Amauro's Preview, 2002-03
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    Amauro "Amar" Austin is another of our trusty observers. He is not to be confused with Ruben Amaro, the Phillies' assistant general manager. Like "Huck" Palmer, Amauro is a West Catholic graduate. He will make reports on the MANY games he sees. You may e-mail him at Thurlbough@hotmail.com.
  

 

 

AMAURO AUSTIN'S CITY TOP 20
1.   Cardinal Dougherty
2.   John Bartram
3.   Penn Charter
4.   St. John Neumann
5.   Strawberry Mansion
6.   Simon Gratz
7.   Martin L. King
8.   St. Joseph's Prep
9.   Roman Catholic
10. Friends Central
11. Southern
12. Franklin Learning Center
13. Ben Franklin
14. Father Judge
15. Olney
16. Abington Friends
17. Germantown Academy
18. Northeast
19. Archbishop Ryan
20. George Washington

PHILADELPHIA PUBLIC LEAGUE PREVIEW
Division A
1. Olney
2. Northeast
3. George Washington
4. Frankford
5. Thomas Edison
6. Dobbins Tech
7. Abraham Lincoln
8. William Penn

Division B
1. John Bartram
2. Simon Gratz
3. Martin L. King
4. Central
5. Overbrook
6. West Phila.
7. Germantown
8. University City

Division C
1. Strawberry Mansion
2. Franklin Learning Center
3. Ben Franklin
4. Mastbaum Tech
5. Engineering & Science
6. Samuel Fels
7. Julia Masterman
8. Kensington
9. William Bodine

Division D
1. Southern
2. Parkway
3. Bok Tech
4. Roxborough
5. Horace Furness
6. Girard Academic Music Program
7. Robert Lamberton
8. Prep Charter
9. Charles Audenried

TOP CONTENDERS
  STRAWBERRY MANSION - The defending Champion Knights are led by the one and only Maureece Rice (6'0 210).  Rice comes back for his Senior season in search for his 3rd title in 4 years and he just may have the supporting cast to do it. Not mention he needs just under 300 points to break Wilt Chamberlain's 47-year old City scoring record of 2,206 points. Rice has 1,922 coming into this season. This should be an interesting season at the Mansion. Rice's main help will come from two rugged Forwards in Seniors 6'6 Delton Morgan-Hines & 6'4 Dobbins Tech transfer Tyrell Mathis, a lefty. Both bring a hard-playing, physical approach to the game. At the moment, Hines is garnering some niblets from some Lower Level Division 1 Programs. The Knights main problem could be finding a Point Guard to run the team. There are atleast 5 candidates, but none of them have much experience, two are just Freshman. If no one emerges, then Rice may take the challenge. He is more than capable. This squad could easily go 12 deep so the cupboard is hardly bare after losing 3 starters and 2 key reserves from last year's title team. The legendary Rice also looks to improve on his 32 PPG scoring average. These Knights have five key dates that should be circled as they'll venture to Chester HS on Dec. 12. Then they face St. John Neumann at St. Joseph's University in the Showcase game of the Coaches vs Cancer Classic on Dec. 14.  Then on Dec. 22 @ the Palestra they face Lebron James and his St. Vincent-St. Mary squad of Akron, OH in a showcase. Then there's a rematch against the league co-favorite John Bartram on Dec. 26 at Olney hs in a rematch of last year's Semi-Final game in which the Knights handed the Braves their only loss of the season. Finally, the Knights will take on Sebastian Telfair's Lincoln HS squad of Brooklyn, NY in the Main game of another Showcase at Villanova University. Its easy to see that Rice & Co. have a full plate going into 2003.
  JOHN BARTRAM - The Braves are ranked in many of the Preseason Top 25 Polls. They'll be led into battle by versatile, 6'9 Sr. Forward Jason Cain, 1 of 4 returning starters. He is garnering much Division 1 interest. Though Cain is their best prospect and their top talent, the Braves strength will be in their Guard play and they sport two very good ones in 6'0 Sr. Charles Jones, 6'3 Sr. Bryant Leach. Jones may be the area's most improved player. He is a fierce competitor/leader with a deadly stroke from 15 to 20 feet. Leach has great instincts and an even deadlier jump shot. The 4th man is 3 year starter and captain 6'5 Sr. Forward Khalil Abdus-Salaam. Salaam has looked better than ever after missing the entire summer. All 4 players could atleast play at a High level of Division 2 and even possibly one day play at some level of D-1. Then there are atleast 5 guys capable of contributing off of the bench. The 5th starter will be super-athletic 6'3 Sr. Forward Todd McCoy. McCoy was the starting QB on the Football team this year and has well over a 35' vertical. The most notable is 6'5 Soph. Forward Daziah Miller. The main questions that arise are how much better can they be after going 26-1 last season and who will pick up the slack for the one player they did lose in All-City Swingman Richard "Franchise" Francis. His late game heroics got the Braves out of many jams last season. We'll soon see as the Braves have scheduled a very tough load that opens Nov. 30 at St. John Neumann. They'll travel to Florida for the always tough City of Palms Classic before Christmas. There are slated to be atleast 6 other teams ranked in the nation's top 25 there. They return for a battle with Strawberry Mansion on Dec. 26. Then on Jan. 11, they travel to always tough Williamsport (PA). Finally on Feb. 2 at Villanova they'll take on Delaware's top team Sanford School led by 'Nova recruit 6'8 PF Will Sheridan.

  SIMON GRATZ - This will be the first year in 20 years that the Bulldogs won't be under head man Bill Ellerbee. The new head man will be Leonard Poole, a taskmaster in his own right. Poole comes from the same school of hard knocks that started with Temple head John Chaney and continued with Ellerbee. His is a former Gratz player, who has paid his dues and finally emerged through the ranks. Poole will have much talent to work with as this team won the PureGame Greater Philadelphia Summer League over many of the City's best. The backcourt has always been the Bulldogs' strength and some things never change as they are a deep as ever. Mercucial, yet tough Sr. floor leader Omar Johnson (5'6), clutch-shooting, Sr. CG Tariq Wharton (5'11) & football ace/sweet-shooter Tyree Watson (5'11) are all back to wreak havoc on the Pub. All are tough defenders and are true Bulldogs. Four Juniors will be counted on heavily to replace departed Seniors & Temple Freshman Maurice "Mardy" Collins & Micheal Blackshear. They are shot-blocking, 6'8 Lefty Center Matthew Walden, Strong/aggressive 6'4 Swingman Mark Tyndale, bulwark rebounding Forward 6'4 Jason McGirt & probably the program's top talent in strong/athletic 6'1 Guard Tamir Smith. Seniors: 6'2 Guard Brandon Void, a 2 year vet and 6'4 Forward Paul Graham, a first year Varsity player should also figure somewhere in the plans. Then there is also said to be a new 6'6 Jr. Center in the building that will make a push for playing time. They may well be the deepest team in the area. The Bulldogs have 4 tough contests in December as they travel to Chester (PA) on the 6th, take on Roman Catholic in a showcase on the 9th, take on tough St. Benedict's (NJ) on the 14th at the Coaches vs Cancer Classic at St. Joseph's University and take on a very good Penn Charter team on the 22nd at the Palestra.
  MARTIN LUTHER KING - The Golden Cougars are led by one of the country's best Post players in 6'10 250-lb Sr. Center Wayne Marshall.   The Big guy has a tremendous Basketball IQ, he's skilled & he's smart. He just may be the best shooter & passer on the team as its Center. His main help will come from the other returning starter 5'9 Sr. PG Quincy Marshall, Wayne's cousin. Q. Marshall runs the show and defends like a hawk. The best of the cadre' of Cougar role players is 6'2 shooting/slashing Sr. WG Andre Hammond. He is more than capable of putting points on the board and head coach Greg Moore really expects him to step it up. He could wind up being the team's 2nd scorer and benefit much from Big Wayne's crisp passes. Another role player could be in a aggressive/athletic 6'4 Sr. Forward Stefon Jackson, a transfer from bitter rival Germantown HS. The Cougars hope to finally get over the hump after having a great opportunity last season. They'll have to go through Gratz, Mansion & Bartram to do it, all teams that beat them last season. There is much more talent in this building in the lower classes that will make King a strong contender for the years to come.
  SOUTHERN - The Rams are this year's Sleeper of the Public League. All of their significant players are Sophomores & Juniors and all are talented and hungry. The best of the group is 6'2 Jr. PG Antoine Brown. Brown makes it happen at both ends of the floor. He plays at a frantic pace, yet under control seeming to always make the spectacular play. Brown is thought of as one of the area's Top 10 Juniors. His main help comes from another pair of Juniors in 6'6 PF Shawn Sabb & 6'2 WG Keith Grimes. Sabb is a long-armed warrior, who runs & jumps all day long. Grimes is a serious athlete and a great slasher.  They'll be aided by two Top Soph. transfers. The first is 6'1 PG Amir Ryan (Furness), who has many of the same tools as Brown. Ryan is a pass first PG whose unselfish, yet hard-nosed play defines his game. The other is 6'6 Center Brian Wilson (Friere Charter). He is a strong Rebounder & shot-blocker. There will be two other key contributors in slim, 6'6 Junior F-C Steven Rudd & smooth/athletic 6'4 Soph. G-F Kashif Carr. The young Carr, Grimes' cousin,  is as talented as any player on the team. The Rams will get after it again as they'll take on the likes of St. John Neumann (10th) and Chester (PA) (14th) in December. Coach George Anderson does a great job with his kids year in and year out and this group will be no different.
  FRANKLIN LEARNING CENTER -  The Bobcats are headlined by their Sr. backcourt of 6'1 PG Michael Green & 6'5 WG Tyreek Byard. Both are stirring some Division 1 attention. Green is the team leader and one of the city's better floor generals. He brings a certain toughness and fire to the Basketball court. Not to mention, his deadly deep jumper & his slick handle. As he goes, they go. Byard makes his living off being one of the city's best athletes. When focused, he too is one of the city's best. The other two keys are role players: Athletic 6'4 Junior Forward Josh Grier & heady, 5'10 Point Guard Michael Scott, the team's 6th man. They are poised to pick up where their Seniors mates leave off next season, by gaining valuable experience this season. This is Grier's third varsity season. The Bobcats are a tight knot until who play alot of Basketball together and put in alot of hard work on the off-season. They are coached by one of the Pub's more colorful coaches in Cedric Powell. The Bobcats travel to a very underrated Harriton (PA) squad in December which could make for a statement game.
OTHERS EXPECTED TO MAKE NOISE
  BEN FRANKLIN -
The Electrons can compete with the best when running on all cylinders. They are led by one of the league's deadliest backcourts in Seniors 6'1 Darnell Corbitt & 5'11 Brian Smith. Both are more than capable handling the PG duties, but prefer to score. Corbitt, when focused, is capable of wreaking havoc all over the floor. He can get to any spot on the floor any time he so chooses with his lightning quickness & yo-yo ball handling. Smith is one of the city's best from beyond the arc and he too is a crafty ballhandler. However, steady Sr. lefty Tyree Wilson (5'7) may run the show to allow these two to run free. There are many talented complementary pieces to add to this puzzle as well. The most intriguing is 6'9 Sr. Center Maurice Simmons, a raw rebounder/shot blocker.

  OLNEY - This young Olney squad could really surprise. This team's core in mainly underclassman, but the lone Senior is the key. He is 6'7 Senior Center Maurice Thomas. Thomas has a nice touch out to 12 feet and he's a competent rebounder & shot-blocker. He is set to have a break out season. There are 5 Juniors that will play large roles in giving Thomas the necessary help in stocky 5'5 PG Andrew Jerry, athletic 5'10 WG Jarrick Long, tough 6'2 utility man Kevin Presberry, smooth 6'3 swingman Tommy Gardner & greyhound 6'5 Forward Erik Adams. Jerry is lightning quick and a hawk on defense. Long is more athletic than he even knows and has success on his slashes to the basket. Presberry makes timely plays and is mainly nuts and bolts. Gardner may lead this team in scoring. He's the best athlete. Adams has a very aggressive nature and is probably the teams' best player. The title of team's top prospect must go to High-flying 6'5 Soph. Forward Kevin Riley. He makes strides every day. A meeting with neighborhood rival Cardinal Dougherty looms on Dec. 13 @ Olney.
  NORTHEAST - The Vikings took a large hit when its star Junior Guard Kyle Lowry transferred to Dougherty as did the Public League , but they could still be a respectable team. They'll be led by 6'5 230-lb Sr. Forward Troy Roundtree. Roundtree is a Division 1 Prospect, who bulls his way around the court. The big guy will have all of the weight on his broad shoulders. I think he'll welcome it. His main help will come from 6'6 Sr. SF Shawn Taylor. Taylor is a tremendous athlete who has yet to make his mark as a player. This should be his breakout season. After those two, no one else is a proven talent. There are also 3 quality Freshman in the building so the future is bright for Coach Elsa Cohen's bunch. The Vikes open up against superstar Guard Mustafa Shakur and his Friends Central squad.
  GEORGE WASHINGTON - The Eagles are led by 6'9 Senior Center Dontay Tabbs. Tabbs is as mean and physical as a big man can be. He's a ferocious rebounder and he always plays hard. He's also adept at draining 15 footers. Coach Calvin Jones will need his backcourt to step up big. They are Seniors 6'0 PG John Hampton & 5'10 WG Joe Ndanu. Hampton is a good defender and a fair shooter. His must be more consistent and confident though. Ndanu is a tough player to guard. He's quick, he crafty and he shoots it well. He can score from all over the floor and thrives against quality competition. The biggest problem will be getting someone else to step up night in and night out. There is much talent in the building so someone should be able to do it.
  CENTRAL - The Lancers lose 4 starters from a Final 4 squad, but one constant remains in possibly the Pub's Top Coach Haviland "Biff" Harper. Harper's 03' group will not be expected to match last year's team, but they will compete and could steal a few from some good teams. They have the toughest gym to play in in the city and the most frenzied fans. Its always a wild ride at Ogontz & Olney. They will be led by Sr. PG Darnell Johnson, last season's top sub. Johnson could be a 20 point a game scorer. His main help will come from two very good young players in strong 6'2 Soph. utility man Scott Rodgers, the returning starter and top notch 6'4 Freshman swingman Kenny St. George. They hold the cards to the future. Both are Division 1 talents. The other key will be hard-playing 6'1 Senior wing Armen Henderson. He's fearless and always plays with energy in the mold of last's year hero Khalif Leek.
  FRANKFORD -The Pioneers again will be a solid group. They'll be led by their frontcourt of 6'6 210-lb Senior Forwards Darryl White & Darrell Turner. The other is 6'4 Senior Swingman Cerone Brown. White is the team's best player. He's long, strong & tough. He's also a great athlete whose better days are ahead. He'll lead them in scoring and rebounding. Turner is being recruited to play QB in Football. He is multi-talented on the hardwood as he can play either Forward position. Brown is the defensive ace of the squad. He's also a quality standstill shooter and a pretty good athlete. The key may be fearless Soph. PG Ryan Smith (5'6 145). Don't let his size fool you. He has the heart of a lion and the will to win.  One other Forward will play a prominent role. He is 6'4 Senior Paul Jeannot. He is mostly nuts and bolts, but if he pans out, he could move Brown to the backcourt and make for a bigger lineup.
  OVERBROOK - These Panthers will come under first year head coach Sam Jacobs. They only return one starter and he is 6'5 Sr. PF Elijah Talbert. Talbert is a strong rebounder and intense competitor. he's undoubtedly the team's leader. The backcourt will be its strength as Junior Mini-Guards Maurice Millner (5'7) & Kyle Copeland (5'5) will lead. Millner is strong, tough & explosive. He plays for keeps. Copeland is an intense defender and a fearless competitor. 5'11 Sr.WG John Groover will also contribute. He, too, is a tough defender and he plays hard. This group may not be big or deep, but they'll be a tough out for anybody.
OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH
       The others that should bring excitement to the Pub will complete this season making for an exciting year. Edison stars: 6'3 Sr. WG Tim Young & 6'8 Sr. Center Maurice Williams make for a competent duo that can cause some serious problems on a given afternoon. Young is one of the 5 best players in the League. He has many skills. He's the City's best one on one player and a super athlete. His long arms and slinky body also make him a potential great defender. Williams is a good rebounder & shot-blocker who brings an enthusiastic approach. He also excels on the Football field as a DE... Masterman's 6'5 horse of a Forward Brian Holsey has made huge strides in the last two years. At 6'5, he's one of the city's best shot-blockers and rebounders. He is a threat to go for a points, rebounds, blocked shots triple double every time out. Holsey made a lasting impression with his 11 Point, 15 Rebound & 10 Block performance against finalist Northeast (Crawford & Roundtree, both D-1 Prospects) in last season's playoffs. He's already scored close to 1200 on the SAT and has the Patriot League schools in contact... Samuel Fels' 6'2 220-lb Sr. Forward Tariq Chandler is the Pub's most exciting player. The muscular Chandler's powerful dunks bring the house down like no one else in the city. Though he's really undersized to be a Forward, he does it well as he's one of the city's best rebounders and owns over a 40" vertical leap. He's the Pub's Freak of Nature... Parkway 6'2 Sr. G-F Rashawn Dennis is one of the city's most underrated & versatile players. He nearly transferred to Bartram, but will return for the Hoyas and could lead them in every offensive category from Points & Assists to Block Shots & Rebounds. He may well be the top PG, WG, SF, PF & C on the team..... Kensington's 5'6 Sr. PG Baltazar Feliciano is the Pub's wind up toy. He scores in bunches and just may be the guy to challenge Maureece Rice for the scoring title. Last year he dropped a school record against Rice's Knights of 51. He is a great shooter, who despite his scoring prowess, is actually a PG... Horace Furness may have lost one of the city's top Sophs. in Amir Ryan to transfer (Southern), but they still have two exciting young cannons in crafty 6'1 Jr. scoring guard Tywain McKee & high-flying 6'3 Soph. SF Malik Perry... University City Coach Ken Gritter is in a rebuilding stage to say the least as he lost 3 projected starters in transfer and has only one experienced player returning. It will indeed be a long season for the Jaguars...  One other noteworthy guy will be new Mastbaum Tech head Jim Taylor, who will take over for Ralph "Bones" Schneider. "Bones" was a 45 year vet of the Pub wars and finally retired from the school district last June. It'll be interesting to see if Coach Taylor can bring the once powerful Panthers back to the forefront...

PHILADELPHIA CATHOLIC LEAGUE PREVIEW

 Southern Division
1.   St. John Neumann
2.   St Joseph's Prep
3.   Roman Catholic
4.   West Catholic
5.   Archbishop Carroll
6.   Monsignor Bonner
7.   Kennedy Kenrick
8.   Cardinal O'Hara

Northern Division
1.   Cardinal Dougherty
2.   Father Judge
3.   Archbishop Ryan
4.   Bishop McDevitt
5.   LaSalle
6.   Archbishop Wood
7.   North Catholic
8.   Conwell-Egan

TOP CONTENDERS

  CARDINAL DOUGHERTY - The Cardinals come into this season as my #1 Team in the area. Why? They have probably 4 of the top 8 players in the Junior Class all atleast Mid Major D-1 Recruits. I have tabbed them 4 Aces because all 4 are trump cards. Everything will start with will-imposing 5'11 Northeast transfer Kyle Lowry. Lowry is the addition that puts them over the top. He is capable of scoring 20 in a quarter when on and no one works or plays harder. The biggies are already involved and rightfully so. 6'7 230-lb PF DeSean White is arguably the top player in the class when he comes to play. He's a serious threat for inside or out. 6'7 SF Shane Clark is ultra steady & efficient. He is money from 15ft on in and he's this team's best athlete. 6'4 utility man Bilal Benn is the X-factor as he's this team's most versatile piece. He plays and defends the Point, the two or the three and does all three well. He is arguably the top shooter & defender in the entire class and he too always goes hard. Two Srs. will have a key role as well in 6'1 185-lb WG Isaac Greer & 5'9 PG Shawn Bolling. Greer is a solid standstill shooter, good defender & a better athlete. He's a key. He's also a two-time All-Catholic. Bolling is a steady leader. He'll attempt to keep all of these personalities together. The Cards have key games in December @ neighborhood rival Olney (13th), a big home date with Penn Charter (19th), vs Chester @ the Palestra (22nd) & @ Slam Dunk to the Beach in Lewes, DE after Christmas. I've already circled two dates after that and they are Jan.24 & Feb. 9. On the 24th, they travel to League rival Father Judge, always a tough outing. On the 9th, they are at the Prime Time shootout in Trenton, NJ.
  ST. JOHN NEUMANN - The Pirates are the two-time defending Champs and its hard to fathom that they may not get there again in '03. They return all, but one player and he was an important one. That player is Chris Del Brocco, their super clutch shooter. Not to worry because everyone else returns and two young players will also step top forefront. The backcourt is still the Pirates strength with bookend 5'8 Point Guards Sr. Antwain Wynn & Jr. Tabby Cunningham. Both are strong, quick tough and physical. Wynn, a lefty, is this team's leader. He likes to get into the lane and dish off to the open man and he rarely turns the ball over. Cunningham is already a legend in South Philly. In two years, he's brought the Pirates two titles. He's a winner to say the least. He has the ball on a string and is a adept at making defenders look bad with his quickness and handle. He also had added a deadly jumper to the arsenal that makes him even deadlier. Their main help will come from hard-nosed 6'5 Jr. Forward Adon El. El is the team's emotional leader. He plays one way for 32 minutes night in and night out. Two Senior Forwards should complete the lineup in 6'6 Kevin Lauer & 6'5 Todd Johnson. Both are good, strong complementary pieces. Lauer adept at rebounding and knocking down 15 footers. Johnson is the team's best athlete and best frontcourt defender. Two young  players will be there to push everyone in 6'5 So. SF David Burton & super 6'4 Freshman WG Earl Pettis. Burton just may be the team's most talented player. He's a relentless scorer, but still must learn to channel his aggression. Pettis will soon be a household name in city circles. He's already thought of as one of the country's better Freshman. He's the younger brother of former Pirate and current Rider PG Robert "Beattie" Taylor.
  ST. JOSEPH'S PREP -  The Hawks return to this season with 4 starters still in tact. As is the coach William "Speedy" Morris. Morris, the former longtime LaSalle University head is in his 2nd season on 17th & Girard. He surpassed expectations last season and finished 1st in the CL South during the regular season. He brings color & alot of fire to the sideline. They are lead by their double-double man 6'6 Sr. Forward Mark Zoller. Zoller is receiving widespread Lower Level D-1 interest. He has a strong build and a nose for the ball. He plays with much purpose and control. Everything on Offense goes through Zoller for the Prep. His main help will come from Junior Guards 5'8 PG Chris Clark & 6'1 WG John Griffin. Clark is a good shooter & dogged defender. Griffin is a good shooter as well, but he has that coach's son Basketball IQ. The other key for the Prep will be 6'2 Sr. Guard TJ Valerio. Valerio does all of the intangible work for the Hawks. He defends the athletic wings and sometimes handles the point guard duties. He's the unsung player on this team. There is one Freshman who could make some noise and make Coach Morris' Varsity. He is 6'2 Swingman Reggie Redding. He's long and athletic. He'll be a large part of this program's future. The Prep begins its season in Hagerstown, MD at the always tough St. Maria Goretti Top off Classic. Then there are two big shootout games with Penn Charter at St. Joseph's University on Dec. 14th & against tough Camden Catholic (NJ) on Dec. 22 @ the Palestra.
  ROMAN CATHOLIC - The Cahillites are very optimistic after a down year in which the mighty empire fell short of reaching the playoffs. There just wasn't enough help for 6'3 230-lb Junior manchild Charron Fisher. By Mid-Season, teams basically triple-teamed Fisher and made the others beat them. No one was up to the task. Fisher is on pace to become Roman's All-Time scoring leader. His averages were 25 Points & 14 Boards. He may be needed to do less scoring for this team to succeed as they've brought in two transfers to help the cause. The two-transfers are 6'4 Jr. SF Khalil Ferguson (U-City) & 6'5 Jr. PF Brett Johnson (Shawnee, NJ). Ferguson and Johnson will give Fisher much needed help on the Boards. Ferguson, a lefty, plays with much energy and toughness. He's a pretty good athlete as well. Johnson is a very good defender with a strong build. He's capable of playing either Forward position. The holdovers should also benefit from the transfers. They are 6'3 Jr. WG Andre Sloan-El, 5'9 Soph. PG Bobby Jordan & 6'4 Jr. PF Scott Mascio. Sloan-El, a lefty struggled last year as the season went on. There won't be as much weight on his shoulders this season. He's also a standout QB in Football. Jordan got valuable experience last season as a Freshman. He 's a fearless, gritty leader in the mold of Cahillites past R.C Kehoe, Chris McNesby & Jimmy Kelly. Mascio is as strong as they come. He puts in much weight room time. He's a very physical option. Sr. PG Calvin Jones is still around to add leadership and the Cahillites have brought in the best Freshman Class in the area in my opinion headed by 6'5 Forward Sean Joynes. He may even get some run on Varsity. The Empire has tough Showcases against Friends Central, Simon Gratz & Lancaster-McCaskey and trips planned for Miami, FL & Washington D.C in December before taking on the Catholic League.
OTHERS EXPECTED TO MAKE NOISE
  FATHER JUDGE - The Crusaders are my CL Sleeper. They have a team that can make things very tough for an opponent with a solid PG and four tall Forwards that are capable going inside and out. Not to mention the fact that head man is possibly the area's best coach in Bill Fox. Everything will start with brassy 6'1 Sr. PG Billy Geiger. Geiger likes to make the spectacular play and easily makes the simple. He's not the typical Judge PG, but he's quite effective. The Forwards are a pair of Juniors and a pair of Seniors. The Srs are physical 6'2 Jim Glowienka & more physical 6'4 Tom Keenan. Glowienka is adept at defending and doing dirty work. Keenan is adept at both as well, but he also adds athleticism and a soft tough from behind the arc. He's Judge's best player in my opinion. Keenan was described by one college coach as, "an old school 70's Catholic League player." The Juniors are 6'4 John King & 6'5 Steve Wolf. King was once heralded, but has since dropped off the map. He can shoot the ball from 3 and rebound. Wolf may be the team's best long range prospect. He has made huge strides in the past year as he too likes to go inside-out. FB standout 6'2 Sr. G-F Russell Magyar could snag a starting spot. He's a typical Judge player, tough & sound. There's no noticeable depth for this Mayfair bunch, but not to fear as Coach Fox always has a trick or two up his sleeve. Their big date is a December dual with Roman at Philadelphia University.
  ARCHBISHOP RYAN - The Raiders are coming off of a magical run in which they reached the Catholic League Final. They lost tricky/spunky PG Chris Kozole, but still have some talent. They also still have one of the new up-and-comers in the city coaching fraternity in Bernie Rogers. Their main problem may be depth as after their starting 5, there won't be much to turn too. They'll also be small, but they always are and for Coach Rogers' style, it'll benefit them being small. This year's lineup will consist of 4 Guards and a SF. The new PG will be 5'9 Sr. Sergio Colon. Colon is a high-energy kid, who is very sticky on defense. The returning backcourt starter is 6'2 Sr. Mike Devine. Devine is crafty and smart. He makes plays and with him out there its like having another coach. 6'2 Jr. G-F Jim Welsh will also claim a spot. He's a good shooter and just solid overall. The newcomer will be Penn Charter transfer 5'10 Freshman WG Joey Zeglinski. "Ziggy" was noted last year for making some very impressive showings on the Quaker Varsity as an 8th Grader. He has already become a star on the Raider Football team this Fall. The team's best player is probably the 2nd returning starter. He is 6'5 Jr. SF Joe Mullin. Mullin can score from anywhere on the floor and he's a very good athlete. He is in for a breakout season. The Raiders two meetings with Judge always seem to be festive as they hold the bragging rights for the Northeast.
  ARCHBISHOP CARROLL - New boss Paul Romanczuk (Carroll 95', Penn 99') will have clean up much of the mess left by a nightmare of a summer. He's lost probably his 3 best players to transfer. Things aren't in total shambles as three starters do return and one other former starter will return from a knee injury. 6'7 Sr. Center Jordan Ingram does return as a 4 year starter and he has to be hungry. This will be a season of livelihood for him as he yearns to earn a D-1 scholie. He may be the City's best rebounder and he's one of the better post defenders. 6'4 Jr. Mike Springman is also back. He plays everywhere from 1 to 3 and is the team's best defender. He's already on the radar screen of the Ivy and Patriot League schools. The other starter is 5'9 Junior Guard Matt Chambers. Chambers is a bulldog. He was thrown into the fire as a Soph. and gained great experience. He did make gradual improvement over the summer and looks to take on a bigger role this season. The other returnee is 6'5 Sr. Forward  Kyle Giresi, a starter two years ago who missed all, but 3 games last season doe to a torn ACL. He should come back hungry as well. Losing CL South MVP Payne is a crushing blow as he was one of the city's top leaders. The new PG may be 5'10 Soph. Anthony Watson. He made some nice showings over the summer. 6'4 Junior Forward Dustin Pio also got in much work this summer. He's a physical Forward that will work for everything he gets. Carroll begins the season with at battle against Franklin Learning Center in a tip-off Tourney.
OTHERS TO WATCH
       The rest of the Catholic League will be interesting this season. West Catholic, who just may contend and Kennedy Kenrick both sport Division caliber Juniors. The Burrs top dog is 6'5 Wing Marshall Taylor. he's a smooth, athletic wing who can score from anywhere on the floor. He'll have a fine supporting cast of tough, hungry Burrs as well. The top contributors will probably be bookend 6'2 Sr. Forwards Brandons Weston & Weston... The Wolverines top man is 6'2 CG Amarildo Matos, a Mozambique native. Matos has some serious game. He's strong & quick. He's also can play either guard position though for K-K he'll probably be used on the wing exclusively... Bonner lost 6 key Seniors to graduation. 4 of them were full time starters. However, two Tall Sophs have everyone in Friarland buzzing as 6'7 Derrick Graff & 6'6 210-lb Carlos Monroe will step to the forefront. Graff, who's sister Stephanie was a standout at Bonner's sister school Archbishop Prendergast & St. Joseph's has made nice strides over the summer. Monroe, a transfer from Southern, has a chance to be special. He doesn't have many flaws and will only get better and taller with time. It'll be fun to watch both develop over the next 3 years. If these guys exceed expected progress, look for the Friars to contend for the Final playoff spot as well... Bishop McDevitt has 6'5 Sr. Forward Mike Ross and impressive pint sized Soph. Guard Greg Stitt (5'7) both lefties... While North Catholic's biggest edition is its new Coach Mike McCarron of the Speedy Morris school. He has vowed to make Erie-Torresdale jump for joy once again. He's already started by bringing in 6'5 230-lb Soph. PF Jeremy Coombs...

INTER-AC PREVIEW
1.   Penn Charter
2.   Germantown Academy
3.   Malvern Prep
4.   Episcopal Academy
5.   Haverford School
6.   Chestnut Hill Academy

FAVORITE
PENN CHARTER -
The Quakers are one of the City's Top 5 Teams. They are led by 2 of Philly's Top 5 Juniors in 5'11 PG Sean Singletary & 6'8 SF Rob Kurz. Both have already caught the attention of many of the top D-1 Programs in the country. Singletary is the leader. Also, a big time prospect as a fleet, sure-handed WR on the gridiron, he makes his living on the hardwood by being tough and smart. He's a Pure PG and a winner. He's also and exceptional athlete and on ball defender.  He's gone to battle with many of the nation's top Guards and stood tall when the dust settled. Kurz is a great shooter with great size and good athleticism. His nose has also hardened and that was the knock on the big guy in the past. Both of these kids could wind up being Top 50 National Prospects in the end. Three very good role players will round out the starting 5 in Sr. Forwards 6'51/2 Matt Ryan & 6'4 230-lb Mike Boles. Both also standout in Football. Ryan may be the area's Top QB and has already signed with Boston College. He's gritty on the hardwood and he likes to shoot the deep ball. Boles is a bulwark down low. He likes to do the dirty work in the middle. The 5th starter is 5'11 Soph. PG Zack Zeglinski, also a FB standout. He'll do all of the intangible things for the Quakers from defending to making timely plays. The Quakers have a tough load this season with battles against St. John Neumann, St. Joseph's Prep, ML King, Dougherty & Simon Gratz in December. They'll have battles with St. Benedict's (NJ) & Lake Clifton (MD) in Feb. That means they have a full plate. There shouldn't be much of a challenge for them in League play this season.

OTHERS TO WATCH
      
The rest of the I-A is pretty much in a rebuilding stage. Germantown Academy, which started last season as one of the Nation's top 10 has some good young pieces, but none are proven. They only return one full time starter in 6'0 Jr. PG Larry Sharp. Sharp likes to shoot it from deep, but he's crafty with the ball and always play with confidence. Two Soph. Forwards must really step up. They are 6'6 Brian Grimes & 6'5 Ryan Ayers. Both showed flashes last year, but need to really step it up this year. Everything after that will be a question mark, though size shouldn't be a problem as there are 2 or 3 other contributors that are 6'6 and over... Malvern's hopes hinge on 6'3 Jr. WG Brian Grandieri, who will be a 3 year starter... Episcopal has its strong 5'11 Sr. PG Ronnie Frazier back in the fold and hopes that 6'4 Freshman SF Gerald Henderson Jr. lives up to his name... 

  FRIENDS LEAGUE PREVIEW
      
The buzz around the Friends League be owned by the the Nation's #1 PG 6'3 Sr. Mustafa Shakur, who recently committed to Arizona. Shakur will have to strap the Phoenix his back this season as he's the only proven Guard in the Program. His lean shoulders are more than capable of doing so, but it'll be tough. He does have two big frontcourt targets in 6'8 Sr. Forward London Houston and 6'7 Jr. Forward Channon Easley, a Penn Wood transfer. Houston likes to hit the short jumper and is an accomplished shot-blocker on defense. Easley is raw, but will be just asked to Rebound and play defense for now. A battle with the Nation's #1 Jr. PG Sebastian Telfair and his Lincoln HS (Brooklyn, NY) squad at Slam Dunk to the Beach after Christmas in Lewes, DE could define the season... FC's main competition is Abington Friends. The gap may close a bit this year after they just killed AFS last year for the title. The top Kangaroos this season will be strong 6'0 Sr. CG John Owens, 6'4 Jr. WG Dan LePone & 6'1 Soph. PG Aron Cohen. Owens is a great athlete. He plays hard and likes to score. He's also a very good defender. LePone is a great shooter and he competes. He's on the D-1 radar screen. Cohen is an impressive youngster. 6'5 Jr. PF Will Gause & 6'7 260-lb Sr. Center Hasani Franke will hold down the fort up front... Germantown Friends will have two top guys in 6'4 Sr. G-F Jason Tucker & strong 6'3 Soph. WG Noel Wilmore. Wilmore is easily one of the City's top 3 Sophs. and should soon garner National attention. Tucker is a solid player and a great student with close to a 1300 on the SAT... Friends Select's top guy will be 6'7 Jr. Center Mohammed Carr. He's a very good athlete...