"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, July 08, 2005

Prep School Influence: Talent Drain from NYC Hoops

With Marquette University officially a presence on the East Coast, it's interesting to note one of the most significant recruiting trends emerging in the region.

For years prep schools have lingered on the fringes of NYC area basketball, but public and parochial leagues maintained the lion's share of talent. Going forward that might not be the case, as more kids consider prep schools a better option for developing both basketball and academic skills.

Today's New York Daily News takes a hard look at the influence prep schools are having on basketball in the City, and notes that the pool of prep school options are increasing. Dwight Burke's alma mater, St. Benedicts, is cited as a relatively new prep school option.

Clark Francis offers his perspective on the issue:
"In cities all over this trend is getting out of control, and it will get worse," said recruiting analyst Clark Francis. "Poor academics got this thing rolling, but now kids see an Andre Blatche get drafted out of South Kent and everyone wants to go."

St. Benedict's coach Danny Hurley has a more positive perspective on the exodus of talent from the City:
"I think it gives guys an opportunity to get a better education, a better chance to have more college options, (and) the structure definitely helps," said St. Benedict's coach Danny Hurley. "Even in a month at St. Benedict's, (Eugene Harvey) put in more time and effort studying than he did in two years at his other school. So it's not the easy way out."

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