On Wednesday, he turned to a tradition-rich Long Island high school program for his next point guard when 6-foot-1 senior Antoine Pearson from St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay committed to the MAAC program, after visiting the school.
"His father lives up in the Bronx, so it was pretty close to home," said St. Dominic Head Coach Rob Pavinelli. "And the fact that it's Manhattan, and they've been so successful. And of course, (Rohrssen). He's a great guy and coach. Antoine really enjoyed his conversations with him. I guess if you're a New York kid, you want to play in New York."
A late qualifier, Pearson was strongly pursued this spring, ultimately choosing Manhattan over Marist and Canisius.
The wiry guard averaged 15 points, six assists, four rebounds, and three steals this past season for Pavinelli and the Bayhawks, helping the team to Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA AA title. Dom's advanced to the CHSAA AA State semifinals before falling to Christ the King.
Pearson provided a steady hand for Pavinelli this season and a player capable of knocking down big shots in key situations. According to the coach, it is difficult to pin down one specific aspect of his game that stands out above others.
"His overall game (is strong)," said Pavinelli. "He doesn't have many weaknesses. He defends, rebounds, shoots, and can get to the bucket. But with all that being said, he's a pass-first point guard. He wants to get everybody involved."
Pavinelli believes that Pearson is still coming into his own as a player, and should continue to develop with the Jaspers.
St. Dominic finished 20-6 this past season before falling in the CHSAA AA State semifinals, and should be one of the top teams in the metropolitan area in 2006-2007, grounded by a strong core of returning seniors.
Due back for Pavinelli in the senior class are 6-foot-2 shooting guard T.J. Carey, 6-foot-4 power forward Markeys Deans, 6-foot-3 forward T.J. Thomas, and 5-foot-11 shooting guard Roland Davis, younger brother of Christ the King's Larry, in addition to a strong supporting cast.
Pearson joins a Manhattan recruiting class with strong New York roots. Already committed for next fall are 6-foot-2 shooting guard Darryl Crawford (All Hallows High School, The Bronx, N.Y.), 6-foot-4 shooting guard Jamel Ferguson (Astoria, N.Y.), 6-foot-5 power forward Brandon Adams (The Kent School, Conn.), and 6-foot-9 power forward Laurence Jolicoeur (Holy Cross High School, Flushing, N.Y.).