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Quinn Ready to Develop More Players at St. Thomas More

September 13, 2010 Columns No Comments

OAKDALE, Conn. – It’s been the case in recent years that Jere Quinn’s teams at St. Thomas More have featured a couple of well-known players and a number of players that were at best under the radar. Those in the latter category come to Oakdale and develop under his tutelage, complementing the better talents. It looks like that same formula will be present this season.

The first well-known player is more than that, as Andre Drummond (6’10” Jr. PF-C, Middletown (CT)) is ranked by several services as the top prospect in the class of 2012. Even before Monday’s workout, it wasn’t hard to see why. He has a man’s body, runs the floor like a gazelle and is more athletic than your average post player. It all adds up to a dominating force at times, as he can own the boards, block shots all day and score easily inside as he’s a load on the post. On Monday, when he was away from the basket he didn’t force up jumpers and instead found teammates cutting, which was a nice improvement as he’s had a tendency to fall in love with the jump shot since he can hit a few of them. At times, it all looked too easy for him; a highlight was when a pass came his way and he went up, caught it and then put it home before he came back down to the floor.

Drummond’s main support will come from Trahson Burrell (6’6″ Sr. SF, Albany (NY)), who also returns for his second season at the school. An athletic wing whose body has a ways to go, Burrell started slowly during the drills but got better as the day went along. He excelled in transition and drove often to score, not shooting many jumpers along the way.

Fairfield commit Adam Jones (6’7″ Sr. SF-PF, Orlando (FL)) has a good frame that can carry more weight as he matures, but he wasn’t much of a factor before a foot/ankle injury ended his day early. B.J. Cardarelli (6’7″ Sr. PF, Manchester (CT)) is a thin forward with some post fundamentals and some ability to face the basket.

A wing who played well on the day was Jarell Byrd (6’5″ Sr. SF, Lynn (MA)). He was aggressive at both ends of the floor, getting his share of rebounds and dunks near the basket and also making a couple of nice passes along the way. Elijah Bonsignore (6’4″ Sr. SF, Felton (DE)) is an athletic wing with a good body and will see minutes on the wing. Damion Lee (6’5″ Sr. SG-SF, Pikesville (MD)) is another player who got better as the day went along. A plus athlete, he drove to score, knocked down a couple of jumpers as deep as three-point range, and got a couple of stickbacks. Aric Dickerson (6’5″ Sr. SF, Chicago (IL)) is a thin wing who will also figure in the mix.

One player they could use in a few positions is Indiana Faithful (6’4″ Sr. SG-SF, Castlecag (Australia)), who may play all three perimeter positions. The lefty can handle the ball some and isn’t a bad athlete, and his body can still get better although he’s not a baby physically.

The Chancellors always seem to have a good point guard or two, and this team is no exception. The best one of them on the day was Whis Grant (6’0″ Sr. PG, Plymouth Meeting (PA)), who is a live body at the position. A plus athlete with a good body, he competed all day and showed the ability to drive quickly to the basket and hit a shot from deep along the way. Also sure to get good minutes is New Jersey native Roy Mabrey (6’1″ Sr. PG, Belmar (NJ)), who is a prototypical Christian Brothers Academy guard. Though not very physically gifted, Mabrey is fundamentally sound, has a good feel for the game and is unselfish.

Also figuring into the mix on the perimeter will be athletic wing Dominique Spann (6’3″ Sr. SG, West Babylon (NY)), Christian Walck (6’3″ Sr. SG, Lancaster (PA)) and Eric Shirvanian (6’0″ Sr. PG, Holmdel (NJ)).

Quinn has another team with a lot of bodies ready to compete, and once again with a couple of stars and a solid, unspectacular support cast full of under-the-radar players. By the time the season is over, many in the latter category right now likely won’t be there anymore.

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