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.
The Best Basketball This Side of March
St. Bernard's of St. Paul, Minn.
By Mark Miller
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.
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
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.
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
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
"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
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.
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.
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
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 email@example.com
for additional details.
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 .