Head Men's Basketball Coach – Pratt Cannoneers
I had the chance to write about one of our incoming freshman for next season, Armando Dunn, a few weeks ago. Armando is going to be a huge part of our future at Bard and is part of what we consider to be a crucial and highly successful recruiting class. All six players have incredible potential on the court, in the classroom and as ambassadors for our school. I’m so excited to have then join us at Bard in August and excel over the next four years. On top of that, all six come from unbelievably supportive families who have already made it clear that they plan on being a big, active part of the Raptor family.
I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot about each of these guys and their impact if you continue to read the site. But before I start writing about how they helped us win games, let’s get to know them.
For video on most of Bard’s commits and countless others throughout the country, check www.d3BballRecruits.com.
Armando Dunn – 6’4″ – Forward – Cardozo HS (NY)
Much of what I can say about Armando has already been written, but I get more and more excited for him to put on a jersey every day. We were texting during Game 3 of the NBA Finals and he was telling me how hard he was working and we agreed that we see parts of Draymond Green’s game in Armando’s. His talent is outstanding, but his work ethic is what will separate him.
Tim Quashie – 6’0″ – Guard – Long Island Lutheran (NY)
Tim is a kid who has persevered the past two years through a pair of devastating knee injuries. Before suffering from a pair of tears, Tim was an integral part of LuHi’s success. He’s an absolute lock down defender who is touted as having shadowing current Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead around and holding him to just four points in a high school matchup between Long Island Lutheran and Whitehead’s Lincoln squad. His outstanding defense should not overshadow his offensive creativity, though. A talented combo guard who can score it from beyond the arc or off the bounce and create for himself and others, I expect a healthy Tim to be a difficult scout for opposing coaches.
An underrated aspect of what all six of these guys bring, but Tim especially, is their buy-in to what we are building at Bard. Tim had a ton of scholarship interest at Long Island Lutheran and would have easily gone to school for free had he been able to attend and play for Putnam Science Academy, which was his plan before tearing his ACL. He recognized the opportunity both on the court and in the classroom here at Bard and quickly grew close with our entire team during his multiple campus visits, starting early in the fall. Though sometimes soft spoken, it would shock me if Tim does not end up as a captain and vital leader on an NCAA Tournament team in his four years at Bard.
Merritt Miller – 6’5″ – Forward – Poly Prep (NY)
I first saw Merritt at Hoop Group Academic Elite camp during stations and had to run across the court to find out who this athletic freak was. Luckily, he ended up on my team for the camp. I asked Merritt to consistently play out of position, guarding way bigger guys (at the time Merritt was probably a shade under 6’4″, and has since grown over a full inch). I will never forget the toughness he showed when matched up with VCU commit Jonathan Nwankwo during a game. Merritt busted his butt to constantly front and deny Nwankwo the ball and held him to just six or eight point for the game.
Merritt’s game is way more than just toughness though. His athleticism is special and will be a plus for him from day one. Over the course of the season, being a tireless worker, Merritt has improved almost every aspect of his game. His handle is comparable to many guards, his shot is arguably now his biggest weapon. On top of that, Merritt is a tenacious defender and will be able to guard multiple positions at our level. There’s a chance that by the time he graduates, he will have guarded all five positions for spurts during his career. I’m not sure if he will end up as a small forward or power forward, based on a by-the-book definition, but his potential as a basketball player is tremendous and his versatility will be invaluable.
Dylan Frawley – 6’8″ -Forward – Middletown North (NJ)
Dylan defines the phrase you can’t teach height. He immediately stands out as one of the biggest guys in the gym everywhere he goes. On top of that though, he’s got great skill for an 18-year-old post player. I saw Dylan play a number of times during his senior season through his state tournament run and left impressed each time with his repertoire of moves. He is able to make hook shots over both shoulders and demonstrated an impressive up-and-under counter and times. He’s never going to be Dirk Nowitzki, but Dylan can step out to 15′ and hit shots and is a really impressive passer. He’s poised in the press break and probably averaged a handful of assists per game, distributing from the high post and low block.
He understands exactly who he is as a player, which is more than most can say coming out of high school. In back-to-back state playoff games, I watched Dylan record impressive double-doubles and come within one blocked shot of a triple-double each game. He has a tall task (pun intended) in front of him to take playing time from entrenched post players senior Brandon Cunningham and sophomore Jelani Bell-Isaac, but I would not be surprised to see him start contributing as soon as Brandon graduates.
Ezekiel Demasio – 6’5″ – Forward – Valhalla (NY)
“Zeke” is a player that I only got to see play last summer and in the fall, but Coach Turner and Coach Phillips had a chance to watch him a number of times during his high school season. When I finished seeing him at camps last year though, I left with him highly rated and thoughts of his potential dancing in my head. The best comparison for him may be 2015 grad and 1,000 point scorer Si Burnette. Both guys are similar heights and their games are eerily similar. Both are sturdily built 4-men who can operate and bully in the post, but also step out to three-point range and become a threat. With a solid work ethic, I think Zeke can actually be even more successful than Si was here at Bard, and that’s saying something!
Colin Walsh – 6’4″ – Forward – The Beacon School (NY)
Colin will stand out in Bard basketball history forever, as the first Early Decision applicant/commitment for the program. From early in the process he knew what Bard was all about and wanted to be a part of this special group going forward. Colin has an awesome motor on the court, playing bigger than the 6’4″ that he stands. He is very versatile offensively and proved to be a strong rebounder through size, technique and sheer effort. Defensively, Colin has a chance to be a tough-nosed kid who can guard multiple positions.
All six guys have incredible potential, both over the course of their four years at Bard, and even as immediate contributors next year. I think their size, as a group, is something we needed on our roster. This was the second recruiting class I helped assemble at Bard and I can only hope my third will be this successful. This group of young men will help us win a Liberty League, but also maintain high grades and represent Bard in a way that people don’t typically expect from basketball players.