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Wednesday / November 30.
  • St. Ben’s Adds Still More Talent for National Title Run

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    Already stacked with two of the best guards in the nation, St. Benedict’s Prep has loaded up with a slew of frontcourt talent for next year and hopes to challenge for a mythical national title.

    St. Benedict’s coach Mark Taylor told SNY.tv his team has added 6-foot-9 senior power forward Mike Young , formerly of Hudson (N.J.) Catholic, and 6-foot-10 freshman Rodney Miller (pictured courtesy Basketball Spotlight) to a roster that already includes elite guards Tyler Ennis and Isaiah Briscoe and highly recruited forward Isaiah Watkins.

    “We have so much talent next year it’s going to be really exciting to see how they come together as a group,” said Taylor, whose team finished 35-3 in his first season a year ago, losing only to St. Anthony, DeMatha Catholic and eventual ESPN NHSI champion Findlay Prep, and ranked No. 15 in the USA Today poll. “If they can mesh their chemistry, their upside next year is unbelievable.”

    The 6-10 Miller could be a difference-maker in the years to come at the Newark school.

    “He has size, skill and runs the floor great,” Taylor said of Miller. He has all the tools to become a pro.”

    In addition to Miller and Young, the Rivals No. 13 power forward in the Class of 2013, St. Ben’s has also added 6-7 freshman Tyrell Green of Canada, 6-6 Nicholas Washington of Puerto Rico and 6-2 guard NyRhique Smith.

    In addition, Taylor said the team still planned to add an unnamed 6-9 senior and a Top 30 sophomore guard.

    “It’s gonna be scary,” Taylor said. “The No. 1 goal is to get everyone to play together and have fun.”

    As far as scheduling, the Gray Bees will play in a slew of national events against top-tier opponents.

    Taylor will match wits with both St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley and former St. Patrick and current Montverde (Fla.) Academy coach Kevin Boyle.

    After losing to Kyle Anderson and St. Anthony, 51-50, last year in the New Year’s Jump Off, the two North Jersey powerhouses will play next year in the Newark National Invitational Feb. 2 at the Prudential Center.

    The Gray Bees will also play in the Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic Dec. 16; against Montverde in the Gulf Coast Classic Dec. 28-30; in the SFIC against Gill St. Bernard’s Jan. 4; against Chicago Simeon or Grace Prep in the Cancer Research Classic Jan. 5; and against Montrose Christian in the HoopHall Classic Jan. 20.

    Taylor said St. Benedict’s would also revert to adding a postgraduate team along with its high school team. The school had two teams under former coach Dan Hurley.

    Photo: Basketball Spotlight



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    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.