New York area player toils in virtual anonymity, distinguishes himself on a local level, but hasn't yet appeared on the type of stage that would catapult his reputation beyond that. We've seen it before in the recent past with McAlarney, the Notre Dame freshman, with a player like Johnny Garcia (Seton Hall), and it happens all the time. At some point, a player's reputation crystallizes, word seeps out, and his stock climbs frantically.
It's too early to tell, but this very well could be the case with Andrew Beinert. The 6-foot-2, 160 pound combo guard from Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York, had been one of Long Island's best kept secrets until recently. In fact, the junior still is very much an unknown, even in local circles. However, you get the sense that he's on the cusp of being recognized well beyond Nassau County.
"He's a very special player," said Chaminade High School assistant coach Bob Paul. "I think that, number one (his biggest strength) is his court vision. He sees the floor as well as anybody I've coached. And he just makes guys around him better. He can score, but he doesn't need to score to dominate the game."
When you talk about Beinert, it's hard to overlook his savvy and high basketball IQ. He's adept at using screens, and moves well without the ball.
"He doesn't need to have the ball in his hands to make an impact on a game," said Paul. "He's a real student of the game. He knows where to be to put himself in a position to score."
With the superlatives being tossed around, the question begs -- why isn't Beinert's name out there like some other prospects? Well, perhaps it's because he hasn't done the camp circuit, with its accompanying hype and acclaim. He was a standout for Coach Joe Walsh with the Long Island Lightning at the 16 and under AAU Nationals in July, helping the Lightning to a sixth place finish overall.
What Beinert has been is an emerging talent out of the Long Island Catholic League for Coach Jim Quinn at Chaminade. An all-boys school with a commendable academic reputation, Chaminade's teams have often mirrored their student body -- smart and efficient. Underclassmen very rarely play starring roles with the varsity, but after being brought up as a sophomore, Beinert showed that he belonged.
"It doesn't happen very often for us, but after about 10 games, we put him in the starting line-up," said Paul. "He had the ability to take over for stretches of games."
One of those stretches happened to be against St. Mary's of Manhasset, which made a case for itself as one of the nation's top prep teams last year. Beinert came off the bench against their veteran team and quickly provided a spark.
"We subbed him in, and he went on a 10-0 run of his own," said Paul. "(St. Mary's coach) Tim Cluess had to call a time out and ask who was guarding this guy."
The same thought had to have crossed the minds of onlookers when Beinert went off for 37 points against the New York Gauchos playing with a Chaminade team at the IS8 League in Queens early this week.
A few local programs have taken an interest. Beinert picked up scholarship offers from Hofstra and Davidson this summer. Hofstra has monitored him closely. St. John's head coach Norm Roberts also made an appearance in Mineola this week to evaluate Beinert, and reportedly liked what he saw. Others who have shown preliminary interest include Notre Dame, Bucknell, and Columbia. It seems to early to tell who will become players in his recruitment.
A native of Floral Park, Beinert carries an 88 average in the classroom.