Players are looking to find an upper hand on competition in any way that they can, and it looks as if New England has become a prime location for those who are searching for that upper hand.
The NEPSAC (New England Preperatory School Athletic Council), which includes Brewster Academy, Tilton School, New Hampton School, Cushing Academy, Wilbraham and Monson, Worcester Academy, Vermont Academy, Northfield Mt. Hermon as well as many others, has produced some of the best players in the country over the past decade, including Michael Carter Williams, Will Barton, Andre Drummond and Nerlens Noel.
This year is no different, especially on the EYBL circuit with BABC, Expressions Elite, The Family, Team SCAN and The City Rocks all having players who play in the NEPSAC during the high school season.
Terance Mann, a junior guard from Tilton School (N.H.) and BABC, who has received offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, and many others, says that the ability for other schools to recruit post-graduate players is a key part in readying himself for the summer.
“Playing up here as a sophomore last year at 15 years old, I was playing against post-grad players who were going to Syracuse, Xavier,” Mann said. “You play with really good players too, I played with Wayne Selden, it just prepares you for the best. Every game, you don’t know if you’re going to win or not, just like the EYBL.”
The relationships between each of the players changes when they get onto the circuit as well. While they are all rivals during the season, they embrace playing with each other on a high level during the summer.
Jeremy Miller, a 6-foot-9 junior forward from New Hampton School (N.H.) who also plays for BABC alongside Mann, says that playing prep basketball in New England has made him tougher down low.
“I think a lot of people agree with me when I say that I think about the game differently now,” Miller said. “My basketball IQ has risen since I have gone prep. Its toughened me up a ton. Playing prep, I’ve learned that every game is going to be a dogfight, I absolutely love it. No one is going to go out and score 40 points a game. I love it, because everyone is really good.”
Tyler Lydon, a Syracuse commit who attends New Hampton School during the year and runs with Albany City Rocks during the summer, says that the best player he played against in New England is a former EYBL player.
“Probably Abdul Malik Abu,” Lydon said. “He’s one of the strongest guys I’ve ever played against, he’s a freak athlete, and has an extremely high IQ.”
Lydon injured his ankle during the Dallas session, but expects to return to the court in Hampton this weekend.
Bruce Brown, a sophomore guard from Vermont Academy (Ver.) who runs alongside of Miller and Mann on BABC says that the hardest part about playing in the NEPSAC is the the amount of talent that he faces at the guard position.
“You play guys like Kaleb Joseph, Jalen Adams and Terance,” Brown said. “Everyone is good, you have to learn that every game is going to be hard.”
With BABC starting off 4-0 in California, and multiple other players from the NEPSAC shining on their individual teams, it looks as if the product coming from New England is a mighty fine one indeed.
Terance Mann- Tilton School (N.H.)- BABC
Franklin Porter- Tilton School (N.H.)- BABC
Bob Martin Jr.- Noble and Greenough (MA)- BABC
Bruce Brown- Vermont Academy (VT)- BABC
Terrell Brown- St. Andrew's School (RI)- BABC
Donovan Love- New Hampton School (N.H.)- Expressions Elite
Jeremy Miller- New Hampton School (N.H.)- BABC
AJ Turner- New Hampton School (N.H.)- The Family
Tyler Lydon- New Hampton School (N.H.)- Albany City Rocks
Aaron Falzon- Northfield Mt. Hermon (N.H.)- Expressions Elite
Ikenna Ndugba- Brooks School (MA)- Expressions Elite
Jesse Bunting- Tabor Academy (MA)- Expressions Elite
Nisre Zouzoua- Boston Trinity (MA)- Expressions Elite