Each year, there are non-Power Five schools that bother teams with aspirations for the final four. Defeating No. 16 UMBC Virginia in 2018, defeating No. 5 Marquette in 2019 and Murray State No. 12 in 2019, or defeating No. 14 Abelin Christian No. 3 in Texas in 2021 — there are constant reminders of why the NCAA Tournament is called March Madness. .
It is rare for one of these teams to win a second game. Typically, after a massive catastrophe, the lower-ranked team loses the following game and leaves with honors. But after the 15th Oral Roberts defeated No. 2 Ohio State and No. 7 Florida last year to support that trend, St. Peters followed suit.
Peacock became the third 15th seed to advance to Suite 16, beating No. 2 Kentucky and No. 7 Murray State in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
The local paper NJ.com called it “the greatest Cinderella in the history of the NCAA Tournament”. There was a run-through-the-wall-type quote from head coach Shaheen Hallway when he said, “I got the boys from New Jersey and New York City. Do you think we are afraid of anything? “
“I’ve got boys from New Jersey and New York City. Do you think we’re scared of anything?”
St. Peter’s head coach Shaheen Hallway’s confidence is unmatched
– Sports Illustrated (ISInow) March 20, 2022
How did these players end up in St. Peter’s? When Kentucky was built on the back of five-star talent, how did this team of athletes who had the least recruitment focus win and then do it again two days later?
Here is an overview of the players and their high school careers who started the first two NCAA Tournament games, in alphabetical order. All recruitment information comes from VerbalCommits unless otherwise indicated.
Starting guard Daryl Banks led St. Peters in scoring in III year and posted 27 against Kentucky, but he had only one pair of offers from Patrick School in Los Angeles. Wagner is the only other team to have his name on the hat.
At The Patrick School, Banks was a two-year captain and once posted 43 points, a career-high, according to his biography of St. Peter.
Much of Hassan Drum’s pre-university success came in the FIBA drama. He and his twin, Fawcett Drum, helped Mali to attend the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019 Championship. In that tournament, according to St. Peters, Hassan led the team in stealing with an average of 10.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
This created minimal recruitment attention, though, and the Peacocks were the only team to offer Hassan. The two were admitted to St. Peter’s.
Matthew Lee had a family line with his father, Alfred Lee, who was the first Puerto Rican-born athlete to play in the NBA. According to St. Peter’s, he had figures for Cincinnati’s Don Prep posting 25 points, 8.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. But when recruitment began, St. Petersburg was the only school that offered.
Listed as a two-star prospect, he enlisted with Peacock in 2019. This season, he has led the team in assists and posted four in both games of the NCAA Tournament.
Casey helped endeavor lead the Element Memorial (NY) High School to a state championship and a Nassau championship, after which he hit a game-winner in the championship game and finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
He moved to Abraham Lincoln High School (Brooklyn, NY), where he averaged 14 points and nine rebounds per game. However, the season he was ruled ineligible brought him to the beginning of his high school career.
Despite the hardware and success, Ndefo failed to get serious recruiting attention. His only proposal came from St. Peter. He was great for the Peacocks this season, averaging 10.8 points, 2.8 blocks and 1.2 steels, averaging the second-highest assist on the team this season.
Despite being a freshman, Clarence Rupert made his debut in both of the first two March Madness games. In high school, the forward was equally admired individually and as a team, won a state title and was named Class 5 State Player of the Year as a sophomore with Maury (Norfolk, Va.) Before transferring to Miller School of Albemarle (Charlottesville, Va.). ) And posting 20.3 points per game as a junior according to The Virginian-Pilot.
Rupert got some legitimate attention. Opponents ranked him as a three-star player, and 247 Sports recorded five offers, with Verbalcomits mentioning 10 offers in addition to St. Peters.
He has averaged just 13 minutes per game per season and has not reached 20 in the tournament, but indications are that he could be a key player for the team down the road.
After recording more than 1,400 points in his three-year high school career and becoming an all-state player, Isaiah Das was admitted to Florida State College. He played there for two years, averaging 16.5 points and 5.4 rebounds, followed by 15.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 points as a sophomore.
He then spent a year in Portland before moving to St. Petersburg. With Peacock, he averaged about five points in 18 minutes per game.
When Brother Hassan received only one offer, the Fauseni drum attracted more attention. He led his high school team to double scoring and posted 12 points, nine rebounds and 2.3 assists per game at the U19 Basketball World Cup 2019.
Verbalcommits shows it had offers from five schools, including Rutgers and Tulane, while 247 Sports said it had interest but no offers from a handful of other programs.
Doug Edwards drew the nation’s attention with his 20 points in 25 minutes against Kentucky, his 10 points in three minutes against Murray State and of course his mustache.
In high school, he had minimal attention, though more than many of his current peers. He posted 1,000 points and won a state championship with Bergen Catholic High School (Oradale, NJ). He had four proposals for the university.
Jaylen Murray had a three star prospect at 247Sports. The recruiting site listed Guard as the 302nd player in the country. In addition, Murray was the site’s highest-ranked player in St. Petersburg.
According to Adam Jagoria, Murray initially promised Bryant before decommissioning. His other offers include Fordham, George Washington, Iona, Seton Hall, St. Bonaventure, Texas Tech and VCU.
He finished with St. Peter and averaged about 16 minutes as a freshman.
Omar Diaham: Omar Diaham, a Senegalese native, played for the Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain before transferring to Patrick School.
Lateral Reed: Marty Reed had offers from New Mexico State and North Texas in addition to St. Peters.
Marty Silvera: Marty Silvera has received quite a bit of recruitment attention – 247 Sports has recorded five offers and Verbalcomit has recorded eight.