Jack Goodwillie (@jackgoodwillie) &
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
The NEBL concluded the next-to-last week of its regular season on Thursday night, with each of the league’s 20 teams now left with one game left next week before the top 10 enter the playoffs the week after.
Here’s a notebook from the night’s action, starting with the results:
Neumann-Goretti 57, Council Rock North 37
Pennsbury 69, Bishop Shanahan 49
Paul VI 76, Bensalem 54
Father Judge 78, Holy Ghost Prep 55
Cosby-Roundtree’s recruitment heating up
Don’t look now, but Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree has quickly become a white-hot recruiting name in the Class of 2017.
On Monday, the first day that rising juniors could be called by Division I coaches, the big man received phone calls from Syracuse, Xavier, Nebraska, La Salle, Temple and ended the day by receiving an offer from Monmouth; Old Dominion offered the next day.
Cosby-Roundtree’s recent discussions only add to a list including Temple, Rider, Saint Joseph’s and La Salle, schools that have all to this point offered him a scholarship. The recent developments have succeeded in catching Cosby-Roundtree off guard in the best way possible.
“This is all new, so I was a little shocked at first,” he said. “I was very shocked.”
The 6-foot-9 center (pictured above), already with a state championship under his belt, is still growing into his body and certainly looks to have his best days ahead of him.
He took a big leap between his freshman and sophomore seasons by growing two inches and displaying a well-rounded game in the low post. Now a more evolved and mature player still with room to grow physically and mentally, the recruiting process continues to surprise Cosby-Roundtree.
Three of Cosby-Roundtree’s offers have thus far come from Big 5 schools, providing the big guy an opportunity to continue his basketball career in the place that it all started.
While admitting that it would be a cool opportunity to stay in the City of Brotherly Love, Cosby-Roundtree is keeping his options open and will challenge himself to see if he can catch the eye of even more high-profile schools outside the city.
“It would be nice to play in Philly,” he said. “It’s Philly. Of course it would be nice to play there but I hope I can get more out-of-state schools interested too.”
When his team met up with Council Rock North on Thursday night, Cosby-Roundtree proved his worth by contributing 12 points to a 57-37 Neumann-Goretti victory. The big man showcased his strengths, using his long limbs to his advantage while displaying great vision on the court, finding teammate guard Amir Tyler on consecutive looks from long distance.
Though he won’t be the largest player on the court every night at the next level, Cosby-Roundtree was tonight and his level of play reflected it.
“I hustled and rebounded well and got a lot of the loose balls,” Cosby-Roundtree said. “I’ll do anything to help my team win.” --Jack Goodwillie
Holy Ghost’s versatile backcourt preparing for big season
It was around this time last year that Holy Ghost’s Mike McFadden tore his ACL, in a summer league game against Father Judge.
So he admitted that facing Judge again a year later was “a little nerve-wracking,” considering that his knee is only about 85 or 90 percent healthy. He emerged from the matchup in much better shape this time around--which is good news for Holy Ghost, which will certainly need the rising junior guard to make a big adjustment jump this season.
The last time McFadden took the court for Holy Ghost, he was a 5-foot-11 freshman on the junior varsity roster. This year, it certainly looks like the 6-2 guard is headed for a starting spot on the varsity squad, and he’s been doing everything he can to get ready.
“I’ve been working hard in AAU and everything, because I’m playing against a lot of varsity guys, so it helps me adjust to the speed of the game and everything,” he said. “The speed of the game really affected me at the beginning because I wasn’t able to get my shot off because guys were all the way up on me. Now it’s coming back; my knee’s not back 100 percent, but soon I’ll be back.”
McFadden managed eight points as Holy Ghost lost to Judge by a score of 78-55, but that was his lowest scoring output since his return; in games in both the NEBL and the Plymouth-Whitemarsh league, he’s usually been at or above the 20-point mark.
It was Jack Coolahan who led the way for the Firebirds in the losing effort with 15 points, and he’ll be counted on alongside McFadden to lead the way in the backcourt.
Like McFadden, Coolahan has good size in the backcourt at 6-4; he and senior forward Joe Braun, a soccer star who will bring good size athleticism to the frontcourt, will be the two tallest players on the team.
“I’d say my best quality is probably versatility,” said Coolahan, who will often need to guard opposing forwards, with McFadden chipping in as well. “I’ll bring the ball up, I can shoot from the outside, I can post up a little bit.”
While McFadden was on the JV squad two years ago, Coolahan mostly rode the bench at the varsity level, where he was around as Holy Ghost won the District 1 AAA championship. He’s hoping to bring one specific learning experience to the program this year.
“In the district semifinal, we beat a team that we’d lost to in the beginning of the season, so I got to see how we improved over the course of the season,” he said. “The end of the season can be a lot different from the beginning.” --Josh Verlin
--Towson really might have themselves quite a steal in Neumann-Goretti guard Zane Martin. The athletic lefty dropped 25 points in the Saints’ win, and as has been his trajectory over the last 12 months, showed that he’s continuing to improve and refine his game. His jumper has become a lot smoother over the last year, and he knocked down a few 3-pointers and long-range jumpers against Council Rock North. He has a chance to be an impact player in the CAA right away in 2016-17.
--Bensalem and New Jersey’s Paul VI had themselves a very competitive basketball game--that is, until Paul VI’s rising senior Voshon Mack took matters into his own hands. Mack’s 30 points led Paul VI to a 76-54 victory with 21 coming the second half. The athletic, 6-4 forward also made his presence felt on the glass and even showcased a hint of finesse, finding guard Justin Ryder on back-to-back transitional buckets.
--Pennsbury finally picked up its first win of the spring, a 69-49 decision over Bishop Shanahan, but this is certainly a summer of growth for the Falcons. With over 3,000 points gone from the trio of Cameron Jones, Mekhi Bryant and Derrick Woods, it’s going to take time to see where the scoring will come from this year. Rising junior Mark Flagg, a 6-foot-7 forward with some early Division I interest, had a nice outing with 22 points; now he needs to develop that kind of output on a consistent basis.