Friar Basketball

Catching Up on Former New England Stars: Drummond’s Big Night, Noel Featured on ESPN, NE Stars in Top 50

Drummond

ESPN ran a feature on Nerlens Noel tonight.  There’s nothing ground-breaking about Noel’s adjustment to life in Lexington, but there is a mention of former Providence assistant Chris Driscoll’s involvement in Noel reclassifying, as well as an old New York Times quote from PC graduate assistant George Wright-Easy.

Noel originally planned to play three seasons at Tilton. He wanted to repeat his sophomore year after cracking a growth plate in his knee before a game at Everett months earlier. He reclassified to the Class of 2013, but when his knee healed more quickly than expected, Noel altered his plans and switched back to the Class of 2012.

The move drew the ire of Tilton administrators, who reportedly felt that Driscoll was partly to blame for Noel’s decision. Tilton headmaster Jim Clements barred Driscoll from the campus.

Noel was asked if he trusted Driscoll, with whom he still maintains contact.

“I felt like I could trust him,” Noel said. “But there was a lot going on at that time. I know he was a fan of me reclassifying and he was helping me through the process. There was a lot to it. I don’t even know what happened [with the ban]. I just felt like I was ready for the next level. I felt like another year [of high school] wouldn’t really benefit me. I felt like I should go ahead and go to college.”

 

At this time a year ago many thought Andre Drummond was destined to be the top overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.  After an up and down freshman season at Connecticut that brought questions about his motor he slid to #8.  If his preseason effort against Milwaukee earlier this month is a sign of things to come, the Pistons will happily take it.  Drummond scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, providing one of the best highlights of the preseason (at the 1:25 mark) when he blocked a Tobias Harris layup attempt and finished by throwing down a vicious dunk on the other end.

 

CBS recently came out with their rankings of the top 50 point guards and big men in college basketball and many familiar names to fans of the New England prep and AAU basketball scene get a nod.

Former BABC point Phil Pressey (Missouri) is their second ranked point guard, while North Carolina State lead guard Lorenzo Brown checks in at #10.  Brown was twice in New England during his senior year at Hargrave Military Academy, playing in the National Prep Showcase and the season-closing Prep National Championship.

St. Andrew’s All American Michael Carter-Williams is 13th, Shabazz Napier (Lawrence Academy) 17th, Xavier freshman and former PC recruit Semaj Christon (a player who I love out of Brewster) is 42nd, while my favorite player to watch three years ago, Loyola Marymount’s diminutive Anthony Ivory, cracks the top 50 at #44.  Ivory is from Waterbury, CT, the hometown of Ryan Gomes, and led a very good Winchendon team.  What a terrific competitor.

The big men don’t make the list as frequently, but they are certainly prevalent, with Noel landing at #3, Pittsburgh’s Steven Adams (Notre Dame Prep) at 22, Rhode Island native and Florida forward Erik Murphy at 28, former Tilton and UConn big man turned Missouri anchor Alex Oriakhi at 35, and Ivory’s former teammate Khem Birch, now at UNLV, coming in at #46.

 

Email Kevin at kevin.farrahar@friarbasketball.com

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