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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:05 pm

We are 1/3 of the way through the season. There has been a healthy sampling of games to begin formulating a power ranking and thoughts on teams as we hit mid January. I think D1 basketball is down in overall individual and team talent in both D1 boys and girls. In boys what was a #5 to #8 ranked team in previous years can get you in the top 4 this season. There are going to be a lot of teams that will slug along and fight to host a prelim game. I think the top 4 to 5 teams will be a bit more stable, but they are not your powerful top 4 teams from years gone by. Any team in the top 4 this year can be beaten on any given night by a team meandering in the 8 to 12 ranking area. I have used the term upset, whether in a mild term or near major term, on several occasions already this season, which means one key word comes to mind:

PARITY

In girl's D1 it is safe to say only 2 teams can win D1 at this point: BG and Winny. At least that is one more team than in previous years that could take the girl's title. Londonderry and Memorial will contend for sure. The Crusaders and the Lancers will probably punch a ticket to the Final Four at SNHU along with BG and Winny. The divide between the top 4 in girls and the rest of the field is greater now than in previous years. North will make some noise along with Pinkerton and Dover, but when it's all said and done, barring injury or other circumstance, I am 99.9% sure the Final Four at SNHU will be BG, Winny, Londonderry and Memorial.

In boy's D1 there are teams, "Who are what we thought they were." and there are teams, "Who we don't know what the heck is going on", including one team residing at Lund Rd in Nashua that is talked about more from a psychiatrist's point of view than a basketball point of view. Let's take a look at the D1 boy's power rankings.


1) Trinity - Even though the Pioneers are 5 - 1 you still get the sense they are capable of playing better basketball. Mabor Gabriel has had an enigmatic season so far. I haven't seen him play a good all around game yet. Is he over rated or is his best basketball yet to come? All I know is that it's frustrating to watch his pedestrian performances and I don't even have a stake in the Trinity team. Sistare has passed the grade so far in running the Pioneer ship. He has done well against Gauthier of North and Dunn of Alvirne, two of the better point guards in the state, but has looked his age against others. One thing is for sure. Coach Keefe is pleased with his progression as point guard and he wouldn't trade him for any other option he had coming back from last year. The Viscarello knee injury bears watching. Pat Keefe has had a great start so far with his energizer performances off the bench. Chance of being in Final Four: 99%.

2) Merrimack - I had Merrimack as 6th in my pre season. They have had a good start to this season. Floras' scoring has been down and it seems like he is making good on his promise to be more of a set up guard this season. Tyler Gendron has been solid. This team is still the only team capable of putting 2 players on 1st team all state. Eric Gendron has been a big key so far. He has progressed nicely in his sophomore year and compliments Floras and his older brother well. Peabody gives them scoring depth and Giannelli much needed muscle in the paint. Goody has them playing solid team basketball. OK, but this is the first 1/3 of the season power rankings. I won't talk about previous Merrimack swoon seasons. Chance of being in Final Four: 75%.

3) Alvirne - The Broncos have had a solid start to the season. Beaulieu and Dunn are playing All State basketball. Livingston is a good scoring compliment. They have a little depth and are a tough team physically and emotionally to play. One thing keeps swirling in my mind with regards to the fortunes of this team: Jim Tomaswick. The Broncos must receive more production from the 6'6 senior if they want to be a serious title contender this season. If Tomaswick keeps having pedestrian performances the Broncos will still have the potential of being a Final Four team, but not a high potential of raising the trophy at UNH. Chance of being in Final Four: 85%.

4) Central - The Little Green was working out the kinks in their first 3 to 4 games including the QCIBT. The major kink they were working out was Gabe LaCount trying to transition for a placid, no emotion, meander along pseudo leader to a take charge, put the game on my back and I'M THE MAN leader. He seems to be doing the latter lately by scoring more points and saying the right things in the press about shouldering more leadership responsibilities for Central. If you are a Central fan this is a welcome development. I've always thought if LaCount sprinkled some more nails and glass in his Wheaties, then Central would be a much tougher team to contend with. Artiga has had a solid season. Troy Pelletier is consistently good. Brown can be better. Dickson has been progressing at the point position. Chance of going to Final Four: 85%.

5) Nashua South - This team can beat any team in the top 8 on any given night. This team can lose to any team in the top 12 on any given night. Muccioli is having an All State season so far. The Preston brothers are clicking. Coach Mazz is working the Xs and Os. This will be a team nobody wants to play come playoff time because they have the potential of putting a good run together. Chance of being in Final Four: 60%.

6) Pinkerton - The Astros have been flying under the radar so far this season. They have a very good starting 5. Patrikis and Light are in the top 20 of scoring. If this team can stay healthy they will make some noise in D1. One must temper their reaction to Pinkerton's 4 - 1 record as their 4 wins have been over Timby, Concord, Keene and Londonderry. Chance of being in Final Four: 40%.

7) Spaulding - The Red Raiders have wins over BG, South, Keene and Salem, but.... They have losses to Concord and Londonderry. Go figure. I give this team a pass with those head scratching losses because the 2nd half Spaulding is always better than the 1st half Spaulding. Paradis is one of the best players in D1. You can never count this team out with the Cronin system. Chance of being in Final Four: 70%.

Cool North - They are 4 -1. Their 4 wins are over Concord, Keene, Exeter and Timby. I put North at #7 with great trepidation as they have had "technical's and players in street clothes" in their team lexicon so far this season. The proof as always in the North pudding will be how the WHOLE season plays out. The last half of the season hasn't gone well for North in the last 3 years. They close out the season with BG, Merrimack, Central, Alvirne and West. This team could finish any where from 4th to 10th by the end of the year. They could self destruct or get to the Final Four. Chance of being in Final Four: 25%.

9) West - Which West team will surface by the end of the year? They have the talent to finish 4th to 6th. Aaron Martin and Jocarl Bureau are one of the top 1-2 combos in the state. Jacques has had a very good season so far. If Descoteaux can cut down on turnovers and just play a solid, non-flashy style this team could be real dangerous come playoff time. Chance of being in Final Four: 75%.

10) Salem - They don't get too much publicity. People say the Windham High effect is taking place in Blue Devil sports. They don't wow you with their team..... But, they are 4 - 2 and are very well coached by Coach McLaughlin. They have beaten Pinkerton and Memorial. A tougher road lies ahead with the schedule. Salem will be in the 7 to 11 ranking range for the rest of the season. Chance of being in Final Four: 40%.

11) Memorial - One of the most interesting teams in D1. They have talent. They have coaching. They have a lot of inconsistency. I have to admit I was surprised to see them beat South. They weren't impressive at all in losing to Salem. I think this team will still beat some teams that you don't think they can beat and lose to some teams that will make you scratch your head. They will float between 7 to 12 the rest of the season. Chance of being in Final Four: 20%.

12) BG - OK boys and girls the one you've been waiting to see. Big scrimmage vs Pembroke: McCarthy in street clothes. Big game against West: McCarthy in street clothes. The POY candidate, as picked by GNG, certainly deserves a big piece of Cardinal cream blame pie as to why this team is 2 - 4 so far this season. There are a lot of pieces of blame pie to be handed out to other BG players. When I think of this team I think of Eddie Stanky's line to describe Carl Yaz back in the baseball day, "He's an all star from the neck down." I will go one further with this BG team. There are a decent amount of Cardinals who are all stars from just below the mid chest down. I said this team is a shell of last year's team. That is correct. They are a very thin egg shell of last year's team. Enough said. Chance of being in Final Four: 10%.

13) Concord - The Crimson Tide is actually having a nice season so far with wins over Dover and Spaulding. Chance of being in Final Four: 5%.

14) Dover - I thought they would have a little better season up to this point. I could see them finishing as high as 11th or 12th with some more leadership and scoring by their go to guys. Chance of being in Final Four: 5%.

15) Keene - Their 2 wins are at home. No surprise since Keene is still the toughest road trip in D1. They could pull off a couple more upsets and sneak up to 11th or 12th. Chance of being in Final Four: 5%.

16) Exeter - Even at 1 - 5 they get the last slot due to their victory over Winny. Matt Barr will still score a lot of points (He scored 30 against West last Friday) and probably will help the Blue Hawks garner a playoff spot. Chance of being in Final Four: 5%.


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Post  Newman on Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:07 pm

I think Trinity is the team to beat right now with Merrimack a close second. It will be interesting to see if Migs can right the ship at BG, it is Coach's job to fix whatever is wrong, I just hope for his sake the parents are patient. North is an interesting situation, the schedule has been kind especially with their better players being in street clothes since Chick Fil A. Alvirne will be there to challenge as well as Central and South. As much as it is a down year, it shapes up to be an interesting one.

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Post  NHHoopsFan on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:18 am

Just about any team can beat any team on a given night, especially when the 3's start falling.

Having said that, I find the offensive ppg and defensive ppg stats interesting as published on the NH Sports Page. 3 teams separate themselves from the rest of the pack: Trinity, Merrimack and Pinkerton on average won their games by ~16 points (oppg - dppg). This shows that they can score and play D. Pinkerton is actually number 1 in this regard with 17.2. Pinkerton also gave up the fewest ppg. After these top three, the next closest team is Central with an average victory margin of 6 points. For that reason, I think the top 3 teams right now are:

1. Trinity
2. Merrimack
3. Pinkerton

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Post  JAF on Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:38 am


PA has played Timby(0-6), Concord(2-4), Keene(2-3 - one of those wins against D2 Con-Val), Salem(4-2), & Londonderry(1-4). Let's see how they do in their next 4 games (South, Spaulding, Memorial, BG) before a top 3 consideration!

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Post  GNG on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:05 am

Hello NEWMAN { I know it's early but a few of you forum members got it right :}

Why should Migs care about the parents being patient ?

They go to the games. They see who isn't playing defense, who is being selfish, who is rolling their eyes, who isn't listening, who isn't rebounding, who is whining to the refs, who is fighting amongst each other on the court.

Not Migs. Their kids. I hope Migs runs them into the ground this week.

TOTAL 100 PER CENT MAKEOVER IS NEEDED FOR THIS TEAM. ASAP.

Closed door players only meetings needed. Don't come out until your a team.

My advice to the parents is to talk to your own kid. Kick him in the butt and tell him what he needs to do to make this team better. IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT POINTS.

Don't worry about the other kids, worry about your own kid.

Question- Who is Guertin's best defensive player? Last year 4 or 5 names could be rattled off instantly. This year's team seems allergic to defense. Start with the defense,go from there.
HERE ENDETH THE LESSON.

T@F, your being to kind with the 10%. Cut that in half, then minus 4. That is their chance. Calling all leaders, Calling all leaders. Please report to Lund RD. BEFORE IT'S TO LATE.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:16 am

GNG, it's too early in the morning to figure out your % problem to get to the % of BG going to the Final Four. I haven't had that much coffee, but I will venture to say you are telling us BG has a very very very slim chance, percentage wise, of going to the Final Four.

I do want to point out a couple of positives for BG:

- Lunn and Kesty are having good years so far. Lunn has been consistent with his post play and in my mind would be the only player I could definitely consider having all state status right now for the Cardinals. Kesty has scored well and if he continues scoring he could get some AS consideration also. Don't get me going on AS status, as of now, for McCarthy. I believe when a player receives a basketball trophy or plaque for a job well done the basketball player on the award is not wearing street clothes.

- The lighting has improved remarkably at the C-Dome at BG. When I watched the Winny at BG girl's game I was amazed at how you can see a game much better there.

I agree with Jaf's opinion of Pinkerton. They have had a kind schedule so far. I believe they stand a good chance of finishing in the top 8 and hosting a prelim game. They have a very good back court. How Pinky does in their next 4 games will go a long way in determining their power ranking in my 2/3 completed season ranking in about 4 weeks.

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Post  GNG on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:33 am

T@F. I know I have been getting hit hard { I deserve it} for my POY pick, however I was also the first one to mention Lunn as BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:41 am

aren't you on record for saying one should not boast about themselves?

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D1 Boy's Power Rankings Empty Did anyone catch the Brewster vs Tilton game on ESPN yesterday.

Post  GNG on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:43 am

WOWSER MCBOWSER. What talent in our prep schools. I couldn't believe it. Are those the same teams that Green, Caleb, and Gilligan play. Just a different game then the one I see here in D 1.

What an obscene amount of talent. Unbelievable athletes on display. Major college coaches from all over were in attendance.

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Post  GNG on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:44 am

I apologize, just reminding, not boasting.

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Post  tarrier on Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:08 pm

Here are my statewide Power Rankings...I like to call it my "NH Hoop Heirarchy".

1.Trinity...It's nice having guys like the 6-7 Gabriel(I agree with T&F that we're still waiting to see this kid play his best ball this year), 6-6 Lauderdale(much improved on the hardwood) and 6-10 Silver Aluko(he's been coming off the bench providing shot blocking and rebounding and even some low post scoring). But for me, it's not the much-hyped height of the Pioneers front line that makes Dave Keefe's team go. It's Keefe's son Patrick and fellow super Soph Carmen Giampetruzzi that are the best 2 players on the team. One more thing, I've seen this team play 5 times so far and each game Freshman point guard Ian Sistare gets better and better. Watch out come March!

2.Merrimack...Just a hair under Trinity at this point. Probably the deepest team in the league top to bottom on the roster with "role" guys like Gianelli, Peabody and Whelan providing size, scoring and rebounding to help their version of the Big 3. Floras is playing well as expected and is the most important player to his team in the state because he handles the ball, passes the ball and scores the ball as good, if not better than anyone in NH. Tyler Gendron is a very good #2 man for the Tomahawks with a nice combo of size and athleticism. Younger brother Eric is much improved in his sophmore season than the not ready for primetime kid I saw last year. I think if the Gendron brothers could ever become more consistent like Floras Merrimack would be a clear cut #1 ahead of Trinity.

3.Central...Doc Wheeler has this team ahead of schedule in my opionion. When they started 0-2 I was thinking this just might not be their year, but a 4 game winning streak has the resurgent Little Green back in contention for a top 4 seed. Gabe LaCount has really stepped up his game. I saw flashes of that over his 1st 2 seasons on varsity, but this year he just seems like a different player. Central needs this to continue if they want to stay in the hunt for a title. Christian Artiga isn't the biggest center in the league at only 6-3, but he plays ALOT bigger and has tons of low post moves. The fact he's a lefty shooter also helps. Before the season started, Doc told me on my radio show(Sat mornings from 7-9am on WGIR-AM610-Manchester/96.7FM-Seacoast) that he was "nervous" about this years team. He's proably feeling alot better right now, especially after the 41-40 win at Trinity last week.

4.Alvirne...This Broncos team won't be coming out of nowhere as a double digit seed knocking off a higher ranked team in the D1 tourney come March. That's because they're one of the top 4 teams in the state right now and I fully expect them to finish that way. Sean Dunn showed me something in the playoff win over Merrimack last year and that has carried over to this year as he's taken over the role of the teams best scorer now that Caleb Donnelly has graduated. Tony Beaulieu may very well be the teams best overall "player". This kid is strong as a bull, but handles like a point guard and can get to the rim, even over much taller kids like the Trinity trees. He's also a terrific defensive player I haven't even gotten to junior forward Tyler Livingston who can shoot the 3(at 6-5) and has the ability to attack the basket. I think he's one of the most underated kids in the state. If big guys Jim Tomaswick(shows flashes) and Alex Yoksh(prounounced Yosh) are on their games this Broncos team could win it all. Depth beyond the kids I mentioned is questionable however.

5.Portsmouth...the Clippers from D2 could...and probably will be ranked even higher once they get Kyle Dicesare back from a broken foot suffered in football season. Right now I have them just slightly behind the big boys from D1 because I don't think the competition they've played so far in D2 matches what Trinity, Merrimack, Central and Alvirne have had to deal with so far. That said, the Clips did beat Pembroke by 1 at Pembroke in the season opener and D1 Spaulding in the Championship game of the Oyster River Xmas tourney. Kamahl Walker is 1 of the best overall players in the state, Billy Lane didn't play hoop last season when the Clippers finished as runners-up to Milford, but he's back this year and gives coach Mulvey what could very well be the best backcourt tandem in the state. Charlie Duprey is a solid big man and Ben Landry is a kid who's been adding some punch off the bench.

6.Pembroke...I wish we could see what this team almost entirely made up of guards would do in D1. With kids like Pat Welch and Rene Maher I bet they'd do just fine thank you. Welch, only a sophmore, is flat out the best shooter in the state. Point guard Maher is a junior and one of the tougher kids I've seen in my 20 years following NH high school hoops, and this year he seems to be taking on more of a scoring load for coach Alosa. Matt Persons is a nice 3rd wheel for the Spartans and can put up 20 in a heartbeat if necessary. Tyler Morrison, Jordan Williams and Kent Noyes give them some height, but none of them would be considered a dominating presence in the paint. Pembroke also has more depth this year than in recent seasons which gives them more bodies to run in and out with their up tempo style of play.

7.West...This isn't a deep team and they don't have much size but I REALLY like their starting line up. That begins with Aaron Martin who has always been a good player, but this year he's really stepped up his game. My one knock on him is he needs to take on a bigger role and take control of the team like he does as the QB of the Blue Knights football team where he would often run for 200 yards and pass for 200 more. Jocarl Bureau has emerged as a very solid compliment to Martin. He has nice ball handling skills and can score from the wing and take it to the hole. Point guard Carl Jacques is a kid who has started to come on. I like his outside shot and he can knock down FT's which helps give the team a 3rd scoring option. I also like sophmore Nolan Flynn who can shoot the lights out off the bench. I think he should see more playing time.

8.Nashua South...Saw these guys a couple times in the Chick-Fil-A holiday tournament in Nashua. The Panthers won it in the finals over rival Nashua North. I didn't think they were as good as their early January perfect record indicated, but they're still a tough team led by Anthony Muccioli, one of the better scorers in the state. The Preston brothers, Jack and Tim both bring different things to the table for coach Mazzerole. Sophmore Tim plays the point which frees Muccioli up on the wing, while bigger brother Jack at 6-4 has the size and strength to bang inside(he's also got some athletic ability too...as evidenced by his impressive dunk in the game against North).

9.Salem...I've yet to see Rob McGlaughlin's team in person, but they're off to a 4 and 2 start with the only losses coming to South before Christmas and to Spaulding on the road. They beat Pinkerton last week for their marquee win of the young season. Johhny Klecan is back for a 3rd season as the starting point guard and Ben Slepian who I saw the last couple of years stroking 3's for the Salem JV's is now lighting it up from the outside at the varsity level.

10.Pinkerton...I haven't seen these guys either yet. Life without Zach Mathieu wasn't too good for Pinkerton last season, but this year seems different so far for the 4-1 Astros. Chris Light was a member of that Championship team in a reserve role. This year he's stepped up to give coach Pete Rosinski a big time scorer. Another kid who played a big role on the Pinkerton title team of 2 years ago was bigman Alex Patrikis. Patrikis was hobbled with foot problems all during his junior year, but so far so good this season which is bad news for teams who will have trouble matching up with the Pinkerton wide body.

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Post  goldenbear on Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:37 pm

A lot of love for Alvirne team that got run off the floor by North in the X mas tourney,

North is winning games without Gauthier in Farmer the they are missing 4 games for violating team rules ( not a school suspension) coaches move

the schedule as been easy but they did win at Concord




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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:02 am

I like your insight, Mr Tarrier, with your Divisional cross over rankings.

- More on West. If Jocarl Bureau can consistently do for the rest of the season what he did in the QCIBT, then West will be very difficult to beat. In the QCIBT Bureau looked like he was one of the 20 best players in the entire state for HS basketball. For him to be effective Jacques and Descoteaux must take care of the rock. They must limit the Blu Knight turnovers and make sure Bureau and Martin get a plethora of touches in any game. Once Bureau and Martin get into a game flow and heat up West becomes a very difficult team to defend. I also have to make mention of 6'2 senior Caleb Dolman. He doesn't score that many points. You probably can get one piece of paper under his feet when he jumps, but not 2. He does a lot of dirty work and intangibles to free up Martin, Bureau and Jacques to score and run free on the court. Dolman sets picks, rebounds and is a good team mate. He is like one of the coal shovelers in the Titanic to keep the passengers happy on the deck of the cruise ship.

- Sistare playing point for Trinity is like him having the keys to a sleek sports car. Early on he's been driving the Trinity sports car to get comfortable with it. He is just starting to score a little more which means he's turning on the radio and opening up the rag top. If Sistare can operate the sports car and take the curves at high speeds in March, it will be "watch out" for the rest of D1.

- G-Bear, I'll continue to show love for Alvirne over North for 2 reasons:

1) Alvirne has had a much better post season showing than North the last 3 years.

2) North's 4 wins are over Exeter, Timby, Keene and Concord. Alvirne's 4 wins are over Central, West, BG and Exeter. Add to this that North was beaten by Trinity by 33 points (And North had their whole team for this game) while Alvirne lost to Trinity by 10. North was never really in the Trinity game after the 1st period while the Alvirne - Trinity game was EXTREMELY close for the first 31 minutes and 30 seconds.

The above 2 reasons mean more to me than the Nashua Holiday Tournament game between North and Alvirne.

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Post  NHhoops on Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:49 am

Yes, CNG - Green, Gilligan, and Caleb all play this year against the Tilton team you saw on ESPN. It is a far cry from playing against teams like Concord, Winnacunnett and Timberlane!

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