games which good.”

Chrabascz is from the ocean state of Rhode Island so making the move halfway across the country to Indiana can be a tough one.

“I like the town of Indianapolis, it’s a great place” Chrabascz told HDM. “I’ve always been independent, Cushing Academy (MA) has prepared me to live away from home and be on my own.”

Chrabascz has played a lot of basketball over years on the AAU circuit with BABC and always performed well on the big stage.

“AAU was perfect; we won 2 national titles to go along with an EYBL championship.” “I’m going to miss the competition and the memories with my brothers.”

Butler gets a player who’s a proven winner and hard worker.

“Coach Stevens told me I would be a key contributor no matter what,” said Chrabascz. “I’m a hard working kid and I want to win first before anything.”

Chrabascz had some advice for the young readers with dreams and aspirations of playing at the collegiate level.

“Work hard every day and you have to play through the rough days, don’t show your weakness.”


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Hoop Group Providence Jam Fest Recap

In the 16u Gold bracket championship game we saw signs of growth in one of Rhode Islands top prep players. What is Henry Bolton position at the next level? That we don’t know but what we do know is that he has a knack for putting the ball in the basket and is a great team leader. The 6’1 combo guard in Bolton scored in a variety ways and almost every shot was contested but went in like a open jump shot.

 

In a 79-58 convincing win over Rens(NY) the RI Hawks capture the Gold Bracket title at the HoopGroup Providence Jam Fest. Henry Bolton had 26 points but wasn’t the only bright spot on the RI Hawks team. Jackson Donahue and Kealen Ives are a 1-2 punch that can’t be contained in transition. Donahue is a deadly shooter a Ives a quick floor general who with his dribble penetration allows wide open shots for his teammates.

 

The battle between two premier post players of Noah Vonleh and Samuel Digba was a fun one to watch. The 17u Gold bracket battle between Ma Rivals and Westchester Hawks(NY) was one that will be talked about all summer. Westchester Hawks came out firing leading for most of the game and thought to been the staright away winner in this contest.

 

Samuel Dingba and Eric Edwards combined for 27 points and 19 rebounds. Dingba(Salisbury School) proved to be one of the top post players in New England and there’s no question why he’s being recruitd by 7 different division 1 conferences. Dingba is at his best on the low block on the offensive end, having grabbed multiple rebounds including a loud 2 hand dunk. On the defensive side of things with his timing and leaping ability Dingba finished with 9 blocks. But a second half serge from MA Rivals that saw Matt Cimino(22 points) hit 4 consecutive 3’s the Rivals grabbed the lead and never looked back. Noah Vonleh had a slow start battling a anke injury but found his way in the 2nd half. Finishing with just 11 points Vonleh anchored the comeback by being able to beat Dingba off the dribble to the basket. The backcourt of Kaleb Joseph and Dimitri Floras finished with a combined 22 points. Ma Rivals capture the the Gold bracket championship with a 71-58.

 

Other JamFest Notable Performers:

 

Kahlil Dukes(CBC)

 

Pete Miller(Middlesex)

 

Sean Obi(CBC)

 

Jared Terrell(Expressions)

 

Abdul Malik-Abu(Expression)

 

Jared Wilson-Frame(CBC)

 

EJ Rogers(Expressions)

 

Markus Neale(Boston Spartans)

 

Devon Thomas(Metro Boston)


Kaleb Joseph aka “Man On Fire”

There is no other player in the country hotter then Cushing Academy’s Kaleb Joseph, he has blown up right in front of or eyes a silky smoove combo guard who as of recently led Expressions’s AAU squad to a top 20 finish of the AAU 16u Nationals.  Since then Kaleb has been on a mission to show the world that he belonged, first order of business was Sept 9th the NCAA contact periord is where it all took place.  Kaleb used this as a spring board and has not looked back, fuled by all the doubters who say he cant shoot, he cant play the one, he’s to small, Kaleb turned the negative into fire and has shown that he is more then what you bargin for.  Holding offers from Tennessee, Boston College, TCU. Western Kentucky, Fordham Delaware, St Bonaventure, and UNH.  Now playing the lead role for the Mass Rivals look for Kaleb to blosoom understerd the tutelage of Rivals Director Vin Pastore.