Long Island

Forecast 2017-18: Long Island boys basketball

by Dylan Butler on
Sat, Jun 24, 2017 6:42 PM — @Dylan_Butler

Updated Thu, Jun 29, 2017 9:38 AM

It’s never too early to look ahead at the boys basketball season and on Long Island there are some interesting storylines to think about heading into November.

Can Long Island Lutheran finally win the elusive New York State Federation Class AA title?

That seems to be the big question every year. Since there’s no league or conference title to play for, it's all about Federation glory or bust for the Crusaders. They fell just short a year ago, losing to Lincoln in the final. They lose a pair of influential seniors in point guard Brandon Jacobs and wing Chris Coalmon, but return one of the most formidable frontcourts in the state.

Can Hills East take the next step and win a Long Island Championship?

It was a historic year for Hills East, which captured a first-ever Suffolk Class AA title last March. The hoped to continue their run to Binghamton, but fell to Westbury in the Long Island title game. With Savion Lewis and Julien Crittendon forming one of the best one-two punches in the backcourt on Long Island, there’s no reason to believe Hills East can’t make another deep run in March.

Can anyone stop Elmont?

There appears to be no slowing down the Spartans, who have won back-to-back Nassau Class A titles, including a buzzer-beater last March after capturing the state crown two years ago.

KC Ndefo will be one of Long Island’s best players and he’ll be joined by sharpshooter Victor Olawoye, Jaylin Miller and Jevon Santos, among numerous players with experience from a tema that lost to Southampton in the Long Island Class A final.

Who are some of the top players to keep an eye out for this year?

There’s a bevy of talented players back, including the News 12 Varsity All-Long Island Boys Basketball Player of the Year Donatas Kupsas, a rising senior forward at Long Island Lutheran. A year ago, the versatile Kupsas, who has offers from Weber State, Vermont, Ole Miss and several locals, averaged 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in helping the Crusaders reach the New York State Federation Class AA final.

Also back is Savion Lewis, a dynamic rising senior guard who guided Hills East to a first-ever Suffolk Class AA title. Lewis, who averaged 21 points and four assists per game and is 22 points away from 1,000 for his career, is a two-time All-State selection – first team last year – and holds offers from Manhattan, Stony Brook, Florida International, Indiana State and Cal State Bakersfield.

Elmont’s shot-blocking and rebounding beast KC Ndefo, a 6-foot-6 rising senior forward, is also back tying to lead the Spartans to a third straight Nassau Class A crown. The double-double machine, who is also being recruited on the Division I level, averaged 21.4 points per game a year ago.

Looking for a throwback point guard? Look no further than Uniondale’s Danny Ashley, who is a three-year starter and captain. The 5-foot-10 rising senior averaged 16.1 points, 5.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game last winter.

Arguably Long Island’s top college prospect is Lawrence Woodmere Academy’s Aidan Igiehon, a 6-foot-10 rising junior forward who averaged 21.1 points and 16.9 rebounds per game and has offers from Villanova, Seton Hall and St. John’s. 

Here’s a list of 50 players to watch for the 2017-18 season.

2017 Long Island Boys Basketball Players to Watch

ISAIAH BIEN-AISE, Westbury
6-foot-4 Senior Forward

AHKEE ANDERSON, Greenport
5-foot-10 Sophomore Guard

DANNY ASHLEY, Uniondale
5-foot-10 Senior Guard

SEAN BRAITHWAITE, Center Moriches
6-foot-5 Junior Swingman

DEREK BROWER JR, Hills West
6-foot-2 Senior Guard

CRAIG BROWN, Uniondale
6-foot-6 Junior Forward

KENDALL NERO-CLARK, Hills East
6-foot-3 Senior Swingman

BOBBY CONNORS, Chaminade
6-foot-3 Junior Guard

CHRIS CRESPO, Smithtown West
6-foot-3 Junior Guard

JULIEN CRITTENDON, Hills East
6-foot-2 Senior Guard

ANDRE CURBELO, Long Island Lutheran
6-foot-1 Sophomore Guard

ANDREW DESANTIS, Garden City
6-foot-3 Senior Forward

JORDAN DINGLE, Lawrence Woodmere Academy
6-foot Senior Guard

JAYLN DUNLAP, Westbury
5-foot-11 Senior Guard

MALIK EDMEADE, Deer Park
5-foot-9 Sophomore Guard

PIETRO GIOVANARDI, Long Island Lutheran
6-foot-4 Senior Guard

JON HAREWOOD, St. Anthony’s
6-foot-1 Senior Guard

ALYJAH HILL, Hewlett
6-foot-2 Senior Guard

AIDAN IGIEHON, Lawrence Woodmere Academy
6-foot-10 Junior Forward

DIONTE JORDAN, Wyandanch
5-foot-8 Junior Guard

ZED KEY, Brentwood
6-foot-6 Sophomore Forward

DONATAS KUPSAS, Long Island Lutheran
6-foot-8 Senior Forward

KENNY LAZO, Brentwood
5-foot-10 Sophomore Guard

SAVION LEWIS, Hills East
6-foot-1 Senior Guard

TYRONE LYONS, St. Anthony’s
6-foot-5 Senior Swingman

BRENDAN MCGUIRE, Chaminade
6-foot-5 Senor Forward

JAYLIN MILLER, Elmont
6-foot Senior Guard

ESSAM MOSTAFA, Long Island Lutheran
6-foot-9 Junior Forward

BILLY MULLER, North Babylon
6-foot-6 Senior Forward

KC NDEFO, Elmont
6-foot-6 Senior Forward

TYIQUON NIX, Center Moriches
5-foot-10 Junior Guard

VICTOR OLAWOYE, Elmont
5-foot-10 Senior Guard

MICHAEL O’CONNELL, Chaminade
6-foot-1 Sophomore Guard

JOSH PISMENY, Deer Park
6-foot-1 Senior Guard

TALIQ ABDUL-RAHIM, Valley Stream North
5-foot-11 Senior Guard

TERRY ROBERTS, Copiague
6-foot-2 Senior Guard

JEREMY RUCKERT, Lindenhurst
6-foot-5 Senior Forward

JAVON SANTOS, Elmont
5-foot-8 Sophomore Guard

JOSH SERRANO, Amityville
5-foot-11 Senior Guard

TYLER SMALL, Holy Trinity
6-foot-3 Senior Guard

MICAH SNOWDEN, Southampton
6-foot-4 Junior Forward

MIKE SNOWDEN, Copiague
6-foot-4 Senior Forward

ALEX SOBEL, Ward Melville
6-foot-7 Senior Forward

MESSIAH SWINSON, Long Island Lutheran
6-foot-7 Senior Forward

ZION STYLES, Uniondale
6-foot-2 Junior Guard

BRETT TALBERT, Deer Park
5-foot-11 Senior Guard

JAKE TAVROFF, Oceanside
6-foot-7 Sophomore Forward

HARRISON WARNOCK, Long Island Lutheran
6-foot-4 Senior Forward

ELIJAH WINGFIELD, Southampton
6-foot-2 Senior Guard

JARRELL WHITE, Bellport
6-foot-3 Junior Forward  

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