Three years ago 2 of St. Rose’s current stars were freshman. There barely played the entire season in games that mattered. They had to sit and learn from the upperclassmen. Then as sophomores they became role players during the Purple Roses historic run to the TOC final. Today Jen Louro and Ellyn Stoll are committed to Division one schools. Both will try and win the Triple Crown of girls’ basketball. They have a real chance to win the National Title, Shore Conference Title and the Tournament of Champions. It has never been done. But Joe Whalen and St. Rose in recent years has done a lot of things that have never been done before. Like letting his talented young players, learn his system and be humbled before becoming superstars. The most talented player on his roster is waiting her turn and make no mistake LAUREN LITHGOW is one the most talented players in all of New Jersey.

The first time I saw Lauren Lithgow was as 7th grader. She was fast, could shoot and do something most young player can’t…DEFEND. There was no question, she was going to be a superstar. Her work ethic was sick and more importantly, she played with fire. She attended camp most of that summer, the only real question was where she would  attending high school one day. But then the girl who scored 50 points in a grammar school game, just disappeared. Just like a puff of smoke, Lithgow was no were to be found. I asked around and nobody knew where she was, that was until her father called me and said she out west. I was disappointed because I thought Lauren Lithgow would be another shore historic player.

Two years ago a skinny girl who was now 5’9” walked in the gym with an electric smile on her face. It’s a smile you can see from a mile away. I knew it Lauren Lithgow and she was back. Her dad said she had returned to New Jersey and they were going to attend high school in the shore. I was excited because I knew the Shore Conference had picked up another SUPERSTAR! But it was when she was in the gym…. that I was blown away. The speed and the ability to control this speed, along with her next level quickness where a thing of beauty. More shockingly is when some current Division 1 players and a few that will be on their way next year, were matched up against her…this baby just crushed them. Lithgow was so explosive and was that rare young player that could not only finish at the rim; but also could bury jumpers. She had the speed of St. Peters Janae Mayfield, the shooting ability of DePaul’s Kelly Campbell, the Length of Holy Cross’s Nicole Morris and the work ethic of Wagner’s Kelly Crouch. Folks this was a package coaches dream about.

It was two years ago, I watched Lauren Lithgow run by opponents in the Cardinal Classic. Her dad and I spoke afterwards, he told me Lauren would be attending St. Rose. She wanted to play for Joe Whalen, she felt he would develop her best. Joe Whalen has developed a team of Division one players at St. Rose. Players who entered the school with little or any fanfare, who have blown into stars. I asked him what he expected? He knew she would play varsity, the question was how much time she would get? I told him I have seen many great freshman sit, only to transfer out of angry. I have seen coaches relationships with players, totally ruined for sitting great freshman. It can be tricky business. Mr. Lithgow just said “I have to trust Whalen”. It’s exactly what he did and last season Lauren did not get real minutes in the big games. But she did not go south on her teammates, she worked hard and trusted Coach Whalen. It would turn out to be a great decision because Lauren Lithgow  has stepped her game up.


Battle of Baltimore Champs

This summer it was Lauren Lithgow that hit the shot at the buzzer to help St. Rose win the Battle of Baltimore. Something no other team from New Jersey has ever done. It was Lauren Lithgow that gave up the spotlight and left the Toms River Starz the best 9th grade AAU team in New Jersey to go play with her high school teammates. It has been Lauren Lithgow who has been the good teammate and not make an issue over playing time. She is following in the same footpaths of her two superstar upperclassmen teammates. It is she now that is that star player in waiting, who now will be a major role player. It will be she that will give the team the shot in the arm when it is needed. It is she that will be called upon to defend like all St. Rose guards do, when facing elite talent. Lauren Lithgow will now start her march to greatness.


Lauren Lithgow, was not on my list of Top 5 wing players. But here is what I will tell you, come next year she will be on the list and could be at the Top of that list. There are some talented players in New Jersey. But for raw athleticism and talent, folks Lauren Lithgow is also in the Top 5 in the entire state. She is a total gym in the mode of Dara Mabrey, and she has the physical tools that players and coaches dreams about. There is zero question Lauren Lithgow will one day be First Team All Shore and All State. These are just facts folks, because I see her in the gym against the elite players and it is simply… NO CONTEST!

a lithgowa
St. Rose is different than most schools when it comes to young stars, nobody is rushed along. Jess Louro of Middle Tenn., Kat Phipps of St. Francis were role players before stars. Joe Whalen is old school, he wants to know his kids are buying in and that they are ready. It’s a formula that has worked BIG TIME. He has designed a road map to success for his players. But his latest masterpiece, just may be his greatest work of art of all….LAUREN LITHGOW A SUPERSTAR IN WATING !

* college coaches I believe Lithgow has Power 5 talent*



…if you are playing in the hoop group fall league tonight, come down before your games and join us for DEAD EYE SHOOTING…ONE HOUR OF SHOOTING  BEFORE YOU PLAY….THANK YOU VERY MUCH GYM RATS:)


POINT GUARD SCHOOL IS TODAY …4PM  and if you are a guard at any level. This is a must program….don’t let anyone tell your different.

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