NMH hoop coach John Carroll reflects on another impressive season

  • Northfield Mount Hermon huddles up in the second half against Naval Academy Prep earlier this season at Forslund Gymnasium in Gill. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The Northfield Mount Hermon boys basketball team celebrates after scoring against Naval Academy Prep earlier this season at Forslund Gymnasium in Gill. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

For the Recorder
Published: 4/8/2020 4:25:11 PM
Modified: 4/8/2020 4:27:45 PM

It was another successful season for the Northfield Mount Hermon School boys basketball team.

Despite a slow start to the season, the Hoggers managed to win 28 games. The team hit its stride in the final stretch of the season, making it to both the semifinals of the NESCAC Class AAA tournament and the National Prep Basketball Tournament. 

Throughout the season, NMH traveled around the country, playing in its share of events throughout the tournament circut.

“It was a spectacular and fun ride for the guys,” NMH head coach John Carroll said. “The trip was amazing. We went to the Bahamas, played in Toronto, got to play in Chicago in the Bleacher Report game, went to the All-Star game. It was an off-the-chart fun season.”

As is the case every year, the Hoggers will lose a talented group of players entering next season. Leading scorer Darius Ervin, who was a second-team NEPSAC Class AAA selection after going for 18.1 points per game, will move on, as will Harvard-bound Sam Silverstein as part of a seven-member class.

“We lose six-to-eight guys a year,” Carroll said. “This is normal losing seven guys. We’ll do our best to replace them but that’s the plan every year, to try to raise the bar a little bit. We plan on going younger because we have a good size junior class.”

Other key departures from the rotation include Prince Moses and Zach Brown, who will both play at Brown University, and Luca Lukacevic. The Hoggers have had an Ivy League commit every year since 2006.

“For us, it’s always character first,” Carroll said. “Then, we want to make sure they can have success academically at NMH. Finally, its the basketball piece. We want multi-positional, skilled, high IQ guys. We focused this year on bringing in NMH culture kids and culture characters. We want to bring in terrific kids who understand what it means to be part of program.

“We’re pumped about that,” Carroll continued of the Ivy League streak. “Sixteen straight years with an Ivy commit, we’re excited about that. Sam’s a tremendous kid. Basketball has been in his family forever. We really wanted to keep the culture going. He’s a great shooter, high IQ player, he handles the ball well and is a great decision maker on the court.” 

NMH has some talented players returning, including sophomore Avery Brown. Brown commit Sam Klores is joining the team, and the 6-foot-2 guard will help continue the Ivy League run.

“We have a great group of underclassmen,” Carroll said. “Our sophomore guards becoming juniors, the weight will be on their shoulders. They’ll be expected to do a lot. We’re hoping those guys grow into it. Excited about what we have.”

There’s also an expected local connection on the roster next season, as current Frontier Regional star Peter Carey will head to NMH and join the program. The 6-foot-10 big man has led the Red Hawks in scoring the past few seasons.

“Great to get a local kid,” Carroll said of Carey. “Excited about what he can do. Having him with his skillset playing against guys the size of him, he can play to his quickness and athleticism. Being the biggest guy, sometimes you have to play like a big guy. We’re going let him loose.

“Being eight inches taller than everyone else, it’s not really true basketball,” he continue. “What he’s going to be playing in college, when they come to see him they can’t get a clear understanding of how he fits. We can play him at his natural position, to his natural skills and we think he’ll develop in a quick rate when he’s able to play what he’s playing in college. Super excited about him and his future is bright.”

The Hoggers lost to Putnam Science in the semifinals of the National Prep Tournament to end their season last month, capping a 28-10 campaign.

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