SOME SCHOOLS GO years, decades, forever, without sending a guy to a Division I basketball program.
Ss. Neumann-Goretti does so routinely, and this year the total of Division I-bound guys is four.
"Hey, it's not like any of them are 6-10," coach Carl Arrigale said, laughing.
Yeah, but they're all good and their presence makes the Saints a strong favorite for the Catholic League championship.
Let's see. There's Tony Chennault (Wake Forest), and Danny Stewart (Rider), and Tyreek Duren (La Salle), and Mustafaa Jones (Hartford). All but Stewart are guards and all but none have unfinished business.
N-G a year ago stormed to the CL title, but then was upset by Archbishop Carroll in the quarterfinal round of the AAA playoffs. The Patriots even surged onward and claimed the honor of being the league's first state champ.
"We didn't lose to a bad team," Arrigale said. "Carroll deserved that title. They only had three losses all season and two of them were to us. Maybe that loss falls on me. Maybe I let us get too full of ourselves. Carroll went on to do something great. We know that could have been us.
"As we go into this season, we know what's expected. The challenge is to keep the kids focused and grounded."
In the Blue Division, N-G's chief competition will come from Carroll and Archbishop Wood.
Each returns three strong contributors...For Carroll, they're slick guards DJ Irving (Boston U.) and Juan'ya Green and pogo-sticking forward Ben Mingledough, while Wood counters with distributor Joe Getz, agile inside man Fran Dougherty and enforcer Brian O'Grady.
The division also features do-it-all guards Brandyn Wims (Cardinal Dougherty) and Aquil Younger (West Catholic).
The Red Division might be a one-trick pony.
Roman Catholic boasts scoring-machine guard Rakeem "Rahk" Brookins (Tulane), blossoming big man Anthony Mayo (Boston U.) and football star Kevin Regan, who's hardly a hoops slouch. Also now part of the program is Montreal transplant Fortunat "Junior" Kangudi, a 6-8 bundle of talent who at one point was rumored to be headed for LeBron James' high school alma mater in Ohio.
Look for the Cahillites to give N-G everything it wants by playoff time.
In what could be (or not) its final year, North Catholic figures to make a statement despite the loss of four rotation guys to transfer. The leaders are guards Mike Terry (Boston U.; yes another future Terrier) and Woody Redding.
There are four new coaches: Guy Moore (North), Bill Day (Dougherty, also slated to fold), Tom Meakim (Monsignor Bonner) and Jack Walsh (Archbishop Wood). Also, Sean Tait, head man last year at Wood, has switched to his alma mater, Father Judge.
League play starts in about 10 days...well, except for games involving N-G tonight and Monday. They were moved up because the Saints leave Wednesday for a tournament in Hawaii. While there, they'll burn four of their six allowable nonleague games. Only in the PIAA.
Returning members of the Daily News' 2008-09 All-Catholic Team:
Tony Chennault, N-G, G; DJ Irving, Carroll, G; Rakeem "Rahk" Brookins, Roman, G.
Tyreek Duren, N-G, G; Danny Stewart, N-G, F; Juan'ya Green, Carroll, G.
Aquil Younger, West, G; Brandyn Wims, Dougherty, G; Fran Dougherty, Wood, C.
Joe Getz, Wood, G; Mike Terry, North, G.
Guards: Jamal Melvin and Keefer Francis, Bonner; Eddie Joyner-Mitchell, La Salle; Woody Redding, North; Dan Kearney, O'Hara; Joe Nardi, SJ Prep; *Reggie Charles, Judge.
Forwards/Centers: Kevin Regan, Roman; Ben Mingledough, Carroll; Ike Robinson, C-E; Brandon Brown, Dougherty; Brian O'Grady, Wood.
*- Played at McDevitt in '09.
Catholic League Thumbnails
Coach: Bernie Rogers, 10th year. Education: Ryan, Ursinus. 142-94.
Last year: 6-8, 10-13.
Savvy seven: Anthony Magallanes, 5-9, G; Brendan Ostaszewski, 6-4, C; Eric Fleming, 6-2, G; Eric Frain, 5-9, G; Chris McMonagle, 6-2, C; Tyler Donnelly, 6-1, F; Nick Aughenbaugh, 6-2, F.
Rogers' comment: "We are young and inexperienced, but very eager to learn."
Coach: Tim Kelly, second year. Education: O'Hara, Muhlenberg. Career: 2-19.
Last year: 0-14, 2-19.
Savvy seven: Anthony Bertolino, 5-10, G; Dan Kearney, 6-foot, G; Ryan Howarth, 6-4, F; Sean Mayo, 6-3, F; Mark Sharkey, 6-foot, G; Ed Allen, 6-5, F; Tim Gillespie, 6-3, G.
Kelly's comment: "We should be improved. All starters have solid varsity experience and the seniors are a little stronger and more confident."
Coach: Sean Tait, first year (also Wood, 2009). Education: Judge, Cabrini. Career: 16-7.
Last year: 4-10, 7-15.
Savvy seven: Reggie Charles, 6-1, G; Alex Ruxton, 6-3, G-F; Seamus Radtke, 6-8, C; Tony Smith, 6-3, G-F; Joe Kehoe, 5-11, G; Bob Tinney, 6-4, C; Ryan Mohollen, 6-2, G-F.
Tait's comment: "If we play hard, smart and together, we'll be OK."
Coach: Joe Dempsey, sixth year. Education: Archbishop Kennedy, Elizabethtown. Career: 54-74.
Last year: 6-8, 11-13.
Savvy seven: Eddie Joyner-Mitchell, 6-foot, G; Troy Hockaday, 6-2, G; Brennan Woods, 6-5, C; Joe Brown, 6-4, F; Steven Collins, 6-8, F-C; Mike Poncia, 5-9, G; Chris Edger, 6-foot, G.
Dempsey's comment: "If this team matures quickly and understands that we need to do all the little things well, we can win our share of games."
Coach: Tom Meakim, first year. Education: Bonner, Philadelphia Textile. Career: 0-0.
Last year: 7-7, 10-13.
Savvy seven: Scott Slade, 6-5, F; Keefer Francis, 6-1, G-F; Jamal Melvin, 5-8, G; Dan Vanderslice, 6-3, F; Karonn Davis, 6-1, G; Rick Reigner, 6-foot, G; Joe McGinn, 6-1, G.
Meakim's comment: "We are practicing with good intensity. If we can keep that up, we hope we can make some noise in the end."
Coach: Guy Moore, first year. Education: Roman, Temple. Career: 0-0.
Last year: 12-2, 17-9.
Savvy seven: Woody Redding, 5-8, G; Bob Makor, 6-5, F; Jaleel Mack, 6-3, G; Mike Terry, 6-2, G; Gabe Carter, 6-5, C; Alex Amrhein, 6-2, F; Benny Birch, 5-9, G.
Moore's comment: "We are experienced and hungry. Now trying to get focused for season."
Coach: Chris McNesby, second year. Education: Roman, East Stroudsburg. Career: 18-9.
Last year: 13-1, 18-9.
Savvy seven: Rakeem "Rahk" Brookins, 5-11, G; Kevin Regan, 6-3, G-F; Anthony Mayo, 6-8, F-C; Montana Mayfield, 5-11, G; Shafeek Taylor, 6-3, F; Fortunat "Junior" Kangudi, 6-8, F; Britton Lee, 5-11, G.
McNesby's comment: "Fun group to work with. Their approach every day has been really good, which has begun with our seniors."
ST. JOSEPH'S PREP
Coach: William "Speedy" Morris, ninth year (also Roman, 1968-81; Penn Charter, 1983-84). Education: Roman. Career: 571-146; 183-50 at SJ Prep.
Last year: 8-6, 14-9.
Savvy seven: Joe Nardi, 6-2, G; Sean Brophy, 6-3, G; Connor McIntyre, 6-6, F; Mike Fee, 6-foot, G; Gene Williams, 6-2, G; Bryan Bacskai, 6-2, G; Mike Levy, 6-4, F.
Morris' comment: "If we do our best on offense and defense and play with pride, we will be winners. That's all a coach can ask."
Coach: Paul Romanczuk, seventh year (missed '05 on medical leave). Education: Carroll, Penn. Career: 86-71.
Last year: 14-2, 27-3.
Savvy seven: Ben Mingledough, 6-4, G; DJ Irving, 5-11, G; Juan'ya Green, 6-3, G; Vince Mostardi, 5-10, G; Matt Donaldson, 6-4, C; Jay Donovan, 6-2, G; Anthony Butler, 6-2, F.
Romanczuk's comment: "A lot will be expected of our three returning starters in the early going while our newcomers learn what it takes to be successful at this level."
Coach: Jack Walsh, first year. Education: Wood, Delaware Valley. Career: 0-0.
Last year: 10-6, 16-7.
Savvy seven: Fran Dougherty, 6-8, F-C; Brian O'Grady, 6-1, F; Joe Getz, 6-foot, G; Fran Dolan, 5-9, G; Doug Macrone, 6-4, F; Kevin Fenstermaker, 6-6, F-C; Jack Walsh, 5-11, G.
Walsh's comment: "Good balance and experience. If we play aggressive defense and share the ball, it could be an exciting year."
Coach: Jack Rutter, 15th year (missed final 16 games of '05 on medical leave). Education: Dougherty, Alvernia. Career: 132-199.
Last year: 1-15, 6-16.
Savvy seven: Steve Dominello, 5-10, G; Matt Conroy, 6-foot, G; Chris Jarvis, 6-3, C; Brian Frasca, 6-2, G; Gerald Scott, 6-foot, G; Darren Wright, 6-3, C; Kenyatta Long, 5-10, G.
Rutter's comment: "We are very young and small. Great group of kids; that's really what is important."
Coach: Bill Day, first year. Education: Lincoln, Temple. Career: 0-0.
Last year: 6-10, 7-15.
Savvy seven: Brandyn Wims, 5-10, G; Dawan Earle, 5-8, G; Christian Gibbs, 5-10, G; Brandon Brown, 6-2, F; Ryan Colbert, 6-2, F; Art Comas, 6-1, F; Victor Graham, 5-10, G.
Day's comment: "If we play the right way and are willing to be unselfish, we can be successful."
Coach: Rick Sabol, third year. Education: Conwell-Egan, Kutztown. Career: 24-23.
Last year: 8-8, 11-12.
Savvy seven: Ike Robinson, 6-3, F; Kevin DeLorenzo, 6-2, F; Kyle Bonner, 5-10, G; Andrew Schaefer, 5-10, G; Mike Payne, 6-4, F; Sean McCarthy, 6-2, F; Matt Petrizzi, 6-foot, G.
Sabol's comment: "We are excited. We have good talent returning and we are hoping that it is not going to take another 15 years to get back to the playoffs."
Coach: Jack Flanagan, fourth year. Education: Kenrick, Temple. Career: 10-62.
Last year: 2-14, 7-15.
Savvy seven: Dave Tornetta, 6-3, F; Billy Malescio, 5-11, G; John Candelore, 5-9, G; Sabree Astillero, 6-1, G; Cullen Rota, 6-1, G; Frank Giunta, 5-11, F; Matt Brennan, 5-11, F.
Flanagan's comment: "New season, new team, new challenges. Everything's new for us."
Coach: Bernie Fitzgerald, second year (also La Salle, 1992-93, 2002). Education: La Salle, Lafayette. Career: 39-58, 8-14 at Lansdale.
Last year: 5-11, 8-14.
Savvy seven: Mike Barr, 6-1, G; Dan Plummer, 6-6, C; Pat O'Hara, 6-3, F; Brian Murphy, 5-10, G; Alex Kirk, 5-11, G; Chris Hayes, 5-9, G; Kyle Pagan, 6-3, F.
Fitzgerald's comment: "We'll be more balanced with a number of options on the court at all times."
Coach: Carl Arrigale, 12th year. Education: Penn Charter, Lycoming. Career: 241-71.
Last year: 16-0, 26-3.
Savvy seven: Tony Chennault, 6-2, G; Danny Stewart, 6-6, F; Tyreek Duren, 6-2, G; Mustafaa Jones, 6-foot, G; Lamin Fulton, 5-9, G; Derrick Stewart, 6-5, F-C; Billy Shank, 5-8, G.
Arrigale's comment: "We have a lot of senior leadership. We need them to bring along the young guys and make sure everyone stays grounded."
Coach: Bill Ludlow, 17th year. Education: St. James, Delaware County CC. Career: 210-200.
Last year: 10-6, 16-11.
Savvy seven: Aquil Younger, 6-1, G; Kiwan Murray, 6-2, G-F; Vincent Ho, 6-1, G; Julian Lee, 6-1, G; Teron Johnson, 6-3, F; Yuri Burton, 6-3, F; Chris Dixon, 6-5, F.
Ludlow's comment: "Come hell or high water, we're going to have fun!"