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.
After a pair of weekend wins over St. Peter’s Prep at the Dan Finn Classic and over Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove at the Hoophall Classic, Bob Hurley’s St. Anthony Friars are a perfect 12-0.
Following last year’s 33-0 season that culminated in Hurley’s fourth mythical national championship, the Friars have now won 45 games in a row.
Their last loss came in the New Jersey state tournament to Trenton Catholic on March 13, 2010.
UCLA-bound senior point guard Kyle Anderson, who transferred to St. Anthony from now-defunct Paterson Catholic at the start of the 2010-11 season, is now 45-0 in a St. Anthony uniform.
All of this begs the question, Can St. Anthony go undefeated again?
“They play such great defense, they could go undefeated,” longtime New York recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv.
St. Anthony will have some speed bumps on its schedule going forward.
In the SNY Invitational Jan. 27-28, they will face Thomas Jefferson and then either Cardozo or St. Raymond’s. Cardozo just suffered a major hit, though, when 6-foot-9 junior Jermaine Lawrence left for Pope John of Sparta, N.J.
The Friars then visit a tough Plainfield club Feb. 7 before facing a Huntington (West Va.) Prep team loaded with future Division I players on Feb. 11 in the PrimeTime Shootout.
After that, they could have some tough games in the New Jersey state tournament, though they no longer have to face St. Patrick in the North Non-Public B bracket. Their stiffest competition in the North figures to come from a talented, but young Hudson Catholic club.
Konchalski points out that injury could be the the only thing that might cause St. Anthony to lose a game.
“They can have a bad day offensively, they can have some injuries,” he said. “If they were to play a Plainfield or St. Peter’s Prep without Kyle Anderson, that would be very tough.”
The 6-foot-9 Anderson, whom Hurley has called a “modern-day Magic Johnson,” had 18 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks against Miller Grove and shows no signs of slowing down.
In fact, after beating St. Benedict’s Prep, 51-50, earlier this month at Hackensack High School, Anderson said he wanted to go 66-0 and win back-to-back national titles.
“Part of playing for St. Anthony is going down in history, that’s what it’s all about,” he said after the St. Ben’s game.
“So we would be the first team to go 66-0 and win two national championships so that’s just our goal.”
The Friars are currently ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps, No. 4 by ESPN and No. 6 by Five Star Basketball.
But Hurley could not care less about mid-season rankings.
“We look at the polls at the end of the year,” Hurley told ESPN/Rise. “Other than that, I don’t really put any thought into where we’re ranked and things like that. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Don’t be surprised to look up at the end of the year, though, and find the Friars back in a familiar spot atop all the rankings.
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.