We examined the Charles Correa vs. Kris Dunn matchup in Thursdayâ€™s edition, which also appeared online at pawtuckettimes.com. Hereâ€™s the link in case you missed it: http://pawtuckettimes.com/content/sra-hoopsters-eye-showdown-vs-new-london.
Obviously the buzz entering Saturdayâ€™s game between St. Raphael and New London at CCRI-Warwick centers around each teamâ€™s ultra talented point guard, and rightfully so. Dunn, part of the heralded recruiting haul compiled by first-year Providence coach Ed Cooley, is making his case to be named to the McDonaldâ€™s All-American team, averaging 34 points and 15 rebounds in his senior season for the Whalers.
â€śHis name has been submitted,â€ť said New London head coach Craig Parker. â€śIâ€™m sure based on his current status â€“ some publications rank Kris as the top point guard in the Class of 2012 â€“ that he will have serious consideration for that game. Thatâ€™s certainly something weâ€™re hoping for regarding both him and our program.â€ť
A junior at SRA, Correa is out to prove he can more than hold his own while competing on the same hardwood as the more accomplished and acclaimed Dunn. A big game against a big-time recruit might be just what Correa needs to boost his credibility as a bona fide Division I prospect.
Thereâ€™s another realm to consider when analyzing SRA-New London and it has nothing to do with Dunn or Correa. Well, maybe thatâ€™s not completely correct. Looking at this game from a Rhode Island prospective, Saturday night is a prime opportunity for St. Raphael to make a strong statement on behalf of the Interscholastic League, particularly the hoops community.
Itâ€™s no secret that the quality of high school ball has suffered in recent seasons as many local products continue to flee to prep schools, the belief that playing against a higher caliber of talent will help improve oneâ€™s recruiting stock. Left in the wake of the exodus of players-to-prep-schools is a watered down product that is devoid of true star power.
Correa might just be the only legit Division I prospect competing in the RIIL this winter. Regardless if youâ€™re on the public or private school side of the ledger, the fact is that St. Raphael is a member of the Interscholastic League. Add to the fact that the Saints are defending champs and what you have is a golden opportunity for a league member to rise up against an out-of-town team.
The competition will certainly be stiff against a New London squad that went undefeated a year ago en route to capturing Connecticutâ€™s Class L state title. This season the Whalers are 5-2 with both losses coming by a combined eight points. For comparisonâ€™s sake, the Saints will take an 8-0 record into Fridayâ€™s game at Cranston West.