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Summer League Thoughts - Pre Pre Season Top 8

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:41 pm

After soaking in some summer league basketball, which has 2 weeks left, I've come up with some rolling thoughts in my head.

- Central has looked very good in every game I've seen them. They play with passion and conviction. It's almost as if they are doing their best to wash away the state championship loss to Merrimack by cohesively forming as a team NOW.

- Alvirne has some nice players to work with in Livingston and Yoksh. They are building some depth for next season and are gaining a lot with summer league as a team.

- Memorial is still working on upping the WOW and decreasing the WHY. Coaching this group for Coach Fitzpatrick can be satisfying one moment and in another moment drive Coach Fitzpatrick to high tail it to happy hour at Billy's bar and grill.

- Interesting Trinity isn't playing in summer league...... Very interesting.

- Merrimack, even with the loss of Floras, will still competitively defend their title next season.

- Derryfield will be a very tough team in D4. Zorn is a streak shooter, but when he's on it opens up things for them. Mitch Green has a very good skill set as a 3/4 and will pose matchup problems for other 3/4s in D4.

- Souhegan's Brandon Len will be the best guard in D2 next season. He could be the best guard in the whole granite state. I witnessed his 50 point performance against Milford. It was amazing. He has a knack for making the right pass at the right time. His defensive timing and quickness is near the top of the guard charts.

- Bedford will do ok in D1 this season. They still have some backcourt wrinkles to iron out, but they will be competitive once they acclimate themselves to the quicker and faster D1 division.

- West.... Ah yes the Blue Knights. There are players for the Blue Knights in summer league that didn't finish last season. I know the word "IF" is used the most when talking about the Blue Knight basketball program, but "IF" they have all their players and "IF" they stay eligible for December to March, then they will be one of the top 4 to 6 teams in D1. That's a lot of "IFs", don't you think?


Pre Pre Season Top 8. Now this will of course change with fall league, obligatory last minute transfers and other factors:

1) Central
Solid starting 5 with Joseph at Center, Makris at 4, Pelletier at 3, Plentzas at 2 and Dickson at 1. Joseph out works any body he plays against. Pelletier is my top choice for POY. You should see the muscle and hops Pelletier has added from last season. Dickson and Plentzas will be as good of a backcourt you will find in D1. Makris is an under the radar player who you will hear a lot about next season. Only thing holding this team back is solid depth which needs to be cultivated over the next 4 months.

2) Spaulding
Dominic Paradis will head up a solid returning class of players who had a nice run last year. The system will make this team solid again and primed for a championship run. Nobody transfers from or goes to prep school at Spaulding.

3) Memorial
I do this with hesitation. Their starting 5 will be able to compete or beat any starting 5 in D1. Their starting 5 could lose to 90% of the teams in D1. Their in lies the rub with this team. They will have Tong Akot at 5, Zoubel at 4, Kabongo at 3, Mayola at 2 and Kante at 1. When they gel together they form a very tough starting 5. Akot is a very intriguing player. He can draw most bigs out and drive by them with his unusual quickness, given his body type. If a big plays off Akot he can knock down a 3 consistently. Zoubel is enigmatic. He has a wonderful athletic/skill set, but still needs to have his basketball IQ to catch up. Kabongo is a steadying influence with his mental/athletic game. Kante is a point guard star in the making. He is getting better all the time. You will know how this team is doing by the amount of times Coach Fitzpatrick's car is at Billy's in the next few months. If you don't see Coach Fitzpatrick's car that much in Billy's parking lot then it will mean trouble for D1.

4) South
They are not competing in summer league at SNHU, but I've got a hunch Coach Mazz will have a tough squad ready to go this season. The Preston brothers are back and ready. I just have a good Panther feeling for the upcoming season.

5) BG
Jeff Lunn will be a 1st team/2nd team all state. He will be one of the best big men in D1. There aren't too many bigs who can guard him in D1. 15 to 25 point games will be the norm for Lunn. Boykins and Toscano will be tough. After last season it will be a relief for Migs to coach this group.

6) Trinity
Mabor Gabriel, Carmen Giampetruzzi and Pat Keefe are a solid nucleus. It would be more solid if they had a point guard. No program has had more of a revolving door at the point guard position than this one. A capable/non-capable point guard could mean the difference of about 4 wins/losses either way for Trinity.

7) Alvirne
This is a team that could move up and down with a volatile flare next season. They are one team I wouldn't be surprised to see finish between 3rd to 9th next season. Livingston is primed for an all state season if he adds some more grit to his game.

Eight) Merrimack
Eric Gendron will be one of the best players in D1. He will be a leader and will make his mates better. Conor Wallen will be very key for the fortunes of Merrimack. if he can consistently score and compete on a weekly with other bigs Merrimack will find it's way into the top 8. Goody could work some magic with this team, even with out Floras.

One team difficult to leave out, but easy to leave out due to past history is West. They have talent, athleticism and basketball IQ. The problem is that their program has to have all their players stay with the program for the whole season. I don't envy Coach Bryson with his challenges at West High. They have the Bureau eligibility situation to deal with. Bruno Pena could be an excellent player if he stays on the roster. On and on it goes. Colin Burke dealt with it. Sam Carey dealt with it. Now, Dan Bryson deals with it. God bless him.


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Post  The Edge on Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:45 pm

What no Londonderry love? 6 -1 at BST giving up 35 points a game.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:39 pm

Edge, you know I was the biggest booster for the Lancers last season, even when they were 1 and 9, 1 and 10 etc., but...... When I found out Simmond went to prep school for soccer I felt this dealt a severe blow to the Lancer chances for next season. Simmond, in my mind, would've been 1st or 2nd team all state as a junior. He would've teamed with Coveny to form one of the best back courts in D1 next season. His prep school transfer takes that away. Also, I'm waiting to see some development in the Big department for the Lancers. I know Londonderry had a young 6'6 big who had some potential last year.

With Simmond I certainly would've had Londonderry in the top 8. With out him and with standing their 6 - 1 summer league record, I'll put the Lancers on the cusp of the top 8 with a wait and see attitude for Simmond-Less Lancers.

I'm always willing to saddle up on a white horse with a blue Lancer outfit !!!!

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Post  sjsprague on Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:15 pm

You guys are forgetting one team that will surprise. Concord has a new head coach and a ton of JV talent from last year. The JV team made noise in the tournament at West and has a lot of good talent.

I know they have been the laughing stock of Div I BB for many years, but this year's team will turn some heads. Oh by the way, the best guard in Div I is Kaleb Marquis and possiby the 2013 player of the year. Mark my words when you stop the chuckling.

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Post  Jeremy Leveille on Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:20 pm

T&F, the team that you're forgetting is Winnacunnet. Apparently you didn't hear that they won the Exeter Team Weekend a couple weeks ago. They beat South in the semis and they beat Spaulding in the finals. Watch out for Winnacunnet, after a couple of down years they have a legit shot to make it back to UNH.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:29 pm

Sj- I would like nothing better than to see Concord make a comeback in basketball. Their program has been down for so long it's been sad. I love the Red River Theater, the Capitol Arts Theater, the Barley House, Hermanos, Remis, etc etc. Concord is a cool place. Now, it's time for the Crimson Tide to become cool in basketball too.

Jeremy, thanks for the info on Winny. They were another cusp team for me too. They have a solid nucleus returning from last year. They have been down for a bit, but I'm expecting good things from Jay McKenna's squad this season. If you are a regular Forum member you know the good feelings I have for Coach McKenna. I have always respected the way he coaches and the way he conducts himself in the coaches box.

Now, my next point is meant to be very respectful to all teams involved, but there will be an enormous amount of parity this coming season. Prep school transfers and lack of high ceiling talent over all in the state could thrust a program like Concord back into the mix. Central is my pick for pre season #1, but they could have the most chinks in their armor of any pre season #1 team I've picked in the last 6 to 7 years. There will be a bunch of teams capable of finishing in the top 4 this year. The difference between a top 4 team and an 8th to 12th place team will be minimal. There will be a slew of teams that will only be capable of scoring 40 to 50 points on most nights. There aren't a lot of high end scorers or play makers in D1 this upcoming season. We will see the residual of the prep school transfer situation rear it's head when you look at box scores and the potential of ghastly low scoring come Wednesday and Saturday mornings when you check out results. More often than not teams and coaches will try to out defense their opponents instead of trying to out score them. This will make for close games and parity up and down D1. Every body will be in the mix for a top 4, top 8 etc. It is what it is.

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Post  Tulliver on Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:21 am

Bring on the parity!

I actually prefer the more evenly matched seasons, myself.

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Post  sjsprague on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:49 pm

I do agree that Winnacunnet wll be a good team. Does anyone know why Trinity has not appeared in the Summer League? Do they not have the players to be competitve this year?

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:39 pm

I heard it was a lack of numbers with kids who play baseball and also go to football camps. Trinity just wouldn't have been able to field consistent numbers for summer league........

.........This is what I heard.......

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Now, if you ask me what I think..................

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:45 am

I had to rub my eyes to make sure I saw what I saw:

Tulliver posting something.


I thought Tulliver had either:


1) Been assigned by Jeremy to cover 1st and 2nd grade basketball tournaments all summer to get an early line on future rankings for the NHN.

2) Been assigned to cover Dave Haley in the Seacoast men's b-ball league. Dave's a playa and there's good comp down by the Atlantic.

3) Been assigned to watch the Assistant's children, so the Asst could finally get out of the house. Rumor has it that the Asst hasn't been to a HS basketball game in dog years because of his diaper kingdom.


Nice to see Tulliver has brushed the dust of the blogging keyboard.

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Post  Tulliver on Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:02 pm

Working on an expose of refs actually! bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:21 pm

Is this ref expose being co-written by you and some one from Alabama? Rolling Eyes

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Post  Tulliver on Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:24 pm

Oh Lord, no.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:35 pm

Just wondering because investigative reporting can produce strange bedfellows.

I'm sure your exposé will not include any thing about THAT referee you have on the Tulliver pedestal.

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Post  JAF on Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:58 am

Tulliver wrote:Working on an expose of refs actually! bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce

Is that your excuse for spending so much time at Billy's lately?? drunken drunken drunken

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:24 am

Here is the Quarterfinal schedule for Summer League as posted by Jeremy on NHN:

Here's the schedule for the league's quarterfinals:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
5pm: (4) Bedford vs. (12) Concord

6pm: (14) West vs. (11) Windham

7pm: (2) Central vs. (10) Bishop Guertin

8pm: (1) Alvirne vs. (9) Souhegan


All of these games are very good matchups. If all of the players show up for the teams competing these will all be close and competitive games.

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Post  Tulliver on Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:39 pm

No Billy's for quite a while actually - think the last time was the end of hoops season.

Too nice a summer and too much vacation.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:25 pm

I might be mistaken Tulliver, but aren't you a Hall of Fame member of Billy's ??

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Post  Tulliver on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:26 pm

No, I'm actually not.

I like Billy's, but don't honestly go that often.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:30 pm

Well, I'm mistaken..... And you're saying GNG is closer to the Billy's Hall of Fame than you are. One thing is for certain. Coach Wenners of Central is not only in Billy's Hall of Fame, but I believe he's been a member for a llllloooonnnnnggggg time.



One thing I'm not mistaken about is how good the 4 quarterfinal games will be in the SNHU summer league on Wednesday.

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Post  NHhoopfan on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:21 pm

I haven't been to Billy's in years but my moles tell me that T&F certainly doesn't need directions to find 34 Tarrytown Rd. I will gladly return to one of his favorite haunts this winter to watch him receive his yellow "Billy's Hall of Fame" jacket. Of course he was elected by the Veterans Committee, which finally "makes right" a decade long snub. The acceptance speech will be the "can't miss" event of 2012!

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:46 pm

"I haven't been to Billy's in years"
NHhoopfan

That's strange. The last 10 times I've asked NHhoopfan if he was going to Billy's after a game his reply was:

"Of course !!!"


I'm not a lawyer, but if I was one I would have to state I just caught this Forum member in a "mistruth."

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:49 pm

Plus NHhoopfan says he has moles filling him with information. I have little birdies for my information. My little birdies tend to get a better overall picture because they have a better vantage point than moles.

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Post  NHhoopfan on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:56 pm

Moles? Birdies? It all depends on what you are looking for.

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