Posted by: Coach P

Jonathan Cruz Goes After A Lose Ball Last Night

Rivals standout junior Jonathan Cruz started and played 32 minutes in last nights game as Quinnipiac University lost 52 - 50 in the Northeast Conference Championship to Robert Morris.   The 6'7" Cruz looked good as he scored 4 points, had 9 rebounds, and a steal on the evening.

A win by Quinnipiac would have sent Cruz and the Bobcats to the NCAA tournament.  After winning 17 of 19, Quinnipiac (23-9) was unable to secure a final victory that would have sent it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time as a Division I program. With the game televised nationally by ESPN2, Cruz and the Bobcats put up a great fight before falling to Robert Morris (23-11).

Quinnipiac had their opportunities. With the game tied, Rober Morris took a 50-48 lead with 1:13 left when Velton Jones made a nice jumper over two defenders.  Quinnipiac sophomore James Johnson threw up a jumper with 47 seconds left, but the ball bounced off the rim and Robert Morris senior Rob Robinson gathered the rebound.  Quinnipiac got the ball back with 20 seconds left when Karon Abraham was called for a charge, but could not convert. 

Posted by: Coach P

Carson Desrosiers Is Heading to Wakeforest

Carson Desrosiers plays for Central Catholic and that's all I need to know to pick Central as the more than likely candidate to be the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament Champion come Tuesday evening.  Wake Forest bound Desrosiers is one of the top players in the country.  I have been fortunate enough to coach him and thus have been present as major division 1 coaches followed him around the country hoping the big man would one day wear their uniform.  Those coaches followed Desrosiers around the country, six of them showing up at the Rockingham Athletic Club in Plaistow, NH to visit the Scott Hazelton Basketball School during the first day of the division1 live period.  The reason they came to Plaistow, NH is that they thought that Desrosiers was better than the rest.  I'm not talking the rest of the players in the Merrimack Vally, I'm talking about better than the rest of the players in the country.  So, to pick anybody else but Central, one wouldn't be thinking straight especially if you understand that talent wins basketball games.  Now, can Andover or Lawrence win the tournament, of course they can.  That is the beauty of playing sports. You actually have to play the game to determine who the winner is, and many things can go right or wrong in one game.

But having said that, here are three other reasons that when the game is over, Central Catholic will be the 2010 Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament Champion:

First:  The next best player (after Desrosiers) in the tournament is Central's junior Jimmy Zenevitch.  The 6'7" big man can run, catch, and finish around the basket.  And that is a great skill set to have especially when you're playing with the best passer in the tournament in the 6'11" Desrosiers.  Furthermore, Zenevitch is the only other Division 1 prospect in the tournament.  Two division 1 players is a lot for other teams in the tournament to overcome.

Second:  In my opinion Central has three of the best six players in the eight team tournament as sophomore Luis Puello is a force at the high school level.  Puello is always at the right place at the right time getting his hands on every ball.  He just makes plays.  Puello is also the best defender in the tournament and gives Central the ability to put Puello on the opponents best player.  Puello will force the other talented guards to expend a lot of energy just to get the ball up the floor, and if they bet by him they will have to meet up with Desrosiers and Zenevitch who will be protecting the basket.  In my opinion, the other top three players in the tournament are Andover guard Joe Bramanti, Lawrence guard Jaylen Alicea, and Salem guard Alex LaRosa.  All three guards are talented high school players but should be no match for Desrosiers and Central.

Third:  I was at the Christmas Tournament last year and did watch the Central-Andover final.  The score was 59 - 51 Central, but the game wasn't as close as the final score suggests.  If I remember right, Andover scored less than 20 points in the first half of that one as Desrosiers all but put a lid on the basket.  Based on the low scoring nature of that game, Central's double digit leads throughout the game were acutally much more significant.   The problem this year for the rest of the tournament field is that Desrosiers is back a year older and a year stronger, and is joined by a more talented group of teammates who are better scorers than last years group.  So if Central is to lose, Salem, Andover or Lawrence will need to find a way to put the ball in the basket. 

Of course, we need to play the games first.

Posted by: Coach P

 Hanell Velez Had 8 Points in his first game for Southern New Hampshire University

Hanell Velez and Billy Marsden opened up there college career with a win over Bridgeport on Sunday.  In his first college game, Velez scored 8 points (3-4 from the floor) in 20 minutes and Marsden was 0-1 from the floor in 10 minutes.

Southern New Hampshire  72 -  Bridgeport 69

Southern New Hampshire Box Score

##Playerpfgm-fgafgm-fgaftm-ftaoff-deftotpftpatoblkstlmin

10 Stephen Wood 5-8 0-2 2-3 2-6 12 28 
22 Cory Vejraska 3-8 1-3 1-2 1-1 32 
24 Greg DeSantis 5-8 1-4 0-0 0-4 11 32 
34 Marcus Matthews 3-5 0-0 7-12 0-3 13 32 
44 Tory Stapleton 3-8 0-0 0-0 1-2 21 
03 Billy Marsden 0-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 10 
20 Lucas Croteau 0-3 0-2 1-2 1-0 14 
21 Hanell Velez 3-4 2-3 0-0 0-5 20 
32 Josh Morgan-Green 3-4 1-2 0-0 1-1 19 
40 Corey Boland 3-6 0-0 0-3 0-1 17

Posted by: Coach P

After a fantastic Spring and Summer playing for the  Mass Rivals, the New Hampton Prep bound combo guard Jordan Laguerrre is a hot commodity and the recruiting is picking up fast.  Laguerre traveled to Providence College this afternoon, will make his way to UMass Amherst tomorrow with teammates Zach Auguste (Marlborough), Ryan Canty (Tilton) and Cedric Kukuamensah (Worcester North) before finishing up the week with a visit to the University of Connecticut on Thursday.