Tracking the College Basketball Stars of the Future
Monday, January 26, 2004
By Thad Mumau
ECU in the mix for Simon Gratz
CyberEast of New Bern
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417-C Broad St., New
really likes East Carolina, and he can see himself as a Pirate. But there is
strong competition for the Philadelphia forward, some of it coming from the
Atlantic Coast Conference.
210-pounder possesses all-around skills that put him in the "point forward"
category as he can score, rebound and pass. And he is doing all three, not
only proficiently but prolifically, for Simon Gratz High School.
scoring 24.4 points, grabbing 12.2 rebounds and handing out over eight
assists per game this season. Simon Gratz is 13-2 and ranked No. 20 in the
latest USA Today national high school basketball poll. He is shooting 52
percent from the floor and is sinking 85 percent of his free throws.
sensational in a 66-53 win over Manhattan (NY) Rice (13-1 and No. 13 in the
USA Today rankings). Tyndale pulled off a triple-double with 33 points, 15
boards and 10 assists. That was Dec. 29 in the championship game of the
STOP-DWI Holiday Classic, with the victory avenging a loss to Rice earlier
in the season.
performance capped a Tyndale showcase in which he averaged 29 points and 13
rebounds in three wins to earn tournament MVP honors. He went 10-for-10 from
the foul line on the way to 26 points, a dozen rebounds and seven assists in
a 66-52 win over DeMatha in the Hall of Fame Invitational this past weekend.
As a junior,
Tyndale averaged 21.1 points, 10 boards and 7.5 assists in a 24-6 season
that concluded with a one-point loss in the Philadelphia Public League
numbers come on a team that has three other senior Division I prospects (6-2
point guard Tyrone Smith, 6-5 power forward Jason Hickenbottom and 6-9
center Matt Walden), all of whom are scoring in double figures.
"Mark is a
great all-around player, very versatile," Simon Gratz coach Leonard Poole
Jr. said. "That’s why he will be a good college player. He does so many
"He is an
exceptional passer. He can break you down with the dribble, penetrate into
the paint and, if they double-team him, find an open teammate. He can also
finish. Man, can he finish!
the ball very well. He can take the ball off the glass and take it all the
way down the court, and he handles it to break the press or on our secondary
break. And he can run the floor. He will rebound, throw the outlet pass and
beat everybody to the other end to fill the lane.
"He scores a
lot of different ways. He takes the ball hard to the basket and can pull up
and hit the jumper. He doesn’t shoot a lot of threes — he takes about three
a game — and is hitting around 32 percent out there.
"Mark can play
three positions," Poole said. "His skills make him a small forward and big
guard, but he can also play power forward because of his strength. He’s very
"He is also a
great defender. He takes the challenge of guarding the toughest forward on
the opposing team. Last week, he took on a 5-9 point guard who is really
quick, and Mark shut him down. He likes to play defense, and that’s one
reason he is so good at it.
found anything he can’t do well on a basketball floor."
an official visit to Greenville in the fall on a weekend when he watched the
Pirates host Louisville in football. He has also taken official trips to
LaSalle and Rhode Island.
Clemson, Penn State, Ohio State and Temple are very interested.
probably make Clemson my fourth visit," Tyndale said, "and then go to either
Ohio State or Temple.
"I had a real
good time on my visit to East Carolina. Mike Cook was my host, and he’s a
great guy. I like their coaching staff a lot, and they stress defense like
we do here."
If Tyndale decides to pursue the
college life in Greenville, he won't be the first prominent Simon Gratz
athlete to opt for ECU. Oakland Raiders sack artist Rod Coleman made a name
for himself at the Philly school before heading down I-95 to become one of
the Pirates' greatest defensive ends ever.
leaning to any school," Poole said. "But I could see him ending up at East
Carolina. I think they have a very good shot at getting him."
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02/23/2007 02:41:43 PM