Tuesday, January 18, 2011

O'Loughlin Commits to Trinity

So far there have been two NHIAA boys basketball players from the class of 2011 to commit to play college basketball. Both of them are headed to the same school.

First it was Pelham's Steve Spirou who committed to Trinity College. And now Spirou's AAU teammate with the Granite State Jayhawks, Mike O'Loughlin from Milford High has also decided to attend and play his college ball at Trinity.

Trinity competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), which is not only one of the best academic conferences in the country, but it is also one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the nation for basketball.

That being said, O'Loughlin is definitely the kind of player who could thrive in that conference. O'Loughlin, who is the #3 ranked prospect in the NHIAA's class of 2011, is a natural scorer who thrives in a fast-breaking, transition game. At 6'3" he projects as a natural two-guard at the college level, with exceptional strength, quickness, athleticism and leaping ability. He rebounds well for a guard, attacks the rim with authority and can shoot the basketball effectively off the catch or off the bounce, and he can shoot it either from the three or from mid-range. Simply put, he can score the basketball, and that ability will translate nicely to the college level. And if teams key on him he has the ability to look up and find the open man. O'Loughlin is also a solid defender, with the strength and quickness to defend 2's or 3's at the next level.

"Coach Cosgrove has already told me I will get significant playing time as a freshmen and I really liked that" O'Loughlin told the NH Notebook.

In addition to the likely possibility of immediate playing time at Trinity, many other factors also came into play with his decision.

"I chose Trinity for many reasons" O'Loughlin said. "It's a great school and I love the campus. When I visited a few months ago I felt very comfortable. I really like the coaching staff, and on top of that I got a very good financial aid package. So with all those factors it was a no-brainer."

Still only in his 1st year as Trinity's head coach, James Cosgrove has made it a priority to recruit New Hampshire players. The former St. Anselm's standout has brought in Eric Dean from the New Hampton School (Gilford, NH), then Spirou (Pelham, NH) and now O'Loughlin from Milford. Dean is currently averaging 7.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 22.8 minutes per game so far this season at Trinity. O'Loughlin has played with both Dean and Spirou with the Jayhawks.

"I also like the fact that I will already know a few people down there down there - Steve Spirou and Eric Dean. I'm very excited to be playing with Steve, we've been teammates on the Jayhawks for 2 years and that was great. I don't think we will be competing for minutes that much because we are going to be playing different positions. He'll be more of a 3 or 4, where I will be playing the 2 or 3. So I think it will work out very nicely."

O'Loughlin recently scored the 1,000th point of bis high school career. He helped lead Milford to the 2010 Class I state championship, and was a first-team all-state player a year ago. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that he was selected as one of the top 15 stock risers of this past summer's AAU season and live period by the New England Recruiting Report. While playing for the Jayhawks, he competed against some of the best high school and prep school players in the country on the AAU circuit and really shined.

With this very important decision behind him, O'Loughlin can now relax and focus on trying to help Milford win a second consecutive state title. They are certainly the favorites to do so. And if they do, don't be surprised to see Coach Cosgrove in attendance, especially if their opponent is Pelham.

Congrats to Mike, and best of luck at Trinity!

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