Friday, August 28, 2015

Knollmeyer Commits to NYIT

In the past few days we've done articles on Casey Evans and Sara Messler committing to D-II schools on basketball scholarships. At about the same time as their commitments, Meg Knollmeyer of Winnacunnet High was doing the same. That's right - three bigs from NH in the same week committing to schools on hoops scholarships. All 3 of them played AAU with the NE Crusaders.

Knollmeyer is a 6-foot forward who led a Winnacunnet team which had just 1 senior starter to the D-I title game last year as a junior. She was also a 2nd team All-State selection. Knollmeyer has committed to the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). The Bears are a D-II program which competes in the East Coast Conference (ECC). They went 20-11 last season, advancing to the conference title game before falling by just 2 points.

"Meg could have been a freshmen on the varsity team her freshmen year had there not been 15 bodies and the shadows of Carly Gould and Mimi McLoud taking a majority of the minutes" Winnacunnet High girls basketball coach Cassie Turcotte told the NH Notebook. "She is quick, agile, tall and sees the floor well."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Messler Commits to Saint Anselm

Sara Messler has already had quite the career at Oyster River. She's a four year starter and enters her senior year just 3 points shy of 1,000 for her career. The 5-foot-11 forward led Oyster River to a 14-4 record last season as a junior, earning 1st team all-state honors in Division II.

As a result of her hard work, Messler has been one of the more sought after local recruits from the Class of 2016. She recently made her college decision, committing to Saint Anselm's. The Hawks are a Division II program in the Northeast-10 Conference and located in nearby Manchester, NH.

"I considered all my options and looked at all the different aspects of each school" Messler told the NH Notebook. "I compared size, location, academics, and the basketball programs. When I chose St. A's I just loved how close it was to home and the campus gave me a good feeling that I thought I could have much success there. Also being able to play with two former Crusaders would be so special. It would be like having two big sisters on the team. I was also looking at a few other Northeast-10 schools such as Stonehill and SNHU as well as D-I schools like Colgate. However, St. A's offer to me was for a limited time, so I had to make a decision soon and I couldn't pass up this great opportunity. I felt St. A's was great for me on and off the court."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Evans Verbally Commits to Saint Michael's

Over the past seven years, we've run dozens of stories breaking the news of NH athletes accepting scholarships to play in college. None of them had greater obstacles to overcome than Casey Evans.

Evans was born with Craniosynostosis, which was a result of plates of her skull being fused together before she was born. She had one surgery when she was just 6 months old, another surgery at age 2 and another surgery 3 years ago, just before her sophomore season at Londonderry. She also underwent eye surgery to repair double vision, has had to deal with constant migraines, has suffered from short and long term memory loss as well as learning disabilities.

Yet here is Evans, one of the top girls basketball players in the region and now committed to Saint Michael's College on a basketball scholarship. The fact that she has overcome everything that she has health-wise and still get there is remarkable. Evans is proof that with perseverance and determination, anything is possible.

"I’m still a case study at Boston Children’s Hospital" Evans told the NH Notebook. "I had my last cranial surgery at the end of my sophomore year and that corrected all the migraines and headaches. The next surgery was on my eyes which came at the end of my junior year. The eye surgery corrected the double vision, which made it difficult at times to focus. All seems to be corrected, I am doing well physically. No more goggles!"

Monday, August 24, 2015

NH Notebook Football Prospect Rankings - Class of 2016

As we do every year here at the New Hampshire Notebook we rank the state's top football recruits. Any NH resident is eligible, whether they attend an NHIAA school or a a prep school. Colleges are recruiting kids from the Class of 2016, so that's who we are ranking. Post-grads are eligible as well. We've got the state's top recruits ranked, along with their school, height, weight, position, scouting report and a link to their Hudl page. Other information such as 40 yard dash time and bench press is also listed.

Prospects are ranked in order of how well they project as college recruits. Athletes who project at the FBS level will be ranked highest, followed by FCS, then D-II and finally D-III prospects. We cover dozens of high school football games around the state every season, break down countless hours of game film and talk to coaches in order to come to assessments of the players that is as accurate as possible. As a result, this can be used as a resource for college coaches when recruiting Granite State talent. Size, speed, strength were all taken into account, as well as the player's ability to play the position(s) he projects at the next level.

One other note - Hayden Sturdevant (OL/DL, 6'4" 305 lbs.) from Pinkerton is transferring to the Salisbury School and reclassifying to the Class of 2017 per NH Football Report's Roger Brown. So he is not on the list. Two players who are on the list are Saikou Bah (Trinity) and Chase Hughes (BG), pictured above on a visit at UConn. Without any further ado, here are New Hampshire's top recruits from the Class of 2016.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 Sam Carey Classic - Event Recap

The 4h annual Sam Carey Classic was held on Friday night at Manchester Central High School. The event featured two games - first was the high school / prep school all-star game, followed by the Alumni game. There was a DJ in the house as well as Boston Celtics mascot Lucky and San Antonio Spurs veteran forward Matt Bonner (Concord, NH). And it was all for a good cause - to honor the memory of former Manchester Central High and SNHU center Sam Carey, who was killed in a car accident. Proceeds from the event also went towards the 'Rock On Foundation', run by Matt and Luke Bonner.

"We've got an awesome crowd" said Luke Bonner, former Trinity High Star who went on to play at West Virginia and UMass. "Mike Stys and Brett Sellingham do a great job of running this event. It's a great tribute to Sam, bringing the NH basketball community together. If you met Sam once you had a friend for life. We're using the proceeds to renovate the Beech Street basketball court."

There was a ton of local talent on display. The alumni game featured players like Keith Friel, PJ Young, Corey Hassan, Scott Hazelton, Miguel Gonzalez, David Cooper, Tyler Roche, Troy Bowen, Chris Burns, Matt Lemieux and Pat Luptowski.

First up though was the high school / prep school all-star game, which had some kids who are headed off to college in the fall. The rest of kids out there are some of the area's most highly recruited players from the Classes of 2016 and 2017. Here's a look at the NH recruits on hand.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sam Carey Classic Coming Soon

The third annual Sam Carey All-Star game will take place on August 21 at Manchester Central High School. The event honors the late Sam Carey, former standout at Central High and at SNHU who tragically passed in a car accident. There will be a high school/prep all-star game at 6 pm, followed by an alumni game at 7:15.

"This event is truly a community event which is a great testament to Sam and how many lives he impacted" said event organizer Mike Stys of BST Basketball, who also played at Central High and SNHU. "Going on four years strong we have raised $10,000 which will be used along with funds generated this year to renovate the Beech Street courts in Sam's honor. One thing I want to say is that this event would never be possible without all of Sam's past teammates, opponents stepping up and really wanting to be at the event each and every year. Also want to make sure that I thank Bob Scriber on behalf of Mcgarveys and Dennis Walker on behalf of SolarCity for sponsoring this event and providing jerseys for all of the players".

Here are the rosters for the high school / prep school all-star game, which will feature some of the region's top talent.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ripley Verbally Commits to Miami

A great player, a great kid - a great story. New Hampton School's Rebecca Ripley piled up an astonishing 15 Division I scholarship offers to play basketball - before even starting her junior year of high school. The Stratham, NH resident is one of the country's top recruits from the Class of 2017. Ripley has ended her recruitment, verbally committing to the University of Miami (FL) this past weekend.

The list of schools that offered Ripley includes Syracuse, Seton Hall, Boston College, Ohio State, Clemson, Miami, St Johns, Rutgers, Dayton, Georgetown, Rhode Island, Providence, UMass, Bryant and Fordham. Ripley will play for the Miami in the ACC. Under head coach Katie Meier, the Hurricanes to its sixth consecutive postseason, a fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last five years, and a fifth 20-plus win season in the last six years.

"Miami has always been one of my dream schools, along with Kentucky" Ripley told the New Hampshire Notebook. "The coaches from UMiami and I started to build a relationship after my AAU coach Earl Elliott from the New York Gauchos and I reached out to them. The coaching staff began to come to a large majority of my games during the July live period. For example, the EYBL tournaments Virginia, Chicago, Atlanta, Augusta & Iowa. The coaches stayed in contact with my AAU coaches and explained to them how they admire me and how they love my game. When I heard that they were a fan my face lit up. I was extremely excited as well as anxious. I continued to stay in touch with the coaches and they ended up offering me after live period. When they offered I started to tear up inside because this was my dream, and not only was receiving numerous high major offers but I picked up one from my dream school since I was younger."

Friday, July 17, 2015

Schlim & Tilton to Play College Ball at Central Maine CC

Central Maine Community College has nabbed a pair of top local recruits for its women's college basketball team. Head coach Andrew Morong has announced that both Jenny Schlim of Coe-Brown Northwood Academy and Dover High's Abby Tilton will join his program.

Schlim led Coe-Brown to an undefeated championship season as a senior this past winter. She's a versatile 5-foot-10 wing who can play inside or out. She can hit the 3 or post up inside. Schlim is also a very good passer and tough competitor.

Tilton is a 5-foot-7 combo-guard who can handle the basketball and set teammates up, and at the same time she can score when she needs to. Tilton can hit the 3 or take her man off the dribble. She was a four year varsity contributor for a Dover squad which was consistently competing for a home playoff game in Division I.

In four seasons at CM, Morong has led the Lady Mustangs to an overall record of 96-25 and a Yankee Conference record of 51-7.

More information on this can be found here, on the Central Maine CC website: http://cmmustangs.com/sports/wbkb/2015-16/releases/20150608qsutyg

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer Hoops News

The offers continue to come in for local basketball prospects. Wenyin Gabriel, the state's top prospect from the Class of 2016 has recently landed offers from Notre Dame, Texas and Villanova per the New England Recruiting Report. The 6-foot-8 Gabriel continues to shine on the AAU circuit with the Mass Rivals.

Ian Sistare from the NE Playaz has added another offer, this one from Furman. Sistare is NH's #2 rated prospect from 2016. Tshiefu Ngalakulondi has picked up his first D-I offer, from James Madison. Ngalakulondi has been playing with the DC Blue Devils, and his teammates Caleb Green, Geo Baker and Luke Rosinski have all received offers this AAU season (all are local NH kids).

Roskinski (a former Pinkerton Academy standout) committed to UNH earlier this AAU season, while Baker has transferred to Proctor Academy where he will attend in the fall after leading Pinkerton to the NHIAA D-I state title game this past winter as a sophomore. Baker will join Green, Ngalakulondi and fellow DC Blue Devils teammate Julian Roche at Proctor.

Another one of the NHIAA's top prospects is leaving for prep school as well. Monytung Maker, a 6'5" forward from Manchester West High is transferring to Bradford Christian Academy and reclassifying to 2017. Maker has a good motor, can play above the rim, is athletic and finishes well on the break.

Last but not least - Nicolette Arnold, who was only a freshman last winter for Pinkerton, has received her first D-I offer from Rhode Island. Arnold is transferring from Pinkerton to Lawrence Academy, where she will repeat her freshman year and reclassify to 2019.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Rosinski Accepts Offer to Play Hoops at UNH

The UNH men's basketball team had their best season in years in 2014-2015, going 19-13 overall and advancing to the America East semi-finals. However in 10 seasons with Bill Herrion as head coach, the program hasn't brought in one scholarship player who was a local kid from NH - until now.

Luke Rosinski (Derry, NH), a 6-foot-7 forward committed to the University of New Hampshire on Wednesday. The former Pinkerton Academy standout will return to Kimball Union Academy in the fall for his senior year and then play for Coach Herrion and the Wildcats in 2016.

"It's an honor" Rosinski told the NH Notebook. "UNH had previously been recruiting a lot in Texas, but they told me that they want to start recruiting more kids from NH. Coach Kuntz came to one of our fall scrimmages at KUA. That's when I first met with UNH. Then him and Coach Herrion came to our game vs. Tilton. They said they liked me and that they'd come to one of my AAU games. We played in the HoopGroup tournament in Pennsylvania, and that's when UNH offered me."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Explosive Point Guard KJ Matte (2017)

Lebanon High point guard KJ Matte followed up an all-state sophomore season with an impressive performance at the recent NH AAU State Tournament. Below is his highlight tape, take a look.

What we find most impressive is Matte's ability to see the whole floor and keep his head up while dribbling at all times in order to see where to attack the defense. Not only that, but he excels at not only scoring but also setting his teammates up as well. Matte finishes through contact over bigger defenders and can stick the long range jumper off the bounce or the catch. He's definitely a player to continue watching over the next couple of years, during which time his recruitment should pick up even more.



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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

O'Brien to Play College Ball at Endicott

One of NH's top local players from the Class of 2015 has made his college decision. Robert O'Brien, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, was on all-state selection for Conant High where he helped lead the Orioles to back-to-back Division III titles as a junior and senior. He followed that up with a successful post-grad year this past winter at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts. O'Brien will be staying in the Bay State to play at the next level, as he has recently committed to play at Endicott College.

"I first started getting calls from schools after my junior year at Conant" O'Brien told the NH Notebook. "I was playing AAU in some big tournaments around the country with a team out of Mass and that gave me exposure but also local schools were contacting me that saw me play that season at Conant too. There were many D2 schools contacting me throughout my senior year and this year at Cushing. What it came down to is they saw me as only a recruited walk-on and could be on the team that way. The D2 schools were SNHU, Molloy, St Thomas-Aquinas, Mercy, Assumption and Dominican. The top D3 schools that recruited me were Endicott, Keene St, and St Joe's in Maine."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Two of NHIAA's Top Freshmen Headed for Prep School

The trend of top local high school hoops talent leaving the NHIAA for prep school continues. Angelique Ngalakulondi, a 6-foot-1 forward from Manchester Central and Pinkerton's 5-foot-9 guard Nicolette Arnold are two of the top freshmen girls basketball players in NH. Both ooze with potential, and even as freshmen they're being touted as scholarship level prospects. They're both headed for prep school.

Ngalakulondi is transferring to Proctor Academy, while Arnold is leaving for Lawrence Academy - according to TJ Thompson, who trains both of them. Both will repeat their freshman years next season, reclassifying to the Class of 2019. Ngalakulondi will attend Proctor with her older brother Tschiefu, who is a standout wing for the school's boys basketball team from the Class of 2017. She'll play at Proctor alongside point guard Amanda Torres, who transferred there last season following her sophomore year at Trinity High of Manchester. Around the same time another guard left a NHIAA school in Manchester for the prep ranks, as Angelina Marazzi transferred from Memorial High to Northfield Mount Hermon. Each of these players has trained with Coach Thompson.

Both Arnold and Ngalakulondi helped lead their respective high school teams to the NHIAA Division I Final Four last month. Arnold has a deadly jumper (off the catch or the dribble) can blow by defenders off the bounce and sees the floor well. Ngalakulondi has good size, off the charts athleticism, runs like a deer and can block shots like nobody's business.

Green, Baker & Rosinski Receive Offers from UNH

In the past 10 years only 2 locals have played for the UNH men's basketball team and both of them were walk-ons. That could change over the next few years. This week Caleb Green (Londonderry, NH), Geo Baker (Derry, NH) and Luke Rosinski (Derry, NH) all received scholarship offers from Coach Herrion. This news is according to TJ Thompson, who coaches all 3 of them with the DC Blue Devils AAU program.

Baker (Pinkerton Academy) and Green (Proctor Academy) is the Blue Devils starting back court. Both are among the region's top rated point guard prospects from the Class of 2017. Rosinski (Kimball Union Academy) at 6-foot-7 is a post player / face-up 4 from the Class of 2016. This is Rosinski's first offer, while Green was offered last summer by UNH's conference rival Stony Brook and earlier this spring Baker received his first offer from Central Connecticut State University. It's nice to see the hard work pay off for these kids, and with it still so early in AAU season more offers could be coming.

Thompson's DC Blue Devils squad is loaded with local talent. His entire starting five are potential D-I recruits, with four of them being from NH (Green, Rosinski, Baker and Tschiefu Ngalakulondi). That is unheard of in this area.

"We're trying to change the perception of NH basketball" said Thompson, who went on to play proefessionally in Europe after his college career at George Washington.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Benway to Play College Ball at St. Joe's

Spaulding High senior Emily Benway was one of NH's top players from the Class of 2015, but because she played for a struggling high school team she didn't receive the same type of exposure and fanfare throughout the state as the other top players did.

Benway didn't let that discourage her, though. She just kept on working and in the end it paid off. Last month she was named a 2nd team all-state selection by the NHBCO and was picked to play in the Granite Games, which recognize the state's top senior players. She has also decided on a college for next year, as the 5-foot-10 wing forward has committed to Saint Joseph's College of Maine.

"My recruitment was stressful because I was stuck between going to a Division II school and a Division III school - Merrimack and Saint Joe's" Benway told the NH Notebook. "I chose Saint Joe's because I just felt like I would fit in very well there. I had watched a practice and had lunch with the team, it just felt right. The campus is great. I also received a very good financial aid package from Saint Joe's. Another big factor was that I want to be focused on school and also play basketball and have fun with it. Saint Joe's has my number one major which is Biology / Pre-physicians assistant, whereas Merrimack does not."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NH Elite Girls Workout - Event Recap

AAU basketball season is now in full swing, and the NH Notebook will be covering many of the state's top teams and players. We kicked off our coverage on Monday night at Portsmouth Christian Academy in Dover, by observing a NH Elite girls practice and evaluating the talent on hand.

NH Elite is in its fifth year and is one of the state's premier programs. Their older teams are coached by Dustin Freeman and Kent Coffey. They stress the fundamentals of the game and doing the little things well, such as making the extra pass, hitting explosion points when driving, boxing out and making the smart play rather than the fancy one. The practice included conditioning, full and half court skill work followed by full court scrimmaging.

Many of NH's top up and coming prospects were in the gym, including 5-foot-10 Spaulding senior Emily Benway, who has committed to play college ball of St. Joseph's of Maine. Other standouts included Kaya Cadagan (Winnacunnet), Kelsey Coffey (Londonderry) and Emily Francoeur (Somersworth), Allie Sirmaian (Salem), Riley Bennett (Bishop Brady), Ashley Hill (Trinity), Katie Valcich (Winnacunnet) and Sadie Shore (Portsmouth).

Here's a closer look at what we saw from the program's local prospects.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ESPN NH's Friday Night Lights - Hoops Season Wrap Up Podcast

Friday Night Lights Saturday morning show airs from 9-11 during high school football and basketball seasons. This past Saturday was their season wrap up show. The show's hosts are Sean Sendall, Chris Shuker and Mike Beliveau. They do a great job and were nice enough to have me on as a guest for a couple segments on the show.

We looked back at the season that has just completed in NH basketball, touching on the boys and girls side and all four divisions. Take a listen!