Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Tim Guers didn’t know what else he needed to do to prove himself.
As a junior at Germantown Academy, he averaged 16.9 ppg to lead the Patriots to an Inter-Academic League championship. For his efforts, the 6-foot-3 guard was named league MVP, beating out Division I recruits in Sean O’Brien (Colgate) and Levan Alston (undecided), among others.
And yet, as his final AAU season with the PA Renegades wound down and preparation for the high school season got underway, Guers was still waiting on his first Division I offer. But as he thought about his college future, he had a moment of realization.
“I kinda had a moment where I said to myself ‘why am I doing all this, to try and get noticed by a team that I might show up and be a practice player for them?,’” he said. “I felt like I was doing everything I could, I felt that I played the best I could, I put all my cards out there and I just had a moment that told me there’s something to be said for a coaching staff and a program that already appreciates what you do.”
That coaching staff Guers spoke of was referring to that of Saint Anselm College, a Division II school in New Hampshire. And so this weekend, when visiting the school’s Manchester campus, Guers decided he had found his future home, committing to Hawks head coach Keith Dickson on Saturday morning.
“St. A’s was always there and I always knew where they stood, they always told me I was their guy,” Guers said. “ I felt like I didn’t need to prove myself any more, and the way things just fell into place, I fell in love with St. A’s and that’s pretty much it.”
A member of the Northeast-10 Conference, St. Anselm plays against schools like Assumption, Bentley and Stonehill in its Northeast Division, with Adelphi, Le Moyne, New Haven, Pace and others make up the Southwest Division in the 15-school league. Last year, they went 22-8 overall, with a 17-4 record in the NE-10, advancing into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Similar to Jim Fenerty, who’s been at Germantown Academy since 1989–he currently serves as athletic director as well as head boys’ basketball coach–Dickson has been around his program for a while. Now in his 29th year as head coach, he has an overall record of 533-292 (.646), with 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and a winning mark in 19 of the last 22 seasons.
Though there are certainly some similarities between the two coaches, Guers called the fact he’ll play for two long-tenured coaches a “coincidence” more than anything else.
“The way I feel like I play is a little bit old-school, more fundamentally strong instead of run-and-gun, the AAU style,” Guers said. “These are two coaches who have been successful for a really long time now and they’ve been true to their system and for both coaches, I feel like I think their system and I would have fit the system 30 years ago.”
The Hawks are certainly getting a potential stud in Guers, who was mostly an unknown product a year ago after not seeing much playing time in his first two seasons at GA. The Patriots had a talented graduating class in 2013 that included a trio of Division I players in Nick Lindner (Lafayette), Julian Moore (Penn State) and Greg Dotson (Morehead State), and those three as well as a few other classmates kept most of the younger players on the bench until their graduation.
It didn’t take long for Guers to establish himself once he did enter the starting lineup, as he averaged 15.3 ppg during GA’s non-league games. Then he really caught fire once Inter-Ac play started, with a 35-point game in an overtime win at the Haverford School really opening eyes around the city.
His 3-point shooting was his trademark, but Guers was more than just a pure gunner, running point at times for the Patriots and showing an increased ability to get to the hoop and finish around the rim.
Guers gives a lot of credit for his success to those who came before him.
“I think guys like Nick Lindner and Greg Dotson really set the tone for guys like me, Sam [Lindgren] and Devon [Goodman] to show us what it takes and we stuck with that, I know I stuck with that,” he said. “There’s some down points where I would kind of say to myself ‘why am I not getting recruited,’ what am I doing wrong, and I had great people around me like coach Fenerty who was always in my corner and told me ‘stick with it, stick with it’ and that’s exactly what I did.
“To have the season I had last year, it was a dream, it would be amazing if I can even come close to that this year, and our team being able to win another championship,” he added. “But definitely, I did not think it was going to play out like this.”