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McGair: Game against New London serves as a chance for SRA to make on behalf of RIIL

January 5, 2012

We examined the Charles Correa vs. Kris Dunn matchup in Thursday’s edition, which also appeared online at pawtuckettimes.com. Here’s the link in case you missed it: http://pawtuckettimes.com/content/sra-hoopsters-eye-showdown-vs-new-london.
Obviously the buzz entering Saturday’s game between St. Raphael and New London at CCRI-Warwick centers around each team’s ultra talented point guard, and rightfully so. Dunn, part of the heralded recruiting haul compiled by first-year Providence coach Ed Cooley, is making his case to be named to the McDonald’s All-American team, averaging 34 points and 15 rebounds in his senior season for the Whalers.
“His name has been submitted,” said New London head coach Craig Parker. “I’m sure based on his current status – some publications rank Kris as the top point guard in the Class of 2012 – that he will have serious consideration for that game. That’s certainly something we’re hoping for regarding both him and our program.”
A junior at SRA, Correa is out to prove he can more than hold his own while competing on the same hardwood as the more accomplished and acclaimed Dunn. A big game against a big-time recruit might be just what Correa needs to boost his credibility as a bona fide Division I prospect.
There’s another realm to consider when analyzing SRA-New London and it has nothing to do with Dunn or Correa. Well, maybe that’s not completely correct. Looking at this game from a Rhode Island prospective, Saturday night is a prime opportunity for St. Raphael to make a strong statement on behalf of the Interscholastic League, particularly the hoops community.
It’s no secret that the quality of high school ball has suffered in recent seasons as many local products continue to flee to prep schools, the belief that playing against a higher caliber of talent will help improve one’s recruiting stock. Left in the wake of the exodus of players-to-prep-schools is a watered down product that is devoid of true star power.
Correa might just be the only legit Division I prospect competing in the RIIL this winter. Regardless if you’re on the public or private school side of the ledger, the fact is that St. Raphael is a member of the Interscholastic League. Add to the fact that the Saints are defending champs and what you have is a golden opportunity for a league member to rise up against an out-of-town team.
The competition will certainly be stiff against a New London squad that went undefeated a year ago en route to capturing Connecticut’s Class L state title. This season the Whalers are 5-2 with both losses coming by a combined eight points. For comparison’s sake, the Saints will take an 8-0 record into Friday’s game at Cranston West.

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