Focused on T of C, And Thinking About Rutgers

St. Anthony High (Jersey City, N.J.) is the top-rated team in the nation and is two wins away from a state title and national championship, and Rutgers-bound guard Myles Mack is a huge reason why. As the Friars ready for Friday's Tournament of Champions semifinal meeting with Newark Central, Mack spoke to about his season and readying to play for the Scarlet Knights.

St. Anthony High (Jersey City, N.J.) four-star point guard Myles Mack latest concern is Newark (N.J.) Central High in tonight's semifinals of the state Tournament of Champions.

The winner plays Monday for the title against the winner of today's St. Augustine-Plainfield matchup.

However, a week ago he got a glimpse of his future when the Friars beat St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.), the top-rated team in the nation, in the biggest game of the season.

It was played in front of a packed crowd at the Rutgers Athletic Center, and Mack scored 19 points and had five steals to vault the second-ranked Friars (30-0) to a 17-point win, and also line them up for a national title.

"That atmosphere was great for me," said Mack, who signed with Rutgers in November. "Next year the games are going to be like that, so I have to get used to it. I was thinking that it's going to be a hard place to play at when the RAC is full. That would be good if we can get that the next four years."

Mack's performance was so good, and came in such a high-profile game, it made plenty of news in the Rutgers community.

Among those singling Mack out for his stellar performance were former Rutgers and current NFL players Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty and Tiquan Underwood.

"I talked to the McCourty brothers on twitter, and also Tiquan Underwood," Mack said. "That's a great feeling for me, just to know these guys like my game, and they're probably going to be at some of the games next year and watch me play. That's a great feeling for me."

Rutgers coach Mike Rice attended the game against St. Patrick, which fell on the night the Scarlet Knights lost to St. John's in the Big East tournament.

"Every time there is a high-profile game (Mack) seems to play at his best, so I'm encouraged by that," Rice told earlier this week. "He has a wonderful skill set that I'm excited about developing and a toughness about him …he doesn't get nervous in big games, and that's always a positive."

Mack is averaged a team-leading 15.4 points per game and 3.6 assists per game in the regular season.

Although concentrating on his season, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound Mack had the chance to watch the Scarlet Knights on a number of occasions.

"I think they played well, but the experience other teams had, that's why they came out with a couple of losses in big games," Mack said. "Other teams had more experience."

Mack has the reputation as a shoot-first point guard, but he has started to develop his overall point guard skills more this season.

With James Beatty and Mike Coburn lost to graduation, and no point guard in the program, Mack is expected to compete with incoming freshman Jerome Seagears of Flora MacDonald Academy (Red Springs, N.C.) for the starting point guard spot next season.

However, he has not had detailed discussions with Rice about his roll with the Scarlet Knights.

"I think he's going to talk about that after the season because he doesn't want to get in the way of anything right now," Mack said. "I think after the season we'll talk and I'll have a better idea."

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