ALBANY -- Marvin Prochet is a smooth, skilled, slashing forward who seems to anticipate what his defender might do, and has a ready answer. That also was the case with his coach late on Friday night.
Prochet led Long Island Lutheran into Saturday night's state Federation Class AA boys championship game against Christ the King with a dazzling double-double -- 26 points and 15 rebounds -- in a 68-52 victory over Green Tech. The 6-7 junior knew he needed to play a bigger offensive role against the rugged defense of Green Tech, so when coach John Buck approached him, Prochet played mind-reader.
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"Coach Buck looked at me before the game and said, 'You, you've got to turn it up. Do what you do and have fun doing it,' " said Prochet, flashing his ever-present smile. "I told him, 'Coach, I got this. I've been here before. I know how to win. I'm going to bring it.' "
Prochet, who played for Boys and Girls High's 2012 Federation championship team as a freshman, brought energy, enthusiasm and his A game to the AA bracket. He scored 11 points in the second quarter against Green Tech, to provide a 32-25 halftime lead. Then after point guard Chris Atkinson scored eight points in the third quarter to increase the lead to nine, Prochet took over the fourth quarter with 11 more points as the Crusaders pulled away to set up Saturday night's rematch with Christ the King, the team that defeated Lutheran in the 2013 Federation AA final.
Prochet shot 11-for-15 from the field, including a series of pull-up jumpers, coast-to-coast drives and explosive dunks. He also made sure Green Tech got few second chances with 13 defensive rebounds. For good measure, Prochet, who transferred to Lutheran before the 2013-14 school year, added three steals, three blocks and two assists. "Big players step up in the bright lights," Prochet said.
The Crusaders needed Prochet's production because high-scoring guard Devonte Green injured his ankle and missed most of the game. Atkinson was able to add scoring to his playmaking duties for much of the third quarter, but, as Prochet noted, "Chris was a little tired in the fourth quarter. He needed some help. I was ready."Buck wasn't surprised. "Marvin is a reserved kid but when he's animated like he was [Friday], he plays better. He took over that game," the coach said.
He has taken over his new school, too. "He's a very mature young man. I love having him here," Buck said. "He can do a little bit of everything on the court. And for February, he was Student of the Month at LuHi."
Colleges have taken notice as well. Prochet said he's weighing scholarship offers from St. Bonaventure, Iona, Seton Hall and Quinnipiac, with Minnesota, Drexel and Hofstra also showing strong interest.
"He's almost like a big point guard," Buck said. "He's a wing that can handle the ball and take the pressure off our guards."
It's almost like Prochet knows exactly when he's needed most.