I wrote an article a couple weeks back saying how Hopkinton was my #2 ranked team in my early bird boys basketball team rankings for next season because they would have returning first team all-stater Frankie Beane as well as projected first team all-stater Mike Auger coming back from injury. With 2 of the top 3 players in their division, the Hawks would have been one of the favorites next season in D-III.
Well it turns out I spoke to soon. Just a day after posting that article I received word that Auger has committed to become the latest in a long line of talented NH products to leave the NHIAA for prep school. The 6'6" forward is transferring to the New Hampton School, where he will repeat his sophomore year and get back the year he missed this past winter when he was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Auger had a big freshman season for Hopkinton in 2009-2010, then had an even bigger AAU season with the Mass Rivals last spring/summer. His game was making strides by the day and he was emerging as one of of the NHIAA's top prospects. Then he suffered a torn labrum this past November, right before the season started. He had surgery on his shoulder soon after that, and had to miss the entire season. Auger has been rehabbing, and hopes to be back on the court soon.
At New Hampton he will play against some of the top players in the country. He'll also play alongside Zach Auguste, a fellow Rivals player who is also a long, athletic big man. Auguste is in the Class of 2012 and has a number of high-major offers. By playing at New Hampton and working out with Auguste, Auger will have a chance to reach his full potential as a player.
It's a tough break for Hopkinton, as they were legit title contenders before this news came to be. Now you really have to consider Berlin to be HEAVY favorites next season in D-III boys hoops.
This is great news for Auger though, especially after how tough it must have been this past season sitting and watching from the sidelines. But he has been working hard to get back on the court and back in shape.
Congrats to Mike, and best of luck at New Hampton!