Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

One of the better programs that has played the AAU circuit in Massachusetts in the past decade has been the Bay State Magic. Based in south suburban Boston, the program has a number of teams at various ages, and they have tasted some success, including state titles in the high school ages. Their most notable product currently in college is Boston College big man Dennis Clifford.

This year’s junior team lacks size, so they will have to play a little differently. They know they aren’t overly athletic as well, so they have to win with execution and intangibles. It’s also a team full of good students, and many will have their pick of colleges from an academic standpoint.

Elijah Baptiste (Jr. SF, Barnstable (MA) High) might be the most intriguing prospect. He has a good frame and is a plus athlete, can get to the basket and shows a good release on his jumper. School teammates David Wilson (Jr. SG, Stoughton (MA) High) and Mike Manning (Jr. SG, Stoughton (MA) High) will have a chance for significant roles as well. Wilson has a good body and is active, while Manning is a lefty but seems comfortable going to his right. Johnny Hatem (Jr. PG, Osterville (MA) Cape Cod Academy) has a good frame and a relatively mature body, and he’ll have every opportunity to run the show. Jack Phelan (5’7″ Jr. PG, Hanover (MA) High), Ryan Beatty (Jr. SG, Old Rochester (MA) High) and Cole McKenney (Jr. SG, Braintree (MA) High) will all be in the mix and had their moments in a recent practice. Beatty and McKinney have bodies that will mature more.

A few players were unable to make the recent practice but will be in the rotation. Chad Willard (Jr. SG, Westport (MA) High) was a league all-star and an Honor Society member and also plays baseball. Raekwon Phillips (6’0″ Jr. SG, Old Rochester (MA) High) can score and play a little bigger. Cam Charette (6’4″ Jr. SF-PF, Fairhaven (MA) High) should be a fixture inside on a team that doesn’t have much size.

The program has some younger talent to keep an eye on. Chris Bell (6’0″ So. PG-SG, Norwood (MA) High) is an athletic combo guard, while school teammate Pharoah Davis (6’0″ Fr. SG, Norwood (MA) High) is athletic and looks to drive. Rashad Woods (6’4″ Fr. C, Brockton (MA) High) is a nice post player with potential, and Will Melanson (6’2″ Fr. SG, Burlington (MA) High) can really shoot and plays up with the sophomore team.

The junior team will largely stay local during the spring before they may venture out in the summer. They already played in Coaches vs. Cancer run by Zero Gravity and will play in the Mass Premier Home For Easter this coming weekend, state AAU and NEAAU Super Regionals, as well as the GymRat Challenge on Memorial Day weekend. As of now, July’s schedule is TBD, but they are hoping that AAU nationals will be part of it.

There isn’t a Dennis Clifford on this team either in size or talent, but Bay State Magic has plenty of options on the perimeter. If they execute well and play with good team chemistry, they have a chance to over-achieve.

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