Boys Basketball: Ten Players to Watch for 2017-2018

Hockomock Boys Basketball Players to Watch
Foxboro’s Joe Morrison puts in a layup in the second half against Canton last season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
 
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 

Players are listed alphabetically

Cam Andrews, Senior – Stoughton

Stoughton is putting a lot of emphasis on improving its defense this season, and after allowing the most points over the past two seasons, rightfully so. And it makes it easier to focus on defense more when you know you’re returning the team – and the league’s – highest scorer in Cam Andrews. After averaging 17.8 points per game last year, Andrews proved he’s one of the most gifted offensive players in the league. He will have a big target on his back with defenses game planning for him, so he’s going to need some help from teammates for sure. If he can get that help, and get himself in one-on-one situations, he will be a handful to deal with. He’s not only one of the best pure shooters in the league, he balances his game out with the ability to attack the basket and he’s a strong free throw shooter.

Tony Harris, Senior – Canton

Not many teams have the experience that Canton returns this season. One of those experienced players is senior Tony Harris, who is entering his third year as a starter for head coach Ryan Gordy. Although he has the size to be a big in this league, he’s athletic enough to play at any of the five positions, and he has the ability to stretch the floor and shoot from beyond the arc, making him a tough player to defend. Harris, who recently committed to Keene State, averaged 14 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season and that will likely be in the same neighborhood of what he does this season. Defensively, his size gives Gordy options to match up with fives, or if needed too, he can defend against quicker guards.

Kayden Kelley, Senior – Milford

Only two juniors made this watch list last year, and both are back on it again this season as seniors. Milford’s Kayden Kelley is one of the league’s top returning post players. He is arguably the best rebounder in the league, averaging a league-high 14.3 board per game a year ago. Standing at 6’4, his length and athleticism – a high jumper in the spring – give him an advantage when it comes to tracking down missed shots. On the offensive end, he can hurt teams with rebounds and simple putbacks. Since the Scarlet Hawks averaged a lot of its scoring from a year ago, Kelley could see an increased role in the post this season.

Dante Law, Sophomore – Taunton

It’s not often underclassmen make this list, but after a stellar rookie campaign, Taunton sophomore Dante Law earned his way on. As just a freshman, Law was second on the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game, less a point behind leading scorer Tommy MacLean. MacLean has graduated so expect Law to see an increased role on defense. His size and length give head coach Charlie Dacey a lot of options and flexibility with the lineup. If needed, Law can play at the four or five against smaller lineups, or he can slide to the two or three and use his height to his advantage against smaller guards. He can catch fire from downtime at any given time, as seen by his six three-pointers against Foxboro a year ago. The Tigers have a lot of offensive talent to go with Law, like Lou Vendrell and Naz Kenian, so defenses can soley focus in on just one guy.

Malik Lorquet, Senior – Sharon

The list of players in the Hockomock League that can take over a game and completely control it isn’t very long, but Sharon senior Malik Lorquet is certainly capable of doing just that. Although he’s not the biggest in the league at 6’3, he is truly one of the best post players in the league. He plays like a true big man, and has good length to bother shots on the defensive side of the ball. He can be a dangerous matchup in the post because of the moves he possesses and ability to finish around the rim. What separates him from other big men is his ability to handle the ball. He can pull the ball out and take on defenders on the dribble, using his good speed to to get to the basket. Sharon is a dark horse for the Davenport title, and Lorquet is a big reason why.

Paul Mahon, Senior – Franklin

Without a doubt, Franklin senior Paul Mahon is one of the hardest working players in the Hockomock League. The effort that he puts in night in and night out if often unmatched. Whether he’s stepping in to take a charge, or harassing ball handlers as they try to dribble up the court, Mahon is among the best at hustle plays. On top of that, he’s become the heart and soul of a talented team. Not only is he a good defensive player, but he can hurt teams on the offensive end of the court. He was the lone junior named to the HockomockSports.com First Team last season after averaging 11.1 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals a game, and shot 40% from deep. With the emergence of junior Jalen Samuels and sophomore Chris Edgehill, defenses will have a tough time focusing in on just one player.

John McCoy, Senior – Mansfield

Mansfield arguably lost the most talent to graduation last season, but expectations are still sky high in Hornet country. One reason that the Hornets feel like they can win another division title and a deep run into the postseason is having senior John McCoy back in the lineup this season, and healthy at that. McCoy missed 10 games last season, and averaged 6.4 points per game in the games that he did play. But when he was healthy, especially early on in the season, he showed the ability to really fill it up. He scored a career-high 17 points against Taunton last season. Standing at 6’4, McCoy is a tough matchup because he can shoot from deep or get by a defender and finish at the rim. When Tyler Boulter gets healthy, the Hornets will have two top scoring options to work with.

Joe Morrison, Senior – Foxboro

If there’s one player in the league that has really improved his game over each of the last two seasons, it’s been Joe Morrison. During his sophomore season, he appeared in 23 games and was mainly tasked to play defense and rebound the ball. During his junior season, he nearly quadrupled his scoring output with 12 points per game, while also averaging 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.8 steals per game. He was named HockomockSports.com Defensive Player of the Year for his stellar one on one defending, but on top of that, he started to insert himself more on the offensive end of the court. As a senior, expect his offensive responsibilities to grow, whether its scoring or setting up the offense. As one of the most selfless players in the league, Morrison is the type of player to do whatever is needed to win the game.

Jack Spillane, Junior – Oliver Ames

When it comes to production lost from last season due to graduation, not many teams are on the same level as Oliver Ames. The Tigers lost 15.5 points per game from Nick Welch, 13.4 points from Dylan Mahoney and 11.2 points from Carter Evin – that’s over 40 points gone to graduation right there. The good news is that senior Jack Spillane showed that he has the ability to go off on any given night. He dropped a career-high 31 points in a road win against Barnstable, one of three times he scored more than 20 points. He dropped 27 against King Philip and scored 21 against Milford. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he will a lot more responsibilities on the offensive end, but since he’s a good shooter and strong finisher in the lane, he will certainly be a player defense need to keep an eye on.

Dom Victor, Junior – Attleboro

Attleboro graduated its two leading scorers in Jake Dunkley and Andrew Milliken, who combined for over 25 points per game a season ago so the Bombardiers will be looking for someone to step up. Junior Dom Victor showed glimpses of dominance last season. With the combination of size and athleticism, he can be a matchup nightmare for opponents. Especially with sophomore Qualeem Charles in the lineup, it’s hard for teams to figure out who to put on him. It will be interesting to see if the three becomes a bigger part of his game this year, but his ability to attack the rim and find the bottom of the net from midrange makes him a threat nonetheless. And then on the defensive side of the ball, his length helps him alter shots.

Ryan Lanigan
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Ryan Lanigan

Ryan Lanigan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HockomockSports.com. You can contact him at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and follow him on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Ryan Lanigan
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