Paul Mulcahy Looks to Become Vocal Leader of Gill St. Bernard’s

Paul Mulcahy gets mobbed by teammates after game winner at Hoop Group Fall Showcase

Paul Mulcahy is one of the main components to one of the most talented teams in New Jersey, Gill St. Bernard’s. The class of 2019 guard had a great showing at the Hoop Group Fall High School Showcase even with his team having the toughest schedule in the event.

“I think it’s cool to see how everyone stacks up because we have some of the best teams in the northeast here,” said Mulcahy. “We played Westtown, The Ranney School and The Patrick School so to go against all of those great players was exciting for us.”

With his improvement from last year, Mulcahy is excited for what is to come this high school season.

“I’ve think I’ve improved with my game a lot from last year,” he said. “I had a slow summer so it was hard to showcase that, but that’s why I’m excited for the high school season. I’ve gotten bigger and more athletic so I’m starting to fill out well.”

Gill St. Bernard’s Head Coach Mergin Sina expects a lot out of the junior standout this year, as he will have a much bigger role.

“I just need to be a vocal leader, I have to be another coach on the floor for Coach Sina,” he said. “I need to always be on the same page as him because I’m going to be the primary ball handler.”

Many schools will be following Mulcahy this year, but he pointed out that Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. Joseph’s, Temple and Northwestern have made him a priority. Even with these top schools after him, he is focusing on one thing.

“The one thing on my mind for this year is the TOC without a doubt,” said Mulcahy. “Gill St. Bernard’s has always been at that level, but this year is really exciting. We have all the right pieces and I think many people will sleep on us. Everyone is going to buy in this year and play for each other.”

Khalif Battle: GSB’s Back Court Can Lead to Special Season

Junior guard Khalif Battle has made a name for himself in the past year. The Gill St. Bernard’s prospect shined at the Hoop Group Fall High School Showcase. Battle liked what he saw out of his team at the event.

“I love taking the court with my team, they are an exciting group of guys to play alongside,” Battle said. “We all share the ball well and it’s just the beginning for us. We are still growing as a team and I’m looking forward to the season.”

Talented class of 2019 guard Paul Mulcahy joins Battle in the backcourt. With players like Mulcahy he thinks Gill St. Bernard’s can go far this year.

“I think Paul deserves more attention and is underrated,” he said. “With me and him in the backcourt it’s going to be a special year especially with Alex SchachnePeter Sorber and the other guys. I think we have everything to be successful this year.”

Multiple college programs have been into his high school to watch him workout.

“Wake Forest, Temple, UConn, Miami, Virginia, Villanova, Butler, Rutgers, Seton Hall have been in to see me,” said Battle. “Indiana and Oregon will be in soon to see me.”

His older brother Tyus Battle is a sophomore guard at Syracuse University. Khalif received an offer from the Orange in July and they have made him a priority ever since. Tyus has let his brother know about the intriguing aspects to his school.

“Tyus loves it there, they have great fans and a great coaching staff,” he said. “He has learned a lot from one of the best in Jim Boeheim. He’s been around forever and has coached the best of the best. I love what they have to offer and they are looking at me as a prospect that they want to recruit not just Tyus’ little brother.”

Like most players at top-notch programs in New Jersey, Battle has one goal in mind.

“My goal is the same as the rest of my teammates, win the TOC,” Battle said. “We are talented and capable of taking it this year.”

Pooley’s Picks: New Jersey Tip-Off

Pooley’s Picks

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off Preview

Qualifications:  Sticking with the theme of high school events we have NEW JERSEY BASKETBALL BACK!  Nothing like the start of basketball season in NJ and nothing like the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  This week we’ll have a little different approach to Pooley’s Picks.  No specific qualifications this week, just some pointers for people to watch out for during this event and really the rest of the season.

Picks are in no particular order. Please enjoy the fifth installment of Pooley’s Picks.

2016 New Jersey Tip Off

The 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off: Ten great match ups. 5 of the top 7 teams in NJ.

The Event: For years (17 to be exact), the Hoop Group has put on the NJ Tip-Off.  Each year, it features high-profile match ups and top-tier talent. The event itself is well run and the venues are always excellent.  The 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off will be very much the same.  First, Eric Kessler and Dave Fedor have a ton of experience running events, and more importantly a ton of knowledge of the teams.  When you get the best teams together to start the season it is important to have a great setup and planning.  This event will have that and more.

 

HC of Pope John at 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off, Vincent Johnson, while at Lehigh.

Vincent Johnson: Vincent was named the head coach of Pope John after former coach Jason Hasson left for Pennsylvania.  “Chico” as many know him, is a great coach with an unbelievable background in basketball.  More importantly, he is a good friend of mine and an excellent mentor to many young ball players.  The #1 thing I’m excited for at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off is to watch Coach Johnson in his head coaching debut.  Now, he has been matched up with Roselle Catholic, a staple at the top of the NJ rankings.  Don’t be surprised if Coach Johnson and his young, talented squad can keep it close.

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off participant Mike Morreale

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off participant Mike Morreale

Michael Morreale:  The 6’5″ 2017 senior is one of my favorites.  He is an excellent player, known both for his excellent athleticism and long range jumpers.  Entering his senior year, he’ll be a valuable asset for Coach Mergin Sina and the Knights.  Look for Mike to knock down a couple threes and convert on a jam or two.  More than that, look for Mike to make the big play at the end.  Defensively Mike is one of the best around, guarding point guards right on down to centers.  More importantly, he is a great kid and a great teammate.  No question that at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off everyone will enjoy watching Mike.

 

 

Blair v Linden: Earlier in the year, in the first installment of Pooley’s Picks I predicted the most productive players in New Jersey.  This match up features (admittedly) my biggest snub: Tavon Jones.  I can’t wait to watch Tavon in his first opportunity to prove me wrong.  The big guard can do it all and will have a huge test against one of my favorite backcourts on the east coast.  Let’s not forget the match up also features two great coaches: Phil Colicchio and Joe Mantegna.

 

Bergen Catholic v St. Benedict’s:  Mark Taylor’s team is led by impressive Syracuse commit Bourama Sidibe and fab frosh Noah Farrakhan.  Billy Armstrong’s team is led by two senior guards Gabe Stefanini (Columbia) and Taj Benning (Fairfield).  Something has to give here.  This is the most evenly matched game of the weekend, and one I really am excited to see.  Look for the X-factor, 6’8″ freshman Matt Zona, to jump onto the New Jersey seen.

 

Ja’Quaye James:  The small, heady PG will have his work cut out for him against Newark East Side.  First, the Red Raiders are one of the best defenses at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  Second, they are led by senior stopper Elijah Olaniyi and sophomore stud Anas Amos.  However, none of that matters to James, who has been taking on the country’s best for years.   Watch for some highlight reel excitement, some up-tempo basketball, and a lot of buckets from James.

 

Hun vs Union Catholic:  Just a solid match up.  Union Catholic is tough and physical, Hun is tough and physical.  Guard play from both schools will be the difference in the game.  Hun will try to keep Jordan Pierce of the offensive boards and Union Catholic will need to keep Tyler Washington and Desmond Cambridge away from the rim. Freshman guard Niels Lane, who got a lot of minutes at PSA Cardinals Showcase just two weeks ago, is another X-factor.

 

Calistus Anyichie 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off commit

Calistus Anyichie 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off commit

St. Mary’s Elizabeth Bigs: Certainly not a group the casual fan would talk about, but I think that’s about to change.  Both bigs, Calistus Anyichie and Casmir Ochiaka, have big upside and great coaching.  Perhaps a little underrated right now, I’m looking for them to have a breakout 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  As the season continues, look for colleges to start taking notice as well.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim: First of all, it’s not often you get to see a freshman play major minutes in a High School game.  Second of all, it’s less often you get to see a top player nationally impact a game.  Finally, both of those two will come together for the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off, as Abdur-Rahim will do his best to live up to the hype.

 

Samba Diallo:  Will BLOW UP this season.  Been hearing his name a lot lately in some basketball circles.  Samba has started coming into his own. First, look for this kid to have his first big game of the year at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  Then, look for him to finish his sophomore year with all of the offers.  The big lefty can do it all, and legitimately play 4 different positions.

 

Special Guest this week, Event Director Eric Kessler: