Basketball: Pt. Beach’s Matt Farrell Commits to Boston College
Point Beach senior point guard Matt Farrell, who was a first-team All-Shore selection as a junior, announced at a ceremony at the Point Pleasant Beach Elks on Tuesday that he has verbally committed to Boston College.
Farrell chose Boston College over Monmouth University and Dartmouth. He joins senior teammate Dom Uhl (Iowa) as a Division I commit for Point Beach, and those two join Jackson Memorial forward Eric Carter (Delaware) and Christian Brothers Academy guard Louie Pillari (Navy) among Division I recruits from the Shore Conference Class of 2014. Farrell cited the campus, academics, Boston College coach Steve Donahue and perhaps most importantly, the chance to play in the high-level Atlantic Coast Conference as reasons for his choice.
“I’ve just dreamed at playing at the highest level, playing on ESPN,” he said during his announcement. “My freshman year of high school, I never thought this day would be here. I wanted the challenge. I want to see if I can compete at the highest level, and I know if I go in with the right attitude, I know I can.”
Boston College was the highest-level program to offer Farrell, which gave him the belief that he can make an impact in the rigorous ACC.
“That kind of made me work harder because that’s a whole different level,” Farrell said afterward. “(Donahue) definitely jumped in and encouraged me to work harder. I like the way he coaches. He put a lot of trust in me and he told me a lot of great things.
“I love the way they play. That was a big part of my decision. The way they play, they space it out. All five guys shoot, dribble, pass. They can throw it inside. They usually want to four-out, one-in, they can move it around, everyone shoots it, and they all play together.”
Farrell believes he can compete for time in the rotation as a freshman next season.
“(Donahue) told me he wouldn’t be recruiting me if he didn’t think I could step in right away,” Farrell said. “Right now, their two starting guards are very good, but they are low on the depth chart on guards, so if I get up there and start playing well, I definitely have a shot to play.”
After making his decision, Farrell spoke with Monmouth University coach King Rice, a former guard at North Carolina, to inform him of his choice, and Rice had some complimentary words.
“(Rice) quote-unquote said if he was in my position, BC and Monmouth, he would’ve chosen BC as well,” Farrell said. “He was the one who actually told me firsthand that he believed I could play there at the ACC level, and he said there’s no doubt in his mind. That was huge coming from him. He’s just a great guy, and he did so much for me and my family.”
The son of St. Benedict’s Prep assistant Bob Farrell, Matt is a fundamentally sound player who sees the floor well, controls the tempo and can shoot it from deep with consistency.
“I’m a scoring point guard when I have to be, but I want to get guys the ball,” he said.
Farrell is believed to be the first Shore Conference player to commit to a scholarship at an ACC school since former Red Bank star forward Tahj Holden, who played at Maryland and won a national championship in 2002. Former Red Bank guard Casey Peters and former Christian Brothers Academy center Tim Andree were walk-ons at Duke and Notre Dame, respectively, and former CBA guard Todd Billet started his career at Rutgers before transferring to Virginia.
Former CBA star Dan Werner initially committed to North Carolina State, but ended up de-committing and eventually playing at Florida in the late 2000s after a coaching change for the Wolfpack. Former Neptune star Taquan Dean played at Louisville in the mid-2000s, which was a Big East school at the time but is now in the ACC. Also, former Lakewood and St. Benedict’s star J.R. Smith, now with the Knicks, committed to North Carolina before making the leap directly to the NBA.
Farrell averaged 15.4 points, 6.7 assists, 4.2 steals and 3.0 rebounds per game for a Garnet Gulls squad that won a school-record 28 games, captured its first NJSIAA Group I title and first NJSIAA sectional title as well as reaching the Shore Conference Tournament final for the first time since 1963.
He had 23 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds against Atlantic City in the Tournament of Champions quarterfinals to cap a brilliant postseason run. For his career, he has 847 points, 368 steals, 193 rebounds and 368 assists as he enters his fourth season as a varsity player.