National Preview: Montverde Academy (FL)
We continue our 2013-14 team previews with an in-depth look at Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), a program looking to capture its second consecutive Student Sports FAB 50 national title. Throughout October, we’ll preview many of the top teams from across the country as a countdown to the release of our preseason 2013-14 Student Sports FAB 50.
Note: All information that follows came from a questionnaire that was sent to and returned by the school’s head coach. If you would like your school to be profiled, please return the questionnaire that was mailed out earlier this month or it can be filled out online.
Team Name: Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Head Coach: Kevin Boyle (3rd year at Montverde Academy, 23 years at St. Patrick)
2012-13 Record: 26-2
Final Ranking: No. 1 (FAB 50) No. 1 (Southeast Region)
Returning Starters: 1
Returning Lettermen: 7
Players Most Deserving of Preseason Honors: SG D’Angelo Russell 6-4 2014 (No. 13 Hoop Scoop Top 100, Ohio State commit), SF Ben Simmons 6-9 2015 (No. 6 Hoop Scoop Top 100), G Jalyn Patterson 6-0 2014 (LSU commit), PG Ahmaad Rorie 6-0 2014 (Cal commit), F Justin Bibbs 6-5 2014 (Virginia Tech commit), G Brendan Boyle 6-1 2014 (Stetson, Florida Golf Coast, Jacksonville offers).
Newcomers Who Could Make An Impact: F Jordan Caroline 6-6 2014 (Southern Illinois commit), C Chris Egi 6-9 2014 (Harvard commit), G Kevin Cham 5-10 2016.
Coach’s General Outlook: We’ll be right in the mix again and we just need the breaks to go our way. We’ve played in a couple of games last year we easily could have won or lost, so we have to play our best in the stretch of 11 tough games we will have. We’ll be really good defensively and we can really turn it over and it should get us a lot of high percentage shots on the other end. We have plenty of quick guys and overall we’ll be more athletic than last year. On the other hand, we won’t be as good offensively in the post. We won’t be as dominant inside, but there’s no reason why we can’t be as good as last year.
Events Scheduled To Play In: City of Palms (Ft. Myers, Fla.), Wild Wing Café High School Hoops Classic (Charlotte, N.C), Cancer Research Classic (Wheeling, W. Va.) vs. St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) vs. Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), Bass Pro Tournament of Champions (Springfield, Mo.), Spaulding Hoophall Classic (Springfield, Mass.) vs. Curie (Chicago), Montverde Tournament (Montverde, Fla.).
Team(s) On Schedule Deserving of Ranking: Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.), White Station (Memphis), Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.), Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.), St. Joseph’s (Metuchen, N.J.).
StudentSportsBasketball.com Comments: Montverde Academy will be in the national championship hunt for the third consecutive season under Boyle. The Eagles won’t win by dominating teams inside, but they will be more versatile and could be just as dominant — but on the perimeter. D’Angelo Russell was a bit undervalued playing alongside two McDonald’s All-Americans last season, but he’s an All-American in his own right and can be counted on to get buckets in crunch time or to stop opponent’s runs. Jalyn Patterson will play a more significant role and both he and Ahmad Rorie should thrive playing alongside Russell in a quicker lineup. Montverde Academy also has good shooters, including his son Brendan, whose showed marked improvement. The basketball community got to see how good Ben Simmons was at the 2012 Pangos All-American Camp and fans got a glimpse of what he could do during last season’s NHSI. This season will be Simmons’ national coming out party and he if he plays up to expectations Montverde Academy will be tough to beat, especially if the new players quickly find their role.
Fast Fact: Before last season when the Eagles finished No. 1 in the FAB 50, the highest ranked Florida team ever was Miami Senior at the conclusion of the 1988-89 season. That team, led by Student Sports All-American Douglas Edwards, won the Class 4A title, finished with a 35-1 record and was ranked No. 2 behind St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.). While at St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.), Boyle had two teams open as the nation’s preseason No. 1 team (2003, 2009) that finished No. 9 and No. 4, respectively. Boyle’s 2009 team featured Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Erving, Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Gilchrist and former North Carolina guard Dexter Strickland. Gilchrist was the Gatorade State Player of the Year as a sophomore.
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RELATED: FAB 50 Consideration Form
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