Taking Stock of the Hock: Boys Basketball 2014/2015

With over half of the season officially in the books, editor Ryan Lanigan takes a look at where he thinks things stand in boys basketball.

Who is the current boys’ basketball Player of the Year?
Last year at this time, it was somewhat clear who was going to end up as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Year and it turned out to be true as Rocky DeAndrade became the third player to win the award. This year, it’s still an open race but there are five players are stand above the rest so far. It won’t always be the case (example: last year) but the five names entered this week as the top five scorers in the league: Mansfield’s Ryan Boulter, Oliver Ames’ Ryan Carney, Taunton’s Corey Green, Mansfield’s Michael Boen and Franklin’s Marcus Giese. All five are seniors and were favorites for this coming into the season with Boulter making the HockomockSports.com First Team last year, and Carney, Giese and Boen making the Second Team.

Even more so, all five players are on teams that are either in or tied for first or second in their divisions. Boulter has proved he can scored in multiple ways and has really stepped up his defense this season, especially in the post. Carney, like Boulter, scored his 1,000th career point this season and has evolved his game offensively to get more people involved. Twice this season Carney has reached 10 assists and has helped involve his teammates more. Green has led a surprising Taunton team to not only a good record, but the highest scoring team in the league. It should be no surprise he’s one of the top defenders in the league and has hit the most clutch shots so far this year. Giese and Boen have both shown the ability to absolutely takeover a game. Both are among the top double-double players in the league and are two of the toughest defenders to go against.

For the most part, everyone knew these five are top players in the league. Since I picked one player form a group of candidates at this point last year, I’ll do the same this year and go with Mansfield’s Michael Boen, who is averaging 15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.7 steals per game.

What has been the biggest surprise this season?
It might not have been a surprise to them, but Taunton standing at 12-2 with the highest scoring offense in the league has been a surprise compared to our preseason expectations. The Tigers stormed out to a 6-0 start before dropping back to back close games with Franklin and Mansfield. Corey Green has been no surprise as all with his scoring, energy and clutch shots. After losing Gerald Cortijo (HockomockSports.com Second Team)and Shaq Davis (1,000 point scorer) to graduation and Marcus Santos-Silva and Jordan Galloway transferred and an early season injury to returning starter Matt Midouin, it looked like the Tigers were going to be in for a rough go. Instead, Durfee transfer Jose Mercado has moved into the lineup and has been a huge contributor on both ends, sophomore Tommy MacLean has gone from role player to starter this season and sophomore EJ Dambreville has been a huge contributor so far. Despite such a great amount of turnover, the Tigers are right in the Kelley-Rex race.

HockomockSports.com Midseason First Team
G – Corey Green
G – Ryan Carney
F – Michael Boen
F – Ryan Boulter
C – Marcus Giese

At this point, which team will be going the furthest in the tournament?
Looking at the field, I think there are a couple of Hockomock teams that have a chance to make some deep runs. First of all, Mansfield proved just this week with a win over Brockton that they are a top team in Division 1 South. Catholic Memorial and Newton North have to be the earlier favorites in the bracket but both Mansfield and Taunton possess the fire power to take on those teams. In Division 1 Central, Franklin is one of the favorites and a rematch with St. John’s Shrewsbury could be in the cards. The Panthers fell short against SJS last week but with wins over Mansfield and Taunton this season Franklin has shown they can play with top teams. In Division 2 South, Oliver Ames has emerged as one of the favorites. When the Tigers have multiple players scoring in double digits and the ball is being spread around, they are a very hard team to stop. 

What is your bold prediction for the rest of the season?
This won’t be bold to some of the teams involved but I’m going to say the Hockomock will send eight teams to the playoffs. Franklin Mansfield, Taunton have already clinched berths so far and Oliver Ames is on the verge of punching their ticket. Foxboro, King Philip and Sharon all have seven wins and are closing in on making the playoffs – Foxboro & Sharon yet again while King Philip would return for the first time since Jake Layman’s senior year. That brings the total to six, meaning two more teams will have to make it. The most logical choices are North Attleboro, Canton and Stoughton. The Rocketeers face a steep challenge, having to go a least  5-1 in their final league games to punch a spot. Canton has a similar challenge as the Bulldogs must go 6-1 in their final games. Stoughton has the most breathing room of the three, though its not much more as the Black Knights must win six of their last eight games. With four home games, the Black Knights might have the best shot at it.

Ryan Lanigan
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