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Saturday / November 26.
  • Wade Baldwin Transfers to St. Joseph-Metuchen

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA & ALEX SCHIFFER

    St. Joseph-Metuchen High School just got a whole lot more dangerous on the basketball court.

    Wade Baldwin, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard in the Class of 2014, decided to transfer to the school from Immaculata after averaging 17.6 points per game last season.

    St. Joe’s-Metuchen is the reigning New Jersey Non-Public A state champ.

    “Basically, I chose them for a better academic school that’s going to prepare me for college,” Baldwin told SNY.tv by phone. “My main focus is on going to an academic school that will set me up for after college basketball. St. Joe’s provides that very well along with the great team that they have.

    “Immaculata wasn’t the best fit for me. As good of a coach as coach [Mike] Frauenheim was [St. Joe’s] was just better environment for academics and athletics also.”

    Baldwin, who runs with the Sports U 16U team, holds offers Seton Hall, UMass, Boston University, Northwestern and St. Joe’s. He may visit West Virginia this summer, too.

    St. Joe’s-Metuchen lost 6-5 wing Quenton DeCosey (Temple) and 6-3 wing Danny Brix (Stonehill) but will feature Baldwin and 6-10 rising sophomore Karl Towns on a team that also features senior point guard Jimbo Long and senior power forward James Ziemba, as well as incoming 6-4 freshman Tyus Battle.

    Towns, 16, just returned from winning a gold medal with the John Calipari-coached Dominican Republic National Team at the Centrobasket championship in San Juan, P.R.

    “It was a great feeling knowing that I have a gold medal and now I can put it next to my state championship ring,” Towns told Jerry Carino of MyCentralJersey.com. “Knowing all the success that God’s given me, it’s really a blessing. I just want to keep succeeding.”

    Towns and the DR will now compete in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament July 2-8 in Caracas, Venezuela. Former St. Anthony star Mike Rosario will also be there with Puerto Rico.

    “We’re super fired up,” Towns told Carino. “We just got one gold medal, and we’re taking all the great feelings over to Venezuela. I think we’re going to qualify for (London), and maybe not only qualify but win gold.”

    Battle, who once committed to Gill St. Bernard’s, decided to turn down the opportunity of playing with Jaren Sina, and head to St. Joe’s to play alongside Towns.

    Battle, who has lit it up on the AAU scene this year with the NJ Roadrunners, is the son of Gary Battle, a 1,000 point scorer from Colonia High School back in the 80s and a college All-American at the University of New Haven.

    Battle can play both guard positions as well as small  forward, which will help the Falcons replace the scoring threat they lost in DeCosey. Battle’s game has been compared to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s and he has received early college looks from Rutgers, Seton Hall and Cincinnati.

    “This team could be giving St. Anthony’s a run,” Baldwin said of the two-time defending New Jersey Tournament of Champions winners who will take a 65-game winning streak into the 2012-13 season.

    “I see us winning a state championship again with all the talent that we have.”

    He added: “With that size and the height of myself and Tyus and Karl and James, I think we’re going to be a pretty dominant force in the state and maybe compete with teams out of the state as well.”



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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.