2006 WBY Shootout - see 6-7 PF Trevor Mbakwe

Mark Miller is the editor of the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook. This year the second annual WBY Shootout will take place at the Al McGuire Center on the Marquette campus December 26th and 27th. Mark has been profiling the teams on the WBY website, and allowed MarquetteHoops.com to publish this profile for St. Bernard's in St. Paul, MN who features future Marquette Golden Eagle Trevor Mbakwe.

2006 WBY Shootout

The Best Basketball This Side of March ...


Team Profile: St. Bernard's of St. Paul, Minn.

By Mark Miller
WBY Editor


Trevor Mbakwe of St. Bernard's High School in St. Paul, Minn., is many things on the basketball court, but his most noticeable trait is without question his explosiveness.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward -- ranked No. 65 among seniors in the country by Prep Stars Recruiter's Handbook -- will bring his explosiveness to Milwaukee for the second year in a row as he takes part in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout on Dec. 26-27 at the Al McGuire Center on the campus of Marquette University.

A year ago at the WBY Shootout, Mbakwe led Henry Sibley High School of Mendota Heights. Minn., to a victory over eventual WIAA Division 2 state champion Seymour with 22 points eight rebounds and four blocked shots. He also had 10 points and five rebounds in a loss to Milwaukee Vincent.

Mbakwe, one of four recruits who signed a letter of intent to play for coach Tom Crean at Marquette University last month, opted to transfer from Henry Sibley to St. Bernard's for his senior season.

At St. Bernard's, a small Catholic school with a long tradition of strong academic programs, Mbakwe has led coach Ed Cassidy's team to a 3-0 record by averaging 23.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 6.0 blocked shots per game.

In a recent 60-55 victory over Winona Cotter, Mbakwe finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocked shots.

Mbakwe and his teammates figure to receive a couple of stern tests at the WBY Shootout as they square off against Wauwatosa West at 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 26 before meeting Marquette High School at 8:45 p.m. on Dec. 27.

"We are still working out some of the kinks in our offense with Trevor now in our program," said Cassidy, who led St. Bernard's to a 23-7 record a year ago. "We're still tweaking some things and trying to get Trevor involved a bit out on the perimeter to get him ready for the next level."

Mbakwe figures to be matched up against a pair of talented inside players from Wauwatosa West in 6-7 senior Rico Combs and rugged 6-5 junior Giovante Jackson.

"Trevor is used to being double- and even triple-teamed," Cassidy said. "In our last game against Christ's Household of Faith, they played a box-in-one on Trevor.

"The thing with Trevor is he is able to dominate inside because of his physical strength and explosiveness. But we really want to get him to play a little bit away from the basket as well to open some things up in the lane and spread out the defenses we face."

St. Bernard's, one of three out-of-state teams slated to take part in the WBY Shootout, also relies heavily on senior point guard Chad Jones (6-0) and senior forward Patrick Cassidy (6-6), the son of coach Ed Cassidy.

Jones is receiving interest from several NCAA Division I and II schools, while Cassidy is hearing from many Division II schools, including UW-Parkside.

"Chad is playing extremely well for us," coach Cassidy said. "He is shooting the ball extremely well. He presents matchup problems for smaller guards. We put him down on the blocks in the Cotter game and he responded with 14 second-half points.

"Patrick is a versatile player who can shoot the three-point shot or post-up inside. As our big three go, so our team goes."

Wauwatosa West is projected to finish among the leaders in the revamped Woodland Conference.

Combs and Jackson are returning starters from last year's club that finished 15-7.
Combs averaged 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per outing a year ago while Jackson added six points and seven caroms per contest for coach Brian Rusk.

Seniors Josh Gierhahn (6-7), Shannon Scott (5-11) and Dan Barton (6-3) are also key contributors for West.

The 2nd annual Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout is scheduled for December 26-27 at the Al McGuire Center on the campus of Marquette University in downtown Milwaukee.

Twenty boys high school basketball teams from four states in the Midwest will compete in the event.

Standout players who have signed with Marquette, Purdue, Iowa State, UW-Green Bay, Indiana State and Dayton are set to participate in Wisconsin's premier holiday basketball tournament.

Additional information, including a complete schedule of games, can be found by visiting
www.WBBY.com. Contact WBY Shootout Director Mark Miller at 608-288-5486 or via email at wbnews@charter.net for additional details.

WBY Shootout

The Best Basketball This Side of March...


Mark Miller is the editor of the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook, the editor of Wishoops and also the director of the WBY Shootout. For more from Mark Miller, please visit www.WBBY.com and www.Wishoops.net .

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