Breaking down the FCIAC boys basketball tournament

by Jesse Quinlan on
Fri, Feb 24, 2012 3:49 PM

Updated Sat, Feb 25, 2012 3:34 PM
Breaking down the FCIAC boys basketball tournament

Standout guards James Jennings and Schadrac Casimir could face off in Thursday's FCIAC finals.

After one wild finish to the regular season, the much-anticipated FCIAC boys basketball tournament begins on Saturday with four games at Ludlowe High School in Fairfield. Greenwich coach Bill Brehm, whose team faced all eight of the FCIAC playoff entrants, helps break down the quarterfinal round matchups.

No. 3 Ridgefield (14-5) vs. No. 6 Stamford (12-8), noon                                               

Last time they met: Stamford won 50-39 on Jan. 31.

Brehm's scouting report

On Ridgefield: "A well-coached team. Offensively they're very methodical with man offense, run it for continuity with use of pick and rolls. Defensively a very tough 1-3-1 half court trapping defense as well as man to man.  They have a number of really good spot up jump-shooters. Kurt Steidl, Seth Von Kuhn, Jack Heller and Jeff Racy can all knock down jumpers and Steidl, Heller and Racy have range for 3's. Ridgfield has to prove they can beat an athletic team in  a big game and Stamford needs to keep the Tigers from scoring often and setting up in their 1-3-1."

On Stamford: "Another well-coached team, and they are athletic. Offensively, Stamford likes to run the floor. The Broderick brothers, Bryan and Barry, have great chemistry and Shawn Padilla is a force on the boards and inside. Defensively they use man and full court zone pressure, and will use some half court trapping zones.  You've got to contain the brothers from scoring and keep Padilla off the boards. If Stamford can penetrate the 1-3-1 and get the ball to Padilla while hitting a couple baseline jumpers, they'll win."

No. 2 Trinity Catholic (15-5) vs. No. 7 Danbury (12-8), 5 p.m.                                     

Last time they met: Trinity Catholic won 65-55 on Jan. 13.

Brehm's scouting report

On Trinity Catholic: "If coach Walsh gets his boys to play defense, this shouldn't be a game. Defensively, Trinity will play some zone with (7-foot-1) Pascal Chukwu in the middle making opposing players alter shots and starting the break with rebounds and outlet passes. If (Danbury's T.J.) Jackson heats up from the outside, he can also play man to man but matching Chukwu with a Danbury player will be interesting unless he just leaves a non-shooter open and sticks him in the middle (which is what I would do). Offensively, TC has multiple scoring threats and the guards can create their own shots. If they can establish an inside-out game they can dominate. Schadrac Casimir, Kevin Leumene, Jason Boswell, Tremaine Frazier, Brandon Wheeler and Chukwu can all score.  The big man shoots free throws well so you can't just hack him."

On Danbury: "Offensively, it's no secret. If they can stop the DanyJoel Harris-Jackson combo, Trinity wins the game.  Jackson likes to shoot 3s and Harris will drive the baseline and the lane for buckets. James Harrington and Javonte Parker can also score but if Trinty keeps Harris and Jackson to single digits, they will win.  Danbury vs. zone does not look to feed the high post or the short corner which they will have to do to beat Trinity.  Defensively, Danbury will go full court man to man, run and jump, but with the Chukwu mismatch, they may zone up Trinity."

No. 4 Bassick (15-5) vs. No. 5 Westhill (14-6), 5 p.m.                                                   

Last time they met: Bassick won by forfeit (Westhill used an ineligible player)

Brehm's scouting report

On Bassick: "Demetrius Thomas may be the best player in the league and the matchup with Westhill's Chris Walters who may be the best player in the league as well should be fun to watch. Defensively, Bassick may use full court man-to-man as well as some full-court zone. Offensively -they will penetrate and kick with Kobe Ancrum, Russell Jones, Devin Coleman, Jerond Rogers and Bramwell all able to make 3s. Thomas will clean up misses and hit a 3 himself."

On Westhill: "Defensively they like to get into a half court 2-2-1 trapping zone that is tough to penetrate. They will also play man-to-man. It will be interesting to see if Bassick can reverse the ball and knock down shots against this zone.  If they do, they have a shot to beat the Vikings. Tony Dobbinson may be the best point guard in the league and he can penetrate on anyone. Walters can do it all, and Sam Dorrissant is the big who can clean the glass and post up. The Vikings may be the most talented team in the league, and this may be the track meet of the day."

No. 1 St. Joseph (20-0) vs. No. 8 Central (11-8), 7 p.m.                                                

Last time they met: St. Joseph won 92-56 on Feb. 3.

Brehm's scouting report

On St. Joseph: "The best team in the league at 20-0, a remarkable record for any team, but in this league it's a huge accomplishment. Yes they get talent from all over the county and yes it's a huge advantage, but 20-0 is hard to do. This game should be a blowout if the big three --Timajh Parker, James Jennings and Pat Hopkins -- have an average night. These seniors have talent and experience. Quincy McKnight might be the best point in the league. Offensively the inside-outside combo of Parker and Jennings is the key as usual and you can't sleep on Hopkins as he will clean the glass and drive the lane from the elbow all night.  Defensively, St. Joes has a bit of everything in its scheme.  They will play full and half court man-to-man as well as zone you up full court 2-2-1 and diamond pressure. They have been in a few close games this year and obviously won them all.

On Central: "I don't know what Central played defensively in the first meeting, but they need to zone up on St. Joe's as no team in the league can match up with them man to man.  Defensively, If they try to play full-court man, run and jump or 2-2-1 zone as they like to do, the result will be the same as the first meeting. If they pack in a zone, Central will have to get out on Jennings as he can hit NBA range 3's and change the game.  Offensively, Central will have to shoot a really good percentage from the field and control the ball on offense.  They need to run some sets and make the game shorter than 32 minutes if they want to pull the upset.  They will also have to hope that St. Joe's is not shooting well. Central is on the short end of experience and talent versus St. Joe's but I wouldn't count them completely out as stranger things have happened and they are well disciplined. Tyler Ancrum and Josh Wilkerson are really athletic, talented players and they need to step up and score for Central to be in it."

Quinlan's predictions
Forecasting the Final Four: St. Joe's, Westhill, Trinity Catholic and Stamford.
Then there were two: St. Joe's, Trinity Catholic.
And the champ is … St. Joe's, 69-65.



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