The City Rocks are coming off one of their best seasons in program history, advancing all the way to last July’s elite eight bracket play at Peach Jam. The Rocks were primarily led by three high-major recruits who have played their last game in a Rocks’ uniform, Isaiah Stewart (Washington), Joe Girard (Syracuse) and Gerald Drumgoole (Pittsburgh). Head coach Jim Hart turns over a new roster, and while he may not have the star power of a year ago, he might have his most athletic team in Rocks history. This roster features more than enough talent to earn a Peach Jam bid in 2019, and they will undoubtedly be an entertaining squad to watch.
2018 veteran Symir Torrence will operate as the floor general for the Rocks, and they’ll be relying on his leadership and experience. Torrence (247 No. 47) was rock-solid for the Rocks in 2018, averaging 6.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game while deferring to veterans. Torrence will have way more responsibility in 2019. The 6-foot-4 guard is verbally-committed to Marquette and is coming off a super-strong 2018-19 season for Vermont Academy.
Junior Andre Jackson also returns from a year ago, and the 6-foot-6 swingman wasn't able to accurately showcase why he's ranked 40th in 247 Sports Composite 2020 rankings. Jackson has elite athleticism and major bounce, and he'll definitely benefit from the implementation of the 24-second shot clock. Jackson is at his best when he's getting up and down the floor, and he loves getting after it defensively. Jackson, who helped Albany Academy (NY) take home the New York Federation A Championship, talked about the difference between this season and last.
"I will have a much bigger role on this team this upcoming season," Jackson said. "Last year I didn’t play a very big role; I played between 6-10 minutes a game. This year, I will be playing a lot more and I feel that I am very prepared to go up against the talent that the EYBL circuit brings to the table."
The Rocks are off to a terrific start with Torrence and Jackson leading the backcourt, and they'll be receiving help from six other guards. Noah Hutchins is another returner from last year's successful squad, and the 6-foot-1 played the best basketball of his career at Peach Jam; rhe crafty playmaker averaged 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in six games. Hutchins is a good athlete and decision-maker, and he loves to get others involved. Junior Tah'Jae Hill was a bucket-getter for the Rocks' 16U squad a year ago, and the 6-foot-2 combo guard already eclipsed the 1,000 point mark at Hilton (NY) high school. Hill is tough and physical, and he'll be relied upon to attack and score at a high rate. 6-foot-5 junior Jair Currie is a solid scorer with good size, and the St. Thomas More (CT) product should be accustomed to the physicality of the 17U circuit after experiencing a full season playing in the vaunted NEPSAC. 6-foot guard Will Amica is set to represent West Genesee (NY) on the Rocks roster, and he's fresh off scoring 26 points in the NY Class AA Championship. Amica recently picked up offers from Lehigh and Lafayette. Andrew Mason (6-foot-4) and Shane O'Dell (6-foot-5) round out the backcourt, and both are big-time scorers at their local high schools. The backcourt will sort itself out, but Hart has plenty of talent to work with.
2020 graduates Myles Wilmoth and Jake Cook played sparingly for the Rocks in 2018, and both will be taking on expanded roles. Wilmoth (247 Composite No. 261) is a 6-foot-9 inside-out big man. Wilmoth is a great finisher around the basket and plays great help defense in the pick and roll. Wilmoth was offered by Rhode Island in March, and he should see his recruitment pick up with strong showings in April and May. Cook, a 6-foot-10 big man for Vermont Academy, is drastically better than he was a year ago to date. Cook will be depended on to rebound at a high rate and finish around the basket, and the coaching staff has a lot of trust in the junior. Super-athletic wings Reece Brown (6-foot-8) and Jai Smith (6-foot-7) should be lethal options for the Rocks in transition. Brown can jump with anyone in the country and has the potential to be a force on the offensive boards. The development of his jumper is coming along, but Brown is at his best when he's attacking the basket. Smith, a sophomore, brings a lot of the same traits to the table. The St. Thomas More (CT) product is a big-time athlete and should be the perfect high-energy glue-guy for this roster. 6-foot-10, 230-pound junior Tyler Warner rounds out the frontcourt, giving the Rocks a solid rim defender who excels in the post. Warner has the ability to step out and hit the three in the pick-and-roll, and his size alone should make him an enticing recruit for mid-major schools.
The Rocks will be bringing 13 players to Atlanta, so it will be important that they settle into a rotation that gives them the best chance at success. They have five circuit veterans set to lead the way in Torrence, Jackson, Wilmoth, Cook, and Hutchins, and that experience alone should give them confidence heading into the EYBL sprint. One thing is certain; head coach Jim Hart will have his team well-prepared and ready to execute at a high level.