Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A year ago, Bob Hurley led St. Anthony to an undefeated season and a mythical national championship.
Could his son Dan Hurley follow suit this year?
One day after crushing Lance Stephenson and Lincoln in the Newark National Invitational, the Gray Bees avoided an upset by knocking off Bishop McNamara (MD) 79-70 in overtime Sunday in Allentown, Pa. Pitt-bound forward Lamar Patterson was named MVP after scoring 23 points.
St. Ben’s, which features the Texas-bound duo of 6-8 Tristan Thompson and 6-2 Myck Kabongo and Rice commit Tamir Jackson, is 19-0 and ranked No. 4 in the RivalsHigh 100.
The Gray Bees have defeated teams from eight states and Puerto Rico heading into a Feb. 4 tilt with Kevin Boyle’s St. Patrick team, No. 6 in the RivalsHigh 100, at Rutgers.
After that, the Bees face against undefeated and No.2 Mater Dei (Ca.) Feb. 7 in Santa Ana, Calif. That game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
“It’s a real tough stretch,” Hurley said. “We could lose any of our next 10 games. That’s how competitive high school basketball is.
“We could easily have three or four losses. We won one game by 1 point and another by 3. We’re a little bit of a young team. Of the first nine guys, only three are seniors. Everyone could be patting you on the back one week. You go play St. Pat’s and [Mater Dei] and you lose a couple, everyone goes away.”
What’s impressive about this team is that it picked up right where last year’s left off, despite losing three D-1 starters in Scott Machado (Iona), Samardo Samuels (Louisville) and Greg Echenique (Rutgers).
“Last year we had the two best four and five men in New Jersey [Samuels and Echenique], including Seton Hall and Rutgers,” Hurley said. “And those guys were just great players that just made teams want to quit because they were so big and strong and skilled.
“Then we lost three starters, a point guard and two inside guys, and we replaced them with sophomores and juniors and I couldn’t be happier.”
PROVIDENCE OFFERS MIKE TAYLOR
Providence assistant Pat Skerry was at NYU this past weekend for the SNY Invitational and came away sufficiently impressed with Brooklyn Boys & Girls sophomore guard Mike Taylor.
Providence then became the latest school to offer the 6-foot-3 Taylor a scholarship. He also holds offers from Rutgers and St. John’s, and Pitt is interested.
Taylor hit a buzzer-beating game-winning 3-pointer Saturday night to give Boys & Girls a 58-55 victory over Brooklyn rival Thomas Jefferson in the consolation game of the SNY Invitational. See the video here.
“Mike Taylor can really shoot the ball,” said recruiting expert Tom Konchalski. “He’s a terrific 3-point shooter.”
One day later, Boys & Girls downed Bishop Maginn 61-57 in the Coaches vs. Cancer event. It was the Kangaroos’ third game in three days.
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(PHotos courtesy St. Benedict’s, fiveborosports.com and New York Times)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.