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New Hampton Has Plenty of Guards

September 24, 2010 Columns No Comments

NEW HAMPTON, N.H. – Not unlike Jere Quinn’s team at St. Thomas More, New Hampton has a lot of guards and thus a lot of possible combinations. Pete Hutchins, an alum of the school, has a team with only three players 6’7″ or taller and only two who resemble post players, so the name of the game will be getting production going small or getting big minutes from the three tallest players.

The more highly-regarded big man is newcomer Zach Auguste (6’9″ Jr. SF-PF, Marlborough (MA)), who is repeating his junior year. Auguste missed much of July with a broken wrist, but is fully healthy and was active on the day. He’s long, athletic and starting to fill out physically. He was aggressive, starting right away by splitting defenders and dunking to finish a break. While he ran the floor well and finished often with authority, he didn’t do much at the defensive end and that’s been an area for improvement.

He’ll be joined there by Will Davis (6’9″ Sr. PF, Sacramento (CA)), who has a similar body. Early on, Davis was coming up short with jump hooks in the drills, but once game action started he played well at both ends. He got offensive boards and turned them into stickbacks, and was much better with his post scoring.

Nick Paulos (6’7″ Sr. SF, Holladay (UT)) is the next tallest player and one who could be an X-factor. A very good shooter, he’s not a bad athlete and often beat others up the floor. He shot well off the catch, but did more than that and could play a couple of positions as he handles and passes well for someone playing off the ball.

The perimeter unit has plenty of possibilities, led by UMass-bound Jordan Laguerre (6’2″ Sr. SG, Manchester (NH)), who sat out Thursday’s workout with a mild groin injury. A good month of July was just more of what the athletic left-hander has already shown in his career, and as he returns for his second season at the school he figures to grab one of the perimeter starting spots.

Another perimeter player returning for his second season at the school is Carter Trent (5’10” Sr. PG, Little Rock (AR)), a heady floor leader. He may not start, but he had a decent showing with a couple of nice passes and a deep jumper and figures to get some good minutes.

Travis Souza (6’5″ Sr. SG, Turlock (CA)) and James Dunivan (6’3″ Sr. SG, Richmond (VA)) offer different looks on the wing. Souza has a mature body and showed a touch from long range, while Dunivan’s range appears to top out at the old college three-point line. Dunivan is also a plus athlete with some decent ball skills and a good body that can still get better, so he might get some looks from the lowest levels of Division I.

Joey Ptasinski (6’3″ Sr. SG, Aurora (CO)), who knocked down some three-point shots and has a little more size than some others, should get minutes off the ball. A couple of under-sized shooting guards, Aaron Hendricks (6’1″ Jr. SG, Del Oro (CA)) and Stefano Mancini (6’0″ Sr. SG, Falmouth (ME)), will also be in the mix. Hendricks knocked down a couple of deep three-pointers off the catch and later drove through the defense for a layup, while Mancini had a nice day all around as he drove for scores including while fouled, hit jump shots from deep and passed well when leading the break.

Another who will figure into the point guard picture is Olivier Hanlan (6’2″ Sr. SG, Gastineau (Que.)), while Mancini could see some time at the point just based on his size and Seth Liebert (6’1″ Jr. PG-SG, Danville (CA)) will be in the mix as well. They would join Trent to give them some depth at the position.

New Hampton has plenty of options in the backcourt, allowing them to go smaller if they desire. If their frontcourt players improve, the lack of depth won’t be a major issue and the Huskies could win some games they probably shouldn’t from a talent standpoint.

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