By Christian Mordi (@Mordi_TheComeUp)
Team: Notre Dame Prep
Record Last season: 27-3, 8-0 in conference play
Key players: Manny Dixon, senior/St. Peters-commit;Isaiah Wong, sophomore
Potential emerging stars: Cartier Bowman, sophmore
Team analysis: Notre Dame was one of New Jersey’s best surprises last year. The Lawrenceville based school was dominant throughout the 2015/16 season, posting a stellar record of 27-3.
Notre Dame is in position to build on last year’s success. The team is returning St. Peter’s University commit Manny Dixon to lead the charge. The 6-4 wing averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds per game last year. They are also returning sensational sophomore Isaiah Wong. The crafty guard was amazing as a freshman last year. He also had a big summer on the circuit, and has drawn the attention of many elite division one programs across the nation. Notre Dame lost their second leading scorer in Troy Jones, but have filled the void with rising star Cartier Bowman. The Tim Thomas Playa is a jack-of-all-trades type of player. Bowman has a great motor and hits the glass relentlessly. He can guard wings or bugs if needed. He also has top-flight bounce. He is surely one of the most exciting players to watch in transition.
The big concern with Notre Dame was their level of competition they played last year. They only played three top 25 teams (Mater Dei, St. Mary’s Elizabeth and St. Joes Met) and they were 1-2. The last team they faced in the state tourney and lost by 30. In order for Notre Dame to crack the top 10, they will need to play a more rigorous schedule.
With that being said, Notre Dame is in for a big season. They should make some noise come tourney time, if they play tougher games along the way to prepare them for states.
Stat to know: Notre Dame Prep was undefeated in conference play during the 2015-2016 season. They won each division game by an average of 25 points last year. With Notre Dame returning the majority of their starters and adding a couple legit transfers, they could repeat this feat again with ease.