Tarpey's unselfishness carries Fairfield Prep basketball
If Fairfield Prep basketball player Terry Tarpey wanted to, he could be one of the top-five scorers in the state. However, the junior swingman is content to do more than just score.
Tarpey, who is averaging 18 points per game, is leading the Jesuits in four statistical categories including points. He has recorded double-doubles in three of the last four games. Prep has won five games in a row.
"Terry is gifted," Prep coach Leo Redgate said. "It's clear to the teams that we're playing, too, because they always have a man around him."
Tarpey included in his recent streak a career high 33 points in the Jesuits 88-55 rout of East Haven on Feb. 11. Tarpey's output that night broke his mother, Ann's scoring record. She once scored 31 in a high school game.
However, it's not just the scoring that has put Tarpey on the state and SCC radar. He has grabbed 14 rebounds twice in the last three games. In addition to scoring, he leads the team in rebounds, assists and blocks.
"If he took the ball to the basket every time, he'd score 35 points per game," Redgate said. "He's not trying to do it all himself."
The coach credits Tarpey's exceptional work ethic for his progression. Tarpey saw time on varsity as a sophomore he was not scoring in bunches like he has recently.
"I think it stems from the summer," Redgate said. "There's not a day when he's not working 110 percent ... and he works out [with a personal trainer] three days a week in season."
Redgate also cites Tarpey's basketball IQ, and his ability to get to the right place on the floor at the proper time as reasons for his improvement.
"He's gotten more consistent," Redgate said. "I think that's a direct result of him being at the right place at the right time ... he's been moving without the ball much better than he was at the start of the year."
However, having the built-in athletic frame is certainly important as well. Tarpey is 6-4, with a long wing span and impressive vertical leap. He's proven this by dunking in many Prep games, including a thunderous alley-oop from Robbie Bier in the Jesuits' win last Friday.
Redgate admitted that his favorite aspect of Tarpey's game is how he continues to make his teammates better.
"Terry relies on the other guys on the floor," Redgate said. "He's very unselfish."
Tarpey has take some underclassmen under his wing, to insure that the team will continue to get better once the Jesuits' seven seniors graduate.
"He prides himself on helping to build a program that is consistent," Redgate said. "He's been working with freshmen after practice and trying to make everyone better."
Tarpey already is beginning to generate interest from colleges, and Redgate only has one vision of where his ultimate destination will be after Fairfield Prep.
"I definitely think that he is a division I basketball player," Redgate said. "There is little doubt in my mind."