Prep School Countdown: No. 6 South Kent School

It didn't take long for Raphael Chillious to build up the program at South Kent. In just his first year since making the switch from West Nottingham, he's got a chance to battle for New England supremecy.

We're unveiling the most extensive and only prep school poll of its kind and we'll take a look at South Kent (Conn.), which checks in at No. 6.

Last season South Kent's basketball program was in a state of disarray, but all it took was the offseason hiring of former West Nottingham coach Raphael Chillious and everything changed – quickly.

Chillious took smooth senior swingman Cheyenne Moore (6-6, 185) with him from West Nottingham and the one-time Georgetown commit, who has signed with Clemson, has plenty of talent surrounding him.

Moore will be joined by ultra-athletic 6-7, 190-pound wing Dorell Wright, a California native who burst onto the national scene this past summer and parlayed it into a scholarship with DePaul.

``We're better than we were last year," said Chillious, whose top player a year ago was UConn freshman big man Josh Boone. "It's not just that we have better athletes. We've got players who can put the ball in the hole."

Siena-bound 6-1, 180-pound floor leader Jack McClinton will run the show while 6-7, 215-pound forward and Baltimore native Tavon Nelson (Charleston) will do a lot of the dirty work in the paint. The only player who has yet to commit in the starting lineup is 7-3, 240-pound Californian Jermaine Middleton, who played sparingly the last two years at Crenshaw High and is receiving attention from the likes of St. John's, Colorado and others.

``He's very different from other 7-footers in that he really loves to play," Chillious said. "He's old-school. He's got a nice sky hook and has really made inroads. Last year he couldn't have kept up with us, but now he's able to run."

Chillious' bench isn't too shabby, either, and that's what may separate his West Nottingham squad from a year ago and this year's group in Conn.

``It's a dramatic change," Chillious said. "Last year when it came down to sub, I was a little reluctant. This year I know I can go five or six guys deep off the bench."

Ireland native Paul Cummins, a 6-3, 190-pound wing, has already committed to Lafayette and another big body added to the mix is 6-10, 275-pound senior Emmanuel Dixon, a Tennessee native who is getting some mid-major looks. Junior guard Tyler McKittrick (6-0, 175), a Maryland native, will likely see the majority of the minutes backing up McClinton at the point. South Kent is also expecting Lithuanian 6-9 junior Egidijus Dimsa this week.

Other players expected to battle for time include guards Paul Ihonor (6-0, 180) and Michael Jackson (5-9, 165) as well as senior wing Kahreen Gumbs (6-3, 185) and sophomore swingman Gilbert Brown (6-5, 170).


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