FRIAR INSIDER SPEAKS TO SAIQUON STONE

Friar Insider recently caught up with Xaverian High School's Saiquon Stone, who verballed to Providence College on June 7th. The 6'5 swingman had several interesting comments on his future, which included his final academic situation.

Stone, a 6'5, 190 pound swingman, had narrowed his choices to Providence, Marist and Fairfield, before deciding on the Friars on June 7th. Because the late signing period had ended on May 13th, Stone was unable to officially sign a letter of intent with Providence, and could only verbal.

Stone was considered underrecruited for several reasons; one was his academics, which scared some schools off, and secondly, the versatile athlete was often played out of position during the season for an Xaverian squad that struggled early, but came on late in the season and in the playoffs. Stone was asked to play center at times and he spent a lot of time in the paint, while his projected position in college is either at the wing guard or wing forward positions. He was also injured early in the season.

"I messed up my ribs," said Stone. ""The end of the season was really good; it really saved our year."

Xaverian struggled early in the season as Stone's injury and inconsistent play repeatedly killed the Clippers, but when Stone returned and began to lure opposing big men away from the basket, the Clippers were close to unbeatable.

The 20-11 Clippers pulled upset after upset in the New York City playoffs. In late February, they beat Bishop Loughlin for the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens diocesan championship. Then they downed a tough #2 rated Christ the King team by twenty points. Stone had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Three days later, they followed that up with a thrilling 67-66 win over Rice High School, with Stone scoring 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. Then, four days later, they upset #1 ranked St. Mary's, 71-69, for the New York State Catholic AA title. Stone led the way with 17 points and 9 rebounds.

Stone capped off his great end of year run by averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game during Xaverian's playoff spurt. He was also named First Team All-New York City.

All of this made Stone a hot commodity, and the Friars had been involved with him for a long time, but there remained the matter of his grades and test scores. As his final grades for the year became known, it was apparent that Stone needed a bump in his test score to be academically eligible to play for anyone next year. He took his last test attempt earlier this month.

"Most likely, I'm done with my attempts," said Stone. "I came up a little short on the test score. I'll most likely end up at a prep school next year and be at Providence the year after. To be honest, I don't have any idea which prep school I'll be going to. We're trying to work that out in the next week or so."

"I really like Providence," he continued. "But if I go to prep school, that will open a lot of doors with new schools. Providence will still be my favorite, though, and I most likely will end up a Friar."

Stone is considered a tough, hard nosed defender who can lock down his opponent, and a warrior. He can also put the ball on the floor, pass well, and take it to the rim. "Winning is my best attribute," he said. "I thrive on defense. Offense comes after; I don't worry about that. I don't worry about my offense until I lock my guy down."

If there has been one knock on Stone's game, it's his perimeter shooting. "I'll be honest with you, my outside shooting is very inconsistent," Stone said. "I need to work on my conditioning and repetition. I shoot well enough early on, but when I get tired, my form breaks down. I'm going to work on my jump shot and conditioning all summer. I'm not thinking about AAU (he has played for the New York Gauchos) or camps right now. I just want to work on my shooting. And I'm worrying about working out where I go for prep school. I've got to make sure I'm eligible for Providence the year after."

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