25 Teams In 25 Days: Monsignor Scanlan Crusaders
2017-18 Season at a Glance: 6-19 record, reached 1st round of playoffs
Players to Watch: Joe Munden, Koby Brea, Matt Mayers
The past two seasons Monsignor Scanlan has been adjusting to playing in the AA division of the CHSAA, and 2018-19 might finally be the year that they get over the hump and start making noise. The Crusaders have some talented players who will surprise many people this season.
The Crusaders return many players including 6-8 Forward Matt Mayers, DJ Bailey and David DaCosta, but they have some new additions that are looking to make an impact immediately. One of the newest additions are 6-5 junior combo guard Koby Brea. Brea making the move up to varsity after playing JV last year is bring size and a high level scoring ability to the backcourt. Joe Munden a 6-4 junior is due for a big year after a great summer with the Castle Athletics aau team where he played well in front of many coaches picked up offers from Howard, Stonybrook and other D1 schools. Munden is athletic and can finish with the best of them. with him and Brea in the backcourt, they can give some teams issues this season.
Key Games to Watch
Monsignor Scanlan is one of many teams who have very strong Non-league schedule. The Crusaders will be starting off their season in Dallas, Texas on November 23rd where they will be playing in the Robert Hughes Classic. On November 24th the Crusaders make their return to Chicago for the Like Mike Invitational where they will play against other Jordan Brand sponsored schools.
Friday December 7th vs Stepinac
The Crusaders will be starting league play against the defending city and state federation champions.
December 26th-30th Hoodies House National Hoops Classic in Charlotte, North Carolina
Their opponent hasn’t been announced yet, but the Crusaders will get another chance to go up against the top teams in the nation. North Carolina is a hot bed when it comes to high school basketball so it will be interesting to see who the Crusaders will go up against.
January 8th at Cardinal Hayes
Every game in the CHSAA is a test, but for the Crusaders in order to prove to the naysayers that they are for real, they have to beat teams that are the best of the league. When the Crusaders travel over to Hayes to face the cardinals a team that has the one of the top backcourts in the city in Joe Toussaint and Jaylen Murray. Hayes is also a contender for the city title. This is a game where Scanlan will have to make a statement.
It’s no question that the Crusaders will win more games this season, but one thing that could make or break them is how they close games. During the preseason, they played at the Hype City preseason Invitational against Thomas Jefferson where they squandered a 20 point lead. In that game they proved that they could hang with one of the top PSAL teams in the city, but at the same time they learned what they need to improve on. It’s a sure thing that the Crusaders have grown from that and it will show as the season begins.