Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
The inaugural night of the newly-named John Taylor Basketball League (JTBL), formerly known as the NEBL, tipped off on Tuesday night with four games at the Mayfair Rec Center.
Here’s a report from the night’s evening; for standings and statistics from the 2016 JTBL, click here:
Neumann-Goretti 84, Cristo Rey 39
Abington 70, Holy Ghost Prep 40
Father Judge 55, Central Bucks East 50
Math Civics & Sciences 55, Council Rock South 52
Quade Green (above) is being recruited by some of the nation's most elite programs after a tremendous April. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Green taking the next step on, off court
The latest great guard to come through South Philly powerhouse Neumann-Goretti, Quade Green is already preparing for his senior season after what seems like a lightening-quick stretch since he made his first appearance at the Mayfair Rec Center with the Saints back in 2013.
“It feels like it was yesterday,” he said. “It’s crazy.”
Even crazier is where the 6-foot-tall, 165-pound point guard’s recruitment has gone over the last month.
Already a top-50 prospect nationally following a stellar junior year, Green showed he is one of the top point guards in the country during the first two weekends of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL). Playing with the PSA Cardinals (N.Y.), Green put up 12.9 ppg and an EYBL-best 11.3 apg, dishing out 77 assists--that’s 33 better than anybody else on the circuit.
“I played well--I can do a lot better though, but I played well,” he said. “I can score more, help my team in the scoring range, really. Everything else will fall into place.”
Before the month, Green was already being pursued by some of the best programs in college basketball: Villanova and Syracuse are hot on his tail, along with a group of another dozen or so high-major squads. But now, he’s getting assistants from Duke and Kentucky who are courting his services, and though neither have offered, he’s expecting that to change potentially as early as Friday: “They’re really waiting for my transcript,” he said. “My transcript didn’t come in yet.”
Don’t plan on anything major to happen in his recruitment before August; Green said he plans on playing out the July live periods and seeing who else offers before cutting down his list and taking his visits in the fall.
With Neumann-Goretti, Green will also have to take on a new role as one of the team’s main leaders this year, along with fellow rising senior Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree. He’s been one of the team’s leading scorers for the last two years, but has been able to rely on now-graduating seniors Zane Martin, Vaughn Covington and Rasheed Browne to help steer the way for head coach Carl Arrigale.
Now, he’ll share a backcourt with a group that’s largely devoid of serious Catholic League varsity experience, including juniors Dymir Montague and Noah Warren, plus sophomore Christian Ings and others.
For now, Green is focusing on the simple things with his younger teammates.
“Just regular stuff, really,” he said. “Score when you’ve got to score, pass when you’ve got to pass, look at the time management. That’s it.”
Derek Wright (above) is the head coach at Council Rock South after 14 years at CR North. (Photo: Abigail Hoffer/CoBL)
Wright makes Council Rock South debut
After 14 years at Council Rock North, Derek Wright wanted a change of scenery.
But nothing too different.
So the Council Rock native took advantage of an opening at the other high school in the district, taking the Council Rock South job just after the last season ended.
“What it came down to is an opportunity that I didn’t know I’d have again, to try to coach another group of Council Rock kids and face a new challenge,” he said. “Our staff felt like we gave all we could at North for 14 years and we just saw this as another opportunity. So we’ll see how it goes.”
Wright, the younger brother of Villanova head coach Jay Wright--Derek is younger by a little more than a dozen years--is a Council Rock graduate, though when he was going through the district there was only one high school. South split off in 2002, while North inhibits the building that the Wright brothers and many others went to school in since 1970.
The newer school hasn’t yet had the hoops success of its older brother, but Wright knows the area his kids are from; he grew up up in Churchville, which now feeds Council Rock South.
“That’s going to be something we really want to impress upon the kids, is to understand that although the school’s only 14 years old, there’s been a lot of good basketball in that Council Rock/Richboro/Highland area, that would have been South kids,” he said. “So we’re excited to really push that.”
Last year, South went 7-15 overall, including a 5-9 record in Suburban One-National play. In the two inter-district games, North came away with a pair of wins, though one came by just a single point.
With four starters returning, Wright has high hopes for the Golden Hawks--but that hard work needs to start now, in a league that features some of the best teams in the region.
“One thing I just talked to them about tonight was being grateful for the opportunity to compete in a league like this,” he said. “Most of the teams here are programs, they’re not just teams, they’re an established program that is more than just the group of guys playing, they’re playing for something greater than themselves. This will be a good early taste for them as to what we expect and what we want to be.”