Falcon Standout, and 1,000 Point Scorer to Join St. Joe’s Alums Walker and McBurnie with Rangers
MONROE, NJ—After having a huge senior year for Monroe, Andrew Turco has made his college selection, and it is a very good one. Turco, who led the GMC in scoring with over 700 total points this season to end up with over 1,000 points for his career, has decided to attend Drew University, where he will join former St. Joseph’s standouts, Malachi Walker and Howard McBurnie on the men’s basketball team.
The timing couldn’t be any better for Turco and Drew University. The Rangers, which have been to the Landmark Conference Semifinals in each of the last three years with an appearance in the 2019 Landmark Conference Championship Game last season, have four players graduating this season including all time leading scorer Riley Collins, who has been the team’s top player in each of the past two seasons. Adding Turco to the Rangers men’s basketball team will help fill some of the void left by Collins and others.
Turco received numerous honors in the recent 2020 GMC Hoops Awards including a First Team All GMC Hoops selection. During the 2019-20 boys basketball season, the Monroe Falcon senior guard played in all 27 games, made 118 field goals, 101 three pointers to lead the GMC, and 336 free throws to end up with 713 points along with 101 rebounds, 83 assists, and 66 steals, or an average of 26.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. Turco accounted for 43.6 percent of Monroe’s total scoring this past season.
Monroe’s senior guard scored in double figures in all 27 of the games played by the Falcons. Of those 27 contests, Turco scored at least 20 points in 20 of those games including 7 contests with 30 points or more, two games of 40 points or more, and a career high of 50 points in a 71-51 victory at Spotswood on February 12th. In that game against Spotswood, Turco tallied his 50 points on 5 field goals, 10 threes, and 10 foul shots while also picking up 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
The fifty point performance put Turco over 1,000 points for his career. Coming into the season, Turco, who is a three year varsity basketball player at Monroe, had a total of 370 points. Following the monster season he had this season, Turco finished with 1,083 points to end up second on the school’s all time list ahead of teammate Mike Kides, who graduated in 2019 after scoring 1,051 points, and behind A.J. Rudowitz, the all time leading scorer for the Falcons with 1,536 points.
Ironically, Rudowitz, who went on to play college hoops at NCAA Division 2 Stonehill of the Northeast-10 Conference, and then in Germany, where he played the bulk of his career with Rasta Vechta, played for Andrew’s uncle, Bob Turco, who is now the head coach at St. Thomas Aquinas. Andrew’s father Dave Turco, was the head coach of St. Joseph’s, and coached both Walker and McBurnie before eventually taking over the men’s basketball program at Middlesex County College.
Over the three seasons that Turco played varsity hoops at Monroe, the Falcons returned to prominence in the GMC with an appearance in the 2019 GMCT Elite Eight and a berth in the 2019 NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 4 Semifinals. Monroe compiled an overall mark of 39-41 including a 17-25 in the rough and tumble GMC Red Division, where the Falcons improved from a 7-19 squad overall and 4-10 in division during Turco’s sophomore year in 2017-18 to 17-10 and 7-7 a year ago, and 15-12 overall this season including a 6-8 divisional mark despite losing the likes of Kides, Josh Daniels (Middlesex County College), Jari Davis, James Kolavitch, and Dylan McLaughlin to graduation.
This past season, Turco played a similar role for Monroe like Tyler Drews (Caldwell/Widener) did for Old Bridge his senior year back in 2013-14. Old Bridge was coming off a memorable season by reaching the GMCT Final Four for the first time in school history in 2012-13, and the Knights lost the likes of the school’s first 1,000 point scorer, Sultan Aminu (East Stroudsburg/Ramapo), and Jordan Marrero along with four other seniors from a team that finished 16-11 overall under then first year head coach, Jim Macomber.
In 2013-14, Drews scored 540 total points, or an average of 22.5 points per game for a team that finished 9-15, and was made up of newcomers such as Connor Romano, Stephen Strom, Zach Attianese, Kyle Parris, and Will Osvald. Drews, who finished as the second 1,000 point scorer, and all time leading scorer at Old Bridge High School with 1,468 points, accounted for 40.1 percent of the Knights scoring in 2013-14. Turco scored more, and was only one of two seniors in the starting lineup on Monroe’s team while Drews played with fellow seniors Adeleye, Kasaun Figueroa, and Kyle Mapson.
As mentioned earlier, Drew University’s men’s basketball program has had tremendous success over the past three seasons. Led by Collins as well as seniors Michael Boice, Cole Hanntz, and Brian Oehme along with the likes of juniors Lybrant Robinson, Miles Lewis, Walker and the freshman McBurnie, the Rangers have compiled a 60-25 overall record including a 32-10 mark in the Landmark Conference. In addition to reaching the Landmark Conference semifinals in each of the past three seasons, Drew also qualified for the ECAC Division III Tournament each of the last three years as well including a semifinals berth in 2019.
The Landmark Conference is made up of the following schools: Drew, Catholic University, Elizabethtown, Juniata, Moravian, Scranton, and Susquehanna. Last year, Drew lost to Moravian in the Landmark Conference Championship after losing to the Greyhounds in the semifinals the year before. This past season, the Rangers fell to Scranton in the semifinals. Other former GMC players that went on to play college hoops at Drew included: Travis DeNapoli (Dunellen), Scott Miller (Piscataway), and Keon Rankins (North Brunswick).
Prior to the formation of the Landmark Conference in the 2005 and the completion in 2007, Drew competed in the MAC, Middle Atlantic Conference with the likes of crosstown rival, FDU-Florham, Wilkes University, and Misericordia. Dave Turco also attended Moravian and played in the men’s basketball program there as well. Playing for then head coach, Jim Walker, Turco played with the likes of Scott Mitchell, Jeff Hoke, Steve O’Boyle, Dan Burrell, Dave Yoder, and Rob Wehmeyer on a Greyhounds team that went 52-50 overall and 22-26 in conference and competed in the MAC’s Southwest Division with the likes of Franklin and Marshall and Muhlenberg while the elder Turco was in school there.
Congratulations Andrew on your commitment to Drew, and best of luck competing at the next level.