As you look through the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket, you will see there are no teams from our home state of New Jersey. Seton Hall got snubbed while Princeton, Rutgers, St. Peters, and others did not have seasons worthy being included in the big dance.
Despite not having any New Jersey teams, there are plenty of players on other teams that have ties to our great basketball state. DoubleGSports.com will take you through the local players and give you an idea of the names to look out for.
All-NJ Tournament Team
Our All-NJ tournament team this year will feature a three guard set.
Guard – Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas). Taylor is a senior guard for the Jayhawks. The Hoboken native who played his high school ball at St. Anthony’s appeared in all 33 games this season including 32 starts. He is second on the Jayhawks with 17.3 points per game. He also averaged 1.9 rebounds a game and dished out a total of 159 assists this season while averaging a team high 33.3 minutes per game. Taylor, a 44% three-point shooter is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award which goes to the nation’s top point guard.
Guard – Scott Machado (Iona). Machado is a Queens, NY native but played at St. Benedict’s Prep in NJ. The senior guard will lead Iona tonight in a play-in game against BYU. Machado started all 32 games this season with a team high 35.4 minutes per contest. He leads the country with 9.9 assists per game, a total of 317 on the year. He is third on the team with an average of 13.6 points per game, and second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per. A 41% three-point and 81% free throw shooter, Machado was the Metro Atlantic Player of the Year. He is one of just 12 players in the country to record a triple-double in a game this season.
Guard – Dion Waiters (Syracuse). Waiters may be the Big East Sixth Man of the Year, but he makes our starting team. Waiters is a Philadelphia, PA native that attended Burlington Life Center Academy in NJ. He has played in all 33 games for Syracuse this season. He was second on the team, averaging 12.6 points per game. Waiters also averages 2.3 rebounds and totaled 86 assists.
Forward – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky). This Somerdale, NJ native and former St. Patrick’s star (pictured, #14) has appeared in all 34 games this season for the nation’s top ranked team including 33 starts. The freshman averages 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for the Wildcats. Kidd-Gilchrist will be a candidate for Freshman of the Year.
Center – Gregory Echenique (Creighton). Echenique is a junior center from Guatire, Venezuela. He is a former member of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Echenique has started all 33 games for Creighton this year, averaging 23.7 minutes per. The center is averaging 9.8 points and 7.4 rebounds. His 54 blocks on the year show his defensive value. Echenique shot 61% from the field this season.
Chris Smith – Guard – Louisville. The senior guard is a Millstone, NJ native. He started 33 games but has appeared in all 35 for the Cardinals. Smith is third on the team with 10.0 points per game and second with a total of 74 assists. He also averaged 3.7 rebounds per contest. Smith is very good with the ball in his hands as he has just 39 turnovers all season. He is a 40% three-point and 75% free throw shooter.
Brian Long – Guard – Kentucky. The freshman from Dumont, NJ and River Dell High School appeared in 11 games for the country’s top team. He played a total of 17 minutes and recorded two points and two rebounds. Both of his points came from the free throw line.
Derrick Gordon – Guard – Western Kentucky. A freshman from Plainfield, NJ who played his high school ball at St. Patrick’s, Gordon started all 33 games for Western Kentucky this season. He led the team with 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. One knock on his game this season was 91 turnovers.
Hamidu Rahman – Center – New Mexico State. Rahman is a Somerset, NJ native who attended American Christian HS. The senior started all 35 games this season averaging 10 points and 5.9 rebounds. He shot 60% from the floor.
Quintrell Thomas – Forward – UNLV. The Newark native transferred to UNLV from Kansas. Thomas, a redshirt junior, appeared in all 32 games this season, averaging 12 minutes. He has scored 4.5 points and grabbed 3.1 rebounds per game.
Travis Taylor – Forward – Xavier. A junior from Union, NJ, Taylor appeared in all 33 games this season including four starts. The forward averaged 15.7 minutes per game. He scored 4.9 points and grabbed 4.0 rebounds per game for the high scoring Xavier team that battles Notre Dame in the second round.
B.J. Bailey – Guard – Lehigh. Bailey is a sophomore guard from Mays Landing, NJ. He appeared in 20 games this season while averaging 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds.
Anthony D’Orazio – Guard – Lehigh. Another sophomore guard for Lehigh, D’Orazio is from Camden, NJ and played at Camden Catholic. He has appeared in all 32 games this season averaging 11.1 minutes per. He is averaging 2.7 points, 1.0 rebounds, and totaled 21 assists.
Justin Maneri – Center/Forward – Lehigh. A third NJ native playing for Lehigh. Maneri appeared in all 33 games, including two starts. He is averaging 11.5 minutes on the floor while scoring 3.0 points and grabbing 2.1 rebounds per game.
Joe Sweeny – Guard – Michigan State. Sweeny is a Toms River, NJ native. The senior guard appeared in nine games for the Spartans this season. He averaged 1.1 minutes per game and scored a total of two points and grabbed 1 rebound.
Kurt Joseph – Guard – LIU Brooklyn. Joseph is a Morganville, NJ native who played his high school ball at Marlboro HS. The junior has appeared in 15 games averaging 2.4 minutes per for LIU. He has scored a total of 13 points. LIU has a tough second round matchup with No. 1 seed Michigan State.
Jermel Jenkins – Guard – Iona. This Union, NJ native played at St. Patrick’s. Jenkins, a senior, appeared in 30 games, averaging 5.2 points and 1.4 rebounds. Opponents do not want Jenkins on the free throw line as he shoots 90% from the line.
Sean Armand – Guard – Iona. A Brooklyn, NY native who attended the CJEOIO Academy in NJ. Armand is a sophomore and has appeared in all 32 games for Iona. He has started 15 of those games and averages 9.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He is a 47% three-point shooter.
Kyle Smyth – Guard – Iona. Smyth is a River Edge, NJ native and attended Don Bosco Prep. The junior appeared in 30 games including 17 starts. He averages 5.7 points and 2.0 rebounds. Smyth has missed just one free throw this season, shooting 15-of-16. He has 42 assists to just 19 turnovers.
Chido Onyiuke – Forward – Loyola MD. The Mount Arlington, NJ native has not appeared in any games for Loyola this season. Onyiuke is a sophomore.
Dexter Strickland – Guard – North Carolina. Strickland started 19 games this season for the Tar Heels before tearing his ACL causing him to miss the remainder of the year. Strickland, a Rahway, NJ native who attended St. Patrick’s, was averaging 7.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game before the injury. Strickland is a junior.
Desmond Hubert – Forward – North Carolina. A freshman from Cream Ridge, NJ has appeared in 23 games for UNC, averaging 4.9 minutes of game action. He is averaging 1.6 rebounds and has scored a total of 17 points. Hubert has seven blocks in limited playing time and shoots 47% from the floor. His downfall this season is free throw shooting where he has made just one of thirteen free throws. Hubert played in high school for New Egypt.
Chris Santo – Forward – Vermont. Santo is a freshman from Cherry Hill NJ. He went to high school at Cherry Hill East. Santo appeared in 13 games, averaging 2.9 minutes for Vermont. He scored a total of five points and grabbed ten rebounds this season.
Ryan McKeaney – Forward – Vermont. Appearing in nine games for an average of 1.6 minutes, McKeaney totalled four points and four rebounds. From Marlton, NJ, McKeaney went to Cherokee HS.
Tyler Harris – Forward – North Carolina State. From Dix Hills, NY, Harris attended St. Bendict’s Prep in NJ. Now a freshman at NC State, he appeared in 17 games this season for an average of 7.4 minutes. Harris is averaging 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds per game for the Wolfpack, one of the countries hottest teams entering the tourney.
Mike Rosario – Guard – Florida. A Jersey City native and former Rutgers Scarlet Knight. Rosario transferred to Florida from Rutgers. He has appeared in 27 games for the Gators this season averaging 14.8 minutes off the bench. Rosario is averaging 6.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists.
Rob Johnson – Forward – Norfolk State. Johnson is from Roswell, GA but attended Edison Prep in NJ. In 23 games, Johnson averages 18 minutes on the floor. He is averaging 6.4 points and 3.3 rebounds.
Kievyn Lila-St. Rose – Guard/Forward – Norfolk State. Now a sophomore at Norfolk State. Lila-St. Rose is from Corona, NY but attended the CJEOTO Academy in NJ. He has appeared in ten games for an average of 3.4 minutes. He has totalled four points and six rebounds.
Jamel Fuentes – Guard – Norfolk State. A Brooklyn, NY native that also attended the CJEOTO Academy. Fuentes has played in all 34 games this season including two starts. He is averaging 3.2 points and 2.6 assists while playing 18.6 minutes per game. He has totalled 101 assists this year as a sophomore.
Pendarvis Williams – Guard – Norfolk State. A Philadelphia native that attended The Hun School. Williams is a sophomore at Norfolk State and played in 33 games this season including 32 starts. He averages 28.5 minutes of game action. He was second on the team with an average of 3.8 rebounds. He was also second on the team with 82 assists. He is scoring 11.8 points per contest and is an 81% free throw shooter.
Reggie Revels – Guard/Forward – Norfolk State. Has appeared in eight games as a junior, averaging 4.4 minutes. He has scored a total of two points and four rebounds. Revels is a Cincinnati, OH native that attended Edison Prep.
Riley Maye – Forward – Norfolk State. The sophomore appeared in ten games for an average of 2.4 minutes. A East Stroudsburg, PA native that attended The Peddie School. Maye scored a total of three points and grabbed five rebounds this season.
A.J. Rogers – Forward – Norfolk State. Rogers is a Rosedale, NY native that attended high school at St. Anthony’s. He has played in all 34 games this season averaging 10.2 minutes. He averages 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds while totalling 15 blocked shots.
Shaquille Thomas – Forward – Cincinnati. A freshman from Paterson, NJ that attended the NIA Prep. Thomas has not seen any game action for Cincinnati this season.
Nick Resavy – Guard – Syracuse. A senior guard from West Milford, NJ. Resavy has appeared in 11 games for the Orange averaging 1.4 minutes. He has scored two points, grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and has one steal on the year.
Da’Quan Cook – Forward – St. Bonaventure. A Elizabeth, NJ native and former St. Patrick’s star, Cook is now a redshirt senior for the Bonnies. He has started 29 games and appeared in 30. Cook averages 26.7 minutes per game. He is third on the team in both scoring (7.6) and rebounding (4.6).
T.J. DiLeo – Guard – Temple. DiLeo has appeared in all 30 games for the Owls, averaging 16.6 minutes. The Cinnaminson, NJ native is averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. DiLeo shot 57% from the floor.
Jimmy McDonnell – Forward – Temple. A Jackson, NJ native who attended Jackson Memorial HS. McDonnell has appeared in nine games averaging 1.7 minutes. He has scored a total of two points and grabbed three rebounds.
Aaron Brown – Guard – Temple. Brown is from Hackensack, NJ and attended St. Benedict’s Prep. Now a sophomore for the Owls, Brown appeared in all 30 games including one start. He has averaged 15.2 minutes per game. Brown averages 6.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest while shooting 42% from behind the three-point line.
Dominique Rutledge – Forward – West Virginia. The Newark, NJ native is a junior that has appeared in 27 games averaging 7.5 minutes. He is averaging 2.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game while shooting 51% from the floor for West Virginia who could be a darkhorse in this tournament.
Sterling Gibbs – Guard – Texas. Gibbs is a freshman from Scotch Plains, NJ who played high school ball at Seton Hall Prep. Appeared in 30 games this season averaging 7.5 minutes. He is averaging 2.6 points and 0.4 rebounds per game for the Longhorns. Gibbs has handed out 21 assists and is a 37% three-point shooter.
Myck Kabongo – Guard – Texas. A Toronto, Ontario, Canada native who attended St. Benedict’s Prep is also a freshman guard for the Longhorns. Kabongo has started all 33 games this season and is second on the team with an average of 30.4 minutes on the floor. He leads the team with 174 assists and is third with 9.8 points per game. He also averages 3.0 rebounds per game. Kabongo is a threat defensively as well with 40 steals.
Alexis Wangmene – Forward/Center – Texas. Wangmene is a senior from Marona, Cameroon who attended the Blair Academy. He has appeared in 31 games including 26 starts. He averages 21.5 minutes per game. Wangmene averages 4.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season while shooting 52% from the floor. He also has 26 blocked shots.
Lance Goulbourne – Guard/Forward – Vanderbilt. Brooklyn, NY native that attended The Hun School. Now a senior for Vanderbilt. Goulbourne has appeared in all 34 games thsi season including 33 starts. He is averaging 8.9 points and 6.9 rebounds in 28.4 minutes per game. His 6.9 rebounds leads the team. He also has 1.2 assists per game and a total of 25 blocked shots. Vanderbilt has the roster to make a deep run.
John Caprio – Guard – Georgetown. Caprio is a sophomore from North Caldwell, NJ. He played at Seton Hall Prep. Caprio has appeared in ten games for an average of 2.3 minutes. He has totalled two points and sex rebounds this season.