Kolek on recruiting radar
Cumberland native garnering D-I offers
A little of this, a little of that …
• Tyler Kolek is still waiting to hoist his first jump shot and flick his first pass in a St. George’s uniform. Already, the Cumberland native has garnered plenty of attention on the Division I college basketball recruiting scene.
When the New Jersey Institute of Technology offered Kolek a scholarship last week, the Highlanders became the latest in an ever-growing list of potential suitors that already includes Bryant, Brown, Columbia, Boston University, and Hartford. With Kolek re-classifying to the Class of 2020, he figures to hear from even more schools by the time he’s at peace with his final decision.
Needless to say, Kolek’s collegiate recruitment is off to a solid start. The 6-foot1 guard is just starting to scratch the surface following a standout three-year career at Cumberland High and a strong summer with the Middlesex Magic AAU program.
“The offers he’s received to date have nothing to do with St. George’s. It’s Cumberland High School and the Middlesex Magic that’s gotten him to where he’s at right now,” said St. George’s basketball head coach Dwayne Pina, adding that Kolek is also on Holy Cross’s radar.
Pina played at Boston College and later spent time as an assistant coach at Bryant and Brown. His wisdom in recruiting should provide Kolek with a valuable sounding board as the youngster delves deeper into his own search.
“He needs to focus on continuing to develop his skills, both academically and athletically. The offers and the recruiting are going to be byproducts of the hard work he puts in, both in the gym and the classroom,” said Pina, also the Associate Director of Admission at St. George’s, located in Middletown. “I know a lot of kids worry about that stuff, but I’m just telling him to maintain focus on the task at hand.”
Kolek’s adjustment to St. George’s has been smooth, according to Pina.
“He’s extremely personable and that’s allowed him to fit right in,” Pina said. “It helps that he’s not too far from home, but he’s growing more as an independent person.”
St. George’s will open up the 2018-19 season on Dec. 1 in a tournament at Barrington’s St. Andrew’s School. Like many prep school programs, St. George’s has been conducting open gym sessions that during the fall months have attracted William & Mary, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Boston University, Holy Cross, NJIT, Lehigh, and New Hampshire.
Kolek received invitations to attend Midnight Madness festivities that are scheduled on college campuses over the next few weeks.
“We’ll try to get to one of them,” said Pina, noting that schedule-wise, it’s tough with St. George’s being a boarding school.
In the meantime, Kolek is lifting weights, performing agility drills, and fine-tuning his shooting stroke with an eye towards a new season at his new school. Pina envisions Kolek seeing time at both guard spots.
• In his first season with the Endicott men’s soccer team, Lincoln native Jack Bacon to date has posted a stingy 1.34 goals-against-average with 38 saves in 11 games as the Gulls’ goalie. Earlier this week, Bacon was tabbed the Commonwealth Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week. In two games, the junior went 2-0 with a shutout that included four saves against Curry and a two-save performance in a 3-1 win over Roger Williams.
• Former St. Raphael football and basketball standout Trevante Jones has proven to be quite the disruptive force on defense for the Central Connecticut football team. Listed as a sophomore linebacker at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Jones through six games for the 2018 Blue Devils has totaled 28 tackles – four of those stops have resulted in a combined loss of 21 yards – and two sacks.
Jones and Central Connecticut will be making the trip to Bryant on Saturday afternoon in a matchup of undefeated Northeast Conference schools.
• In URI’s 48-0 thrashing of in-state football rival Brown last Saturday, the Rams received contributions from several local products. Cumberland High alum A.J. Bibeault recorded two sacks and two solo tackles, Shea High alum Momodou Mbye had four total tackles (two solo), and Tolman High alum Prince Johnson picked up 49 rushing yards on eight carries.
• Nice honor for former Mount St. Charles hockey defenseman Mike Cornell. On Thursday, the 30-year-old was tabbed as captain of the Worcester Railers, the ECHL affiliate of the New York Islanders. Cornell appeared in 42 games for the Railers last season, posting five goals and 19 assists with 124 penalty minutes.
• It appears that Woonsocket native Rocco Baldelli has emerged as a potential MLB managerial candidate. Just this week, Baldelli’s name was attached to the Minnesota job that became open after the Twins fired Paul Molitor. The 37-yearold Baldelli served as Tampa Bay’s field coordinator this past season. Prior to that, he was the Rays’ first-base coach.
• The City of Pawtucket, as landlord of McCoy Stadium, has begun a couple of structural projects at McCoy this month aimed at fan safety. Of note, portions of the main concourse area are being refurbished with new traffic coating to prevent slips and slides. In addition, repairs have begun in the barbecue areas and the left-field berm to fix failing concrete.
• Injury Fund high school basketball games in the Ocean State are officially a thing of the past. Starting this season, the Injury Fund is being replaced with multi-team jamboree scrimmages where teams will play everyone 20 minutes each. The jamboree sessions will feature boys and girls teams from the same school and competing against the same field on the same day.
The trick will be to find a gym that can be equally divided into two side courts – think along the lines of the Mount St. Charles Summer League. Teams can schedule the jamboree as early as the first Saturday of the first week of the season, which is December 1.
• At one time, the SAT featured analogy and quantitative comparison questions. In lieu of a recent high-profile American League Division Series matchup between old-time rivals, let’s make an analogy featuring David Price and Giancarlo Stanton.
For instance, you pair Price with deficiency and Stanton with failure. Kindred spirits, these two well-compensated players with a knack for coming up small in big spots, particularly when October stakes are on the line.
Cumberland native and St. George’s point guard Tyler Kolek, right, continues to receive scholarship offers from Division I schools.