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Suffield Academy Wants to Run

September 29, 2010 Columns No Comments

SUFFIELD, Conn. – Pushing the tempo promises to be the name of the game for Suffield Academy this year. Jeff Depelteau’s squad doesn’t have a lot of size, so the game plan will be to run as often as possible, and that was evident during some of Monday’s open gym.

The player who should lead the way is Andre King (6’1″ Sr. PG-SG, Springfield (MA)). A well-built guard with a mature body, he looks to be a solid fit for such an offense as on a few occasions he grabbed a rebound and headed straight up the court to try to get a fast break going. He’s not the quickest guard and his long range jump shot wasn’t going, but he used his strength and a good hesitation move to get in the lane. While hitting runners and occasionally finishing drives, he showed excellent body control and the ability to finish with the left hand.

Jamel Torrence (5’9″ Jr. PG, Brooklyn (NY)) will get plenty of minutes at the point guard spot. A small point guard, he showed a little of everything although not starring on the evening, as he scored on a quick slash, hit a couple of deep three-pointers and drove and dished a couple of times.

Mack Montague (6’2″ Jr. SG, Westport (CT)) will get some minutes at the shooting guard spot and likely as part of a three-guard set. The lefty struggled to shoot on the day, but he’s capable of hitting and will be counted on to help open up lanes for players like King and Torrence. Spenser Rose (6’1″ Sr. SG, Andover (MA)) and Richie Freckleton (6’1″ So. SG, Farmington (CT)), the latter a football player who is new to basketball, also figure into the mix. Freckleton did not work out due to his football commitment.

The Tigers have a couple of players who will swing between both wing positions, including Patrick Lowndes (6’4″ Sr. SG-SF, Granby (CT)), a thick wing who was effective. He isn’t carrying all good weight, but he score from mid-range and long range and wasn’t afraid to use his left (off) hand to finish. A younger player who fits that description is Colin Pascoe (6’5″ So. SG-SF, Somers (CT)), whose body has a ways to go. He was active at both ends of the floor and showed a work ethic that Depelteau raved about, and showed a touch shooting the ball. The highlight of the day came when he raced back on defense to get a block in transition. Also figuring into the mix is Denzell Jackson (6’5″ SF, Rochester (NY)), whose older brother is at Canisius, and Matt Gianoni (6’5″ Sr. SF-PF, Berlin (CT)), who is an offensive lineman on the football team and did not work out on Monday.

The frontcourt doesn’t boast anyone taller than 6’6″, so at times some of them will have to play bigger. The tallest one is Tell White (6’6″ Sr. SF-PF, Granby (CT)), who ran the floor well and was active on the glass, the latter of which he’ll need to do all year. His jumper wasn’t going, but he didn’t let that undermine his effectiveness and he did find cutters a couple of times when facing the basket.

Another who will be in the mix inside is Lorenzo Bernardez (6’5″ Sr. PF, Bronx (NY)), who is better known for his exploits on the baseball diamond. A slugging first baseman, he has hit a couple of home runs that are already legendary, and will likely play that sport at the next level. He’ll need to get in better shape, but he’s powerfully built and was around the ball often. He also showed a touch shooting the ball from the left elbow and deflected some loose balls, so he’ll make an impact for the Tigers on the hardwood.

The Tigers might not have a future Division I player on the roster – King is the best prospect and he’s a low Division I prospect at best – but they have some perimeter talent and got after it on Monday. If they can dictate the tempo and get production on the glass, especially from the frontcourt, they should be a very competitive team.

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