As you might guess, the New Jersey powerhouse enters the NHSI featuring a talented cast. Division I signees 6-2 Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), 6-7 Denzell Taylor (Old Dominion), and 6-8 Michael Young (Pittsburgh) will be tough to handle. Ennis, who will play in the Jordan Brand Game, stuffs the stat sheet with 20.8 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. Taylor is a ferocious rebounder (9.0 rpg) as is Young (16.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg). Keep an eye on 6-3 sophomore Isaiah Briscoe (15.8 ppg, 5.1 apg and 3.5 rpg), who is ranked #24 in the Class of 2015 according to ESPN Recruiting Nation. Tyrell Green and Jon Williams are promising juniors. St. Benedict’s averages 83 points, with the average margin of victory at 33 points. That latter number might be hard to duplicate in such an elite field.
The Gray Bees traditionally play one of the most challenging schedules in New Jersey. St. Benedict’s appeared to be headed towards an undefeated season after registering victories over Montrose Christian (MD), 63-51, at the Hoophall Classic and Teaneck (NJ), 86-64. However, thanks to a last-second three-pointer, the Gray Bees were upended, 54-53, by Blair Academy (NJ) on Jan. 30 for the their lone loss. Two days later, the national-level competition continued at the Newark National Invitational in a 47-38 victory over ranked St. Anthony (NJ), halting the Friar’s modern-day state record of 83 games at the Prudential Center. They also buried the eventual State Tournament of Champions winner Roselle Catholic, 73-56, at the PrimeTime Shootout on Feb. 10. In the State Prep A Tournament, the Gray Bees avenged their loss, hammering Blair Academy, 93-47. Tyler Ennis scored 26 points as St. Benedict’s used a 31-5 second-quarter burst to clinch the title.