Pope John's Hasson Ready to Face Former Mentor Hurley in Hoop Group Tip-Off Showcase | Zagsblog
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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.
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Friday / July 12.
  • Pope John’s Hasson Ready to Face Former Mentor Hurley in Hoop Group Tip-Off Showcase

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    Jason Hasson knows what it’s like to coach under Bob Hurley at St. Anthony High School.

    Now he will get a chance to coach against the Naismith Hall of Famer.

    “When I was coaching with him when we would play other teams, I would always look down at the other coach and look at the other players on the court and think what an honor it was to coach against him and what an honor it was to play against his team and I’m just glad that he’s given my team and my coaching staff that opportunity,” Hasson told SNY.tv.

    Hasson spent three years at St. Anthony and was on the staff when the Friars won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions and a mythical national championship in 2011.

    Now he and his Pope John team will face the Friars in the Hoop Group Tip-Off Showcase on Sunday at 6 p.m. at West Orange (N.J.) High School.

    The event will feature a Who’s Who of top Garden State teams and players, including the St. Joe’s-Metuchen trio of Kentucky-bound Karl Towns Jr., Vanderbilt signee Wade Baldwin and Canisius commit Raven Owen Jr.; Roselle Catholic’s Isaiah Briscoe, Chris Silva and Asante Gist; Cincinnati pledge Quadri Moore of Linden; Seton Hall-bound wing Ismael Sanogo; and Tyus Battle of Gill St. Bernard’s.

    Pope John features 2015 big man Moustapha Diagne, who is being courted by Syracuse and Rutgers, among others; 2015 point guard Matt Zignorski, who is being recruited by Monmouth, American, Princeton and Bucknell; 6-8 2015 forward Damien Rance; and 6-8 2015 forward Jeromy Rodriguez.

    St. Anthony does not feature any superstar names but Hurley’s club has some nice players, including 6-7 2015 wing Markis McDuffie, 6-3 Boston University commit Cheddi Mosley, his younger brother, 6-2 Jagan Mosley and  6-foot-8 sophomore Taurean Thompson.

    “There’s unique pressure when you’re supposed to win and a lot of times we’re the team that’s supposed to win,” Hurley told the Jersey Journal in reference to past teams that had success. “This year has been a little more fun though because we’re young and even though people may not know what we have, there’s a lot of potential here.”

    St. Anthony lost four Division 1 players from last year’s club that lost to eventual Tournament of Champions winner Roselle Catholic in the North Non-Public B title game — Josh Brown (Temple), Hallice Cooke (Oregon State), Kentrell Brooks (Marist) and Tim Coleman (NJIT).

    And this year’s team — which will compete in the SNY Invitational Jan. 24-25 — will rely on new faces, including point guard Tarin Smith.

    “It isn’t necessarily going to be about our record during the season, even though we’d like to win every time we play,” Hurley told the Journal. “I think it’s going to be about lessons learned in the big games and what we see after those games.

    “We’re going to get hit on the chin and we’re going to take some body shots, but as long as we don’t lose confidence during those tough games, we’ll be battle-tested as the season goes on and we’ll really like our chances when the state tournament rolls around.”

    Hasson, meantime, is building his own program at Pope John, which last year sent New York City transfer Jermaine Lawrence to Cincinnati.

    On Sunday, he will match up against his old mentor Hurley — with a chance to take down a legend.

    “We’re going to go out and do everything we can to win the game but it’s just a great opportunity for our guys on a big stage to play against a historic program like St. Anthony,” Hasson said.


    Here’s everything you need to know about the Tip-Off Showcase from the Hoop Group folks:


    About the Games…

    Nationally ranked:
    Roselle Catholic – #24 USA Today, #10 Max Preps
    St. Joseph’s Metuchen – #11 Max Preps, #45 Student Sports

    4 of the top 5 teams in New Jersey ranked by NJ Hoops:  St. Joseph’s Metuchen,  Blair Academy,  Roselle Catholic,   St. Anthony’s

    8 of the Top 10 teams in New Jersey ranked by NJ Hoops:  St. Joseph’s Metuchen,  Blair Academy,   Roselle Catholic,  St. Anthony’s, St. Peter’s Prep, Linden, Seton Hall Prep, Hudson Catholic

    14 of the Top 20 teams in New Jersey ranked by NJ Hoops:  St. Joseph’s Metuchen,  Blair Academy,  Roselle Catholic,  St. Anthony’s, St. Peter’s Prep, Linden,Seton Hall Prep,Hudson Catholic,  Newark East Side,  Pope John,  Newark Tech,Gill St. Bernards,  CBA,  Don Bosco

    Tickets are available at the door.

    Student Tickets are only $8
    Adult Tickets $12

    Players to Watch…

    Karl Towns – St. Joseph’s Metuchen – Rivals.com #11 in Class, ESPN #6 (Kentucky)
    Wade Baldwin – St. Joseph’s Metuchen – Rivals.com #92 (Vanderbilt)
    Quadri Moore – Linden – Rivals.com #103 (Cincinnati)

    Moustapha Diagne –Pope John –  Rivals.com #26, ESPN #27
    Chris Silva – Roselle Catholic – Rivals.com #101
    Markis McDuffie – St. Anthony – Rivals.com #142

    Tyus Battle – Gill St. Bernards – Rivals.com #11

    Committed Players:
    Ismael Sanogo
     – Newark East Side – Seton Hall
    Abdul Lewis – Newark East Side – South Alabama
    Marial Shayok – Blair – Marquette
    Brett Jolly – Blair – St. Louis
    Paul Jorgensen – Don Bosco – George Washington
    Austin White – St. Peter’s Prep – High Point
    Vic Jusino – St. Peter’s Prep – Pace
    Louie Pillari – CBA – Navy
    Quadri Moore – Linden – Cincinnati
    Cheddi Mosely – St. Anthony – Boston U
    Karl Towns – St. Joseph’s Metuchen – Kentucky
    Wade Baldwin – St. Joseph’s Metuchen – Vanderbilt
    Raven Owen – St. Joseph’s Metuchen – Canisius

    December 21st-22nd, 2013
    at West Orange High School

    SAT 2:00 Newark Eastside Blair Academy
    Hudson Catholic Don Bosco
    SAT 5:20 Paterson Eastside St. Peter’s Prep
    SAT 7:00 Seton Hall Prep Columbia
    SUN 11:30 Gil St. Bernard The Hun
    SUN 1:10 West Orange CBA
    SUN 2:50 Newark Tech Linden
    SUN 4:30 Roselle Catholic Teaneck
    SUN 6:10 St. Anthony Pope John
    SUN 7:50 St. Joseph’s Metuchen Shore

    Written by

    [email protected]

    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.

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