Matt Faw (above, in July) committed to Holy Cross late last week. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Anthony Dabbundo (@AnthonyDabbundo)
After a surprise run to the NCAA tournament this March, Holy Cross is looking to capitalize on the achievement, building a strong, deep freshmen class for the future.
And on Thursday, the Crusaders picked up yet another commitment, their third of the week, from Upper Merion forward Matt Faw.
Faw joins Connor Niego (Lyons HS, Ill.) and Austin Butler (Latrobe HS, Pa.) as the Crusaders’ newest pledges, hoping to make an impact as soon as they arrive on campus in Worcester, Mass. for their freshman year next fall.
Holy Cross currently has no juniors on its roster, which could lead to big opportunities for the class when they get to school -- a big reason why Faw felt comfortable committing even as his stock was rising heading into his senior year.
“That’s why our recruiting class is so important and we can build a recruiting class to compete right when we get there,” Faw added. “The playing time will really help my development.”
The Patriot League tournament champions first got in contact with the Upper Merion power forward during his sophomore year, and saw lots of potential in him, and an ability to develop his game even further.
Faw’s high school head coach, Jason Quenzer, has had the opportunity to coach Faw since the seventh grade. He raved about how that 13-year-old he first met has matured into a great young man and basketball player.
“I remember him in intramural basketball back in sixth grade, and every year since then he’s gotten better and better, and developed his game more and more,” Quenzer said. “Being able to coach him the last five years has been a privilege.”
Faw, a King of Prussia native, has a passion for the game he loves, often asking his coach during the summer if he can go and get some shots up in the gym at school.
On the court, the 6-foot-7, 210-pound power forward is a versatile scorer, capable of being both a rebounding presence on the inside and a stretch-four, stepping out to knock down jump shots with range beyond the 3-point arc. He plays with a ton of energy, and is an active defender on the inside.
Meanwhile, off the court, Quenzer has nothing but nice things to say about his rising senior’s leadership, dedication, and courtesy.
“He’s a talented kid on the court, and even more respectful and intelligent off the court, basically everything you look for in a student athlete,” he said.
While Faw ultimately received offers from Navy, Lafayette, and American during the July live period, it was Holy Cross who was first to offer, back on July 10.
Faw then went on his visit along with Butler, a 6-4 shooting guard, and both fell in love with the campus and the program. Faw wasted no time making his decision, jumping on the offer.
“The visit was great, the campus is incredible, they’ve got new facilities, and I really feel that the program is headed in the right direction,” Faw said.
Amongst the new facilities is the Crusaders’ arena, which is undergoing renovation, where they’ll have a brand new court by the time Faw and friends arrive next year.
However, prior to his college arrival next year, Faw knows he has one season left to really make a difference in high school.
After averaging 18 points per game in his junior season en route to a team district birth, the Vikings make a move to a brand-new conference, and with it comes a whole new schedule of mostly unknown conference teams.
As Upper Merion joins the Pioneer Athletic Conference, they come in as favorites, but know that nothing comes easy playing against new teams.
“We were used to playing all of the Suburban One League teams and now we have to play a whole different schedule,” Faw said.
Quenzer has set his sights even higher for his team, hoping that his senior forward’s leadership and presence inside can lead his team to a state berth.
“Everyone keeps saying we’re the favorites but we still have to go out and win it, and we want to make it to states,” Quenzer said.
For Faw, he may have committed to extend his basketball career at the collegiate level, but he wants to make sure he’s all-in for his senior year.
“I want to go undefeated in the PAC-10, win the league, make a district run, and get to states,” Faw said. “I think our team can do it.”