By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
Alex DuBrow, Foxboro – In his first year at Foxboro, DuBrow certainly turned a lot of heads. Seriously, just watch defenders as they try to keep track of the nifty passes DuBrow comes up with game in and game out. The senior has arguably the best vision in the league and that’s a good trait as he will guide the ship full of talented and experienced players this year. He isn’t just a distributor either as he can make his way through defenses to the buckets and isn’t afraid to pull up with a defender on him. Defensively, the word that comes to mind is “pest” and for good reason. He can disrupt opposing ball handlers and get the Foxboro going quickly.
Robby Lowey, Foxboro – Standing at 6’4, Lowey is going to be a player that opponents have to worry about on both ends of the court. The Warriors have a good group of talent with a wide range of skills and that makes it that much harder to deal with Lowey. With DuBrow’s vision (see above), and the shoot and scoring abilities of Mark Clagg and transfer Jason Procaccini, it’s tough to bring help to guard against Lowey. Last year was a big growth year and by the end of the season, Lowey was a constant threat each trip down the court. Defensively he has the length that alters shots and can help clean up the glass on any misses.
Tim Prunier, Franklin – Without a doubt, Prunier will be one of the best in the Hockomock League this year. He’s got a very well rounded game with the ability to make an impact in all phases of the game. Offensively not only does he carry the ball and set the offense in motion, he can score in one on one situations, can move the ball at the right time and even more impressively, he’s one of the best off the ball. Prunier is truly a player you don’t want to lose track of. Defensively he will add a spark to a team that prides itself on stopping teams and forcing turnovers.
Nick Baskin, Mansfield – With a lot of scoring graduated last season, the Hornets are going to need players to step up and Nick Baskin is a strong candidate to do so. Each of the last two seasons, he’s progressed and became more of a threat. He showed off last season that he can connect from deep, especially from the corner. And as the season went on, he got better at getting the ball to the basket and finishing there too. Once he is able to overcome an early season injury, he will be a key piece for the Hornets.
Matt Ehrlich, Mansfield – Two years ago as a freshman, Ehrlich was strictly a spot shooter for the Hornets. After last year, he showed his game is much more complete than just a shooter. Now in his junior year, expect Ehrlich to take his game to the next level, especially with Mansfield looking to somehow replace the production from Michael Boen and Ryan Boulter. Ehrlich is also one of the coolest customers on the court, never getting too high or too low and that’s someone you want on your team. Defensively he has improved each season and despite not being the tallest player on the court, he’s willing to get into the mix on the glass.
Brent Doherty, North Attleboro – One of the toughest decisions we faced as a staff last season was picking the Boys Basketball Underclassman of the Year and that’s a credit to how well Doherty (and Mansfield’s Ehrlich) played in their sophomore seasons. Now a junior and with almost of his teammates back from last year, Doherty is looking at a potential breakout campaign. He’s improved as a scorer over the past two years and is fearless when he takes the ball to the hoop. Even more impressive is his range and willingness to take the big shot in big situations. Defensively he’s got quick feet and can stay in front of his mark. One underrated part of his game is his distribution and with some solid weapons around him, look for Doherty to lead a dangerous Rocketeer offense.
Matt Lowerre, Sharon – I mentioned it in the preseason Hock 5 rankings for boys basketball but I’ll say it again: it seems as though Matt Lowerre has been hitting three pointers for the Eagles for a long time. And to be fair, he’s hit a lot of them in his time on varsity. His shooting ability can change a game very quickly but he also can get past a defender, pull up or take it to the hole to convert there. A two year captain, Lowerre gets it done on the defensive end too. He does well to make it tough for opposing ball handlers get where they want.
Brandon Teixeira, Stoughton – For the past two years, Teixeira has been one of Stoughton’s main sources of offense and we don’t expect that to change much this season. Range isn’t an issue for the senior righty as he can stroke it from distance with the best in the league. But he’s not just a one trick pony, he can get to the basket and can score in a variety of ways. Defensively he – and the entire Stoughton team – will rely on quickness to try and disrupt the flow against offensively and look to get out and run.
Tommy MacLean, Taunton – Although just a junior, this could be the year we see a big jump for MacLean. He’s been a consistent shooter over the past two seasons for two very good Taunton teams but expect him to have a much larger role this year. He’s shown glimpses of other parts of his game over his first two years but expect to see MacLean to take on more of a leadership role this season and be an impactful player. He’s another one that is will to go up against anyone for a rebound despite his size and he’s more than willing to hit the floor for a loose ball.
Jose Mercado, Taunton – Mercado was a question mark last season after transferring from Durfee but after just a couple of games you could see how talented he was. When it comes to offense, there aren’t many shots that Mercado isn’t willing to take – whether it be a three, a drive or a fade away – and to be fair, he scores pretty consistently. He showed off his range last year but he also has the size and length to be a mismatch against defenders in the post. That size and length also comes into play on the defensive end and he will be relied on heavily this season to help protect the rim for the Tigers.