“As far as coursework, I took all of my junior classes as a sophomore,” Cummins said. “It’s helpful having another year to mature both on the court and off, [and] it’s huge in preparing for college life and college basketball in general.”
Part of that preparation often includes retaking standardized tests in order to reach academic thresholds, especially the high bar set in place by the Ivy League. The Academic Index, a two-part measure that assesses a prospective student on their grades and standardized test scores, weighs heavily during Ivy League recruiting season. In a conference without athletic scholarships, each student must be thoroughly vetted by the admission committee before being admitted into the school.
For some NMH athletes, the additional year was a chance to reach certain score benchmarks. Edosomwan transferred to NMH after he was thrice unable to earn the SAT score in high school required to qualify under Academic Index regulations.
Similarly, Albrecht, recruited by Brown University out of high school, was told his senior year that he was a point short on his ACT of meeting the necessary academic benchmarks. When Carroll came calling, persuading Albrecht to look at prep school as a way of improving his scores, he transferred to NMH and used the extra year as a chance to hone his scores and basketball game.
“The only reason I was going out there was [that] I was planning on playing basketball and getting my grades up,” Albrecht said. “[I wanted] my SAT and ACT scores a little higher so that I could get into an Ivy League [school].”
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While Albrecht came to Massachusetts with his eye on the Ivy League, his play and the school’s exposure caught the eye of Michigan coach John Beilein. With then-freshman Trey Burke considering leaving the Wolverines after a disappointing first-round tournament exit, Beilein needed an insurance policy. A Midwesterner himself, Albrecht wanted to go home. He visited Michigan and instantly committed.
However, Albrecht’s road was the one less traveled. The ties between NMH and the Ivy League run extremely deep. Although NMH has sent more players to Harvard than any other school, Carroll’s players dot rosters across the Ancient Eight.