Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) narrowly missed Peach Jam a year ago, turning in a 7-9 record behind a somewhat overmatched rotation. BABC welcomes back two veterans from their 2018 squad, pairing them with nine 17-and-under EYBL newcomers. BABC will roster an all-senior lineup, something that can't be said of very many EYBL teams. BABC will be pulling four players from Worcester Academy (MA), and all four are ranked in the top 13 of NERR Hoops 2020 recruiting rankings. Director Leo Papile is confident that this unit has what it takes to get to Peach Jam, and they'll need a strong start to the season in order to keep up with Division C.
BABC's aforementioned returners are forward Matt Cross and guard Quest Harris. Cross (247 No. 152) is the highest-ranked recruit on the roster, and the 6-foot-7 swingman brings a variety of different talents to the table. Cross operates perfectly in BABC's offense, and it wouldn't come as a surprise if the offense filters through his skill-set. He's an underrated athlete with a tremendous basketball IQ, and he'll be looking to improve on his numbers from last season; in 16 games, Cross averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Cross gained valuable experience this past high school season with prep power Woodstock Academy, and that experience helped fast-forward his development as a basketball player. As the leader of BABC's rotation, Cross should shatter those marks in 2019. Harris will have the ball in his hands often, and the 6-foot Worcester Academy (MA) product will be in charge of facilitating to his teammates. He's more than capable when he calls his own number, and he'll have a chance to be the league's most improved player after playing sparingly in eight games a year ago.
BABC junior Matt Cross (247 2020 No. 152)
Harris is the point guard of the unit, and he has his Worcester running mate by his side in Judson Martindale. A 6-foot-7 shooting guard with deep range, Martindale shot a blistering 51% from behind-the-arc during the 2018-19 high school season. Martindale was named the program's Most Improved Player by the Worcester coaching staff, and entering the EYBL he makes a strong argument as the best pure shooter on the circuit. 6-foot-3 guard Matteo Whelton will play big minutes for BABC, and the Phillips Academy (MA) product provides a nice lift defensively. Like most on the team, Whelton - the son of UConn legend Joe Whelton, has been with BABC for years and fits extremely well in the pressing system. Juniors Danny Dade (5-foot-11), Jadon Archer (6-foot-2), and Anthony Morales (6-foot-7) will all play minutes off the bench, and BABC will likely need one of them to step up.
BABC will be one of the smaller teams on the circuit, but that hasn't slowed them in the past. Cross has a realistic chance of leading BABC in points, rebounds and, assists. His versatility will be crucial to their season-long success, and he'll have the help of three other frontcourt players. Worcester's Josh Ogundele (6-foot-10) and Mike Rabinovich (6-foot-9) will be the main contributors alongside Cross. Listed at 240 pounds, Ogundele (247 4-star) takes up a ton of space down low, and he'll be expected to rebound at a high rate and play effective defense. Rabinovich is a prototypical BABC forward, and he will have a significant role within their system. 6-foot-7 Turkish native Cem Kirciman and 6-foot-4 swingman Dante Law round out the five-man frontcourt, and both will receive an opportunity to play their way into more minutes.
BABC (MA) tends to sneak up on people, mainly due to their ability to execute their full-court press. Luckily for Papile and company, the new defensive rules will not impact their patented press. The closest comparison to BABC's defensive strategy is probably Syracuse's zone, mainly due to how different it is from every other defense. It would not be wise to underestimate the 2019 version of BABC, and they'll have a Peach Jam bid on their mind from the opening tip.
After a strong campaign with @WAPrepHoop, 6’7” wing Matt Cross (@matthewcross35) looks poised to lead @thebabc back to Peach Jam in 2019. As a versatile 3-level scorer with extended range, Cross should also see his recruitment rise accordingly... https://t.co/gyCUzn7u58 pic.twitter.com/UjIXt4Gaox— The Hustle (@TheHoopHustle) April 11, 2019