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2023 NCAA Tournament: CoBL-Area MBB Alumni to Watch

03/13/2023, 9:45pm EDT
By Owen McCue

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

While the upsets and overall madness are a great allure, one of the best parts of the NCAA Tournament each March is seeing local products have their moments in the national spotlight. Here’s a list of the CoBL-Area men’s alumni to keep an eye on during your tournament viewing with a women’s alumni list coming soon:

Chase Audige (R-Sr. | Northwestern | Hill School)
Audige, a Coram, N.Y., native helped Hill School to a PAISAA title in his final high school season before starting his career at William & Mary. He’s spent the last three seasons at Northwestern, helping the Wildcats to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2017 in his final year. Audige, a 6-4 guard, earned All-Big 10 second team and defensive team 10 honors, averaging 13.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 2.4 spg. The Wildcats are the No. 7 seed in the West Region and will take on No. 10 Boise State on Thursday at 7:35 p.m. in Sacramento, Cal.

Cheltenham product Jack Clark is making his NCAA Tournament debut with NC State. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Jack Clark (Gr. | North Carolina State | Cheltenham)
The Wolfpack are the No. 11 seed in the South Region, facing No. 6 Creighton on Friday at 4 p.m. in Denver, giving Clark, a former La Salle Explorer, his first NCAA Tournament appearance. The 6-8 guard has missed 11 games this season, but he’s been back on the court for about a month and should be ready for Friday. He’s averaging 9.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg in 22 games, including 16 starts for the Wolfpack in his graduate transfer year.

Ed Croswell (R-Sr. | Providence | St. Joe’s Prep)
Another former Explorer, Croswell is in his third season with the Friars, finishing up his career with a second straight NCAA appearance. After a quiet start to his time in Rhode Island, the 6-10 forward has started all 32 games for 11th-seeded Providence, which faces No. 6 Kentucky at 7:10 p.m. on Friday in Greensboro, N.C. Croswell. After averaging 5.3 ppg and 4.7 rpg in 14.8 mpg last season, Croswell is averaging a career-best 13.2 ppg and 7.6 rpg.

Ryan Dunn (Fr. | Virginia | Perkiomen School)
The 6-8 forward from Freeport, N.Y. didn’t have to wait long to get to the tournament, earning a spot in the rotation for the No. 4 seed in the South Region a year after a postgrad season with the Panthers. He’s played in 30 games this season, averaging 2.6 ppg and 2.9 rpg. The Cavaliers face No. 13 seed in Orlando on Thursday at 12:40 p.m.

Andrew Funk (Gr. | Penn State | Archbishop Wood)
The Archbishop Wood product played against his older brother in the Patriot League at Bucknell to start his career. After four seasons with the Bison, he transferred to the Nittany Lions this season to finish out his career and helped them break an 11-year absence from the tournament. An All-Big 10 honorable mention selection, Funk is averaging 12.1 ppg, while shooting 41 percent from deep for Penn State. No. 10 seed Penn State plays No. 7 Texas A&M in the Midwest Region on Thursday at 9:55 P.M. in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jalen Gaffney (Jr. | Florida Atlantic | Westtown School)
Gaffney played three seasons at UConn before arriving in Boca Raton, Fla. this offseason. The New Jersey native came off the bench for his first four games with the Owls, started 23 games, and now is coming off the bench again as the sixth man for the Conference USA champs. Gaffney is averaging 4.8 ppg in 23.2 mpg to go along with a team-high 84 assists (2.5 apg). He and Florida Atlantic, the No. 9 seed in the East Region, plays No. 8 Memphis on Friday at 9:20 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio.

Roman Catholic product Hakim Hart is back in the NCAA Tournament with Maryland. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Hakim Hart (Sr. | Maryland | Roman Catholic)
Hart and fellow area product Donta Scott (more on him below) earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament as sophomores in 2021 and are back in the Big Dance again as seniors as the No. 8 seed in the South region against No. 9 West Virginia on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in Birmingham, Ala. The 6-8 guard, an All-Big 10 honorable mention, is averaging 11.5 ppg, 2.5 apg (both second on the Terps) and 4.2 rpg. They’re all career-highs for the three-year starter.

A.J. Hoggard (Jr. | Michigan State | Archbishop Carroll)
Hoggard, a Coatesville native, spent his first two seasons at Archbishop Carroll before heading to Huntington Prep to finish his high school career. A role player in his first two seasons in East Lansing, the 6-4 guard has blossomed as a starter during his junior campaign. He’s been among the nation’s assists leaders throughout the season, currently ranking 10th at 6.1 apg and is also third on the Spartans in scoring (12.5 ppg). His third NCAA Tournament trip will begin Friday at 12:15 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio when the No. 7 seed Spartans play No. 10 USC in the East region.

Keeshawn Kellman (Sr. | Princeton | Perkiomen School)
Kellman spent a season at Perkiomen School after a distinguished career at Allentown Central Catholic. A late bloomer in high school, he had a similar trajectory in college, completing his time with the Tigers with a breakout senior campaign. The 6-9 forward started all 29 games this season for the Ivy League champions, averaging 8.0 ppg and 4.6 rpg. The Tigers, the No. 15 seed in the South region, play No. 2 Arizona on Thursday at 4:10 p.m. in Sacramento, Cali.

Xaivian Lee (Fr. | Princeton | Perkiomen School)
Lee, a 6-3 guard from Canada spent a postgrad year at Perkiomen School last season — one of three Panthers at Princeton. He’s seen action in all 29 games, averaging 5.2 ppg in 14.4 minutes per game. He went 4-for-4 from the line in the Ivy title game to help Princeton book its spot in the tournament.

Dereck Lively II (Fr. | Duke | Westtown School)
Lively came to Duke from Westtown as the No. 1 ranked player in the 2023 recruiting class. He’s averaging 5.4 ppg and 5.0 rpg in 19.8 minutes per game, starting 25 of 32 games for first-year coach Jon Scheyer’s ACC champs. Though a limited factor on offense, the 7-foot-1 freshman forward is one of the nation’s premier shot blockers, averaging 2.3 bpg, which ranks 12th in the country. The Blue Devils are the No. 5 seed in the East region and play No. 12 Oral Roberts on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. in Orlando, Fla.

Seth Lundy (Sr. | Penn State | Roman Catholic)
Another former PCL standout leading the way for the Nittany Lions, Lundy is second on Penn State in scoring (14.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) — both career highs, which earned him All-Big 10 honorable mention. He’s made 94 starts in four years at Happy Valley and will make his NCAA Tournament debut Thursday.

Martin Luther King product Will McNair is headed to the NCAA Tournament again, this time with Mississippi State. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Will McNair (R-Sr. | Mississippi State | Martin Luther King)
McNair helped New Mexico State to an upset win as a 12-seed in the tournament last season and will conclude his career with another NCAA Tournament trip in his first year in Starkville. The 6-foot-11 Philadelphia Public League product and the Bulldogs are in one of the play-in games in Dayton on Tuesday against Pittsburgh at 8:10 p.m. He’s averaging 3.3 ppg and 3.2 rpg in 12.7 minutes per contest.

Ryan Moffatt (Sr. | Colgate | Hill School)
Moffatt, who prepped at Hill School, is one of a couple of local products at Colgate who have become fixtures this time of year. The Raiders won their fifth straight Patriot League championship and will make their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in five years as a No. 15 seed in the Midwest region, taking on No. 2 Texas on Thursday at 7:25 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa. Moffatt averaged 10.5 ppg and 4.2 rpg this season to earn third team All-Patriot League honors.

Clifton Moore (Gr. | Providence | Hatboro-Horsham)
Moore started his career at Indiana, spent three years at La Salle (two playing) and is wrapping up his college career in Providence. He’s come off the bench in 31 of the 32 games he’s played, averaging 4.7 ppg and 3.4 rpg in 13.2 minutes per contest. Hatboro-Horsham

Wooga Poplar (So. | Miami | Math, Civics & Sciences)
After averaging a little under nine minutes per game as a freshman on the Hurricanes’ Elite Eight team a season ago, the 6-5 guard is a starter for Miami this season, averaging 8.3 ppg. The Hurricanes, the No. 5 seed in the Midwest, play No. 12 Drake on Friday at 7:25 p.m. in Albany, N.Y.

Patrick Robinson III (Gr. | College of Charleston |  Conwell-Egan)
A long, long road to the Division I level for Robinson, who was the PCL’s leading scorer at Conwell-Egan, ends with an NCAA Tournament trip. He started at Holy Family, continued to West Liberty (W.V.) for three seasons and is now averaging 10.6 ppg off the bench for the No. 12 seed Cougars. The CAA champs play No. 5 seed San Diego State at 3:10 p.m. Thursday in Orlando, Fla. (Read more about Robinson in Josh Verlin’s feature)

Donta Scott (Sr. | Maryland | Imhotep Charter)
Another All-Big 10 honorable mention for the Terps, Scott is tied with Hart for second on the team in scoring at 11.5 ppg and he’s second in rebounding as well at 5.9 rpg. He’s been a starter for four years at Maryland, averaging double figures in the last three seasons.

Isaiah Wong (Jr. | Miami | Bonner-Prendergast)
Wong was a standout during Miami’s Elite Eight run last season and earned third team All-ACC honors in second and third years on campus. The fourth-year junior took his game to another level this season, averaging 16.2 ppg and 3.4 apg to become a household name in college basketball and win ACC Player of the Year. 

Jeff Woodward (Jr. | Colgate | Methacton)
Woodward’s had a few moments in March already in his career as the Raiders have put upset scares into Arkansas and Wisconsin in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments. The 6-11 big man is behind senior Keegan Records in the rotation but he’s carved out a spot in the rotation since his freshman year, averaging 6.9 ppg and 4.5 rpg in 17.7 minutes per game.

Other Local Products in the Tournament
Jameel Brown (Fr. | Penn State | Westtown), Philip Byriel (So. | Princeton | Perkiomen School), Alex Capitano (Jr. | Colgate | Episcopal Acad.), Caleb Dorsey (Jr. | Penn State | Hill School), Konrad Kiszka (Sr. | Princeton | La Salle College HS), Demetrius Lilley (Fr. | Penn State | Lower Merion), Jacob O'Connell (Sr. | Princeton | St. Joe’s Prep), Blake Smith (Fr. | Northwestern | Germantwon Acad.)

Former City 6 Players in the Tournament
Jared Bynum (Gr. | Providence), Taylor Funk (Gr. | Utah State), Josh Pierre-Louis (Sr. | UC Santa Barbara), Jahvon Quinerly (Sr. | Alabama), Jelani Williams (Gr. | Penn), Camren Wynter (Gr. | Penn State)

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