BARRINGTON, R.I. – Mike Hart has a pleasant problem. The St. Andrew’s mentor doesn’t have his most talented team, or one with a great deal of size like a couple of recent teams, but he likes this team a lot. A coach will almost always like his team, so that’s not news, but why a coach likes his team is often noteworthy. The big reason Hart likes this team is that he feels like he has quality depth to go with some questions.
Most of the depth is on the perimeter, which figures to be anchored by a couple of holdovers in Henry Bolton (6’0″ Jr. PG-SG, Portsmouth (RI)) and Edson Dascy (6’5″ Jr. SF, Fall River (MA)). Bolton drove all day Monday, using his body to get to the basket at times and constantly attacking. He has a good body and showed he can play the point last year, although he seems more comfortable off the ball. Dascy is underrated and doesn’t always stand out, but his body still has a good deal to go and he’s a nice glue guy with the potential to be more.
One candidate for the point guard spot is newcomer Richard O’Brien (5’11″ Sr. PG-SG, Bedford (NH)), who transfers in from Brewster Academy. An excellent student who wants to study engineering, his body isn’t quite there yet and he shot the ball well from long range on Monday, something he’s done often. If he works out at the point, Bolton will play more off the ball.
There are some options at the shooting guard spot behind Bolton and Dascy, starting with Tom Hunt (6’1″ Jr. SG, Smithfield (RI)), who is athletic and can hit from long range, the latter of which he did more of later in the workout. An excellent student, Hunt will get interest from schools in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues and other elite academic schools. There is also transfer Chancellor Ellis (6’4″ So. SG-SF, Queens (NY)), who has a good frame and a few scoring tools that were on display on Monday, Agyei Gregory (6’3″ Sr. SG, Virgin Islands), who was very active and has a good frame, and Tim Reale (6’3″ Sr. SG, Mason (OH)). Hunt may be the best of that group right now, but Ellis appears to have the most upside.
The wing will be led by Bonzie Colson (6’5″ Jr. SF-PF, New Bedford (MA)), who returns for his third season at the school. His lower body is still developing and he has deceptive length, the latter of which was noticeable when he got several blocked shots in transition. In addition, he showed some flashes of athleticism and is quick off his feet, and finds a way to score. It’s not clear how his game translates to the next level, and not much about his game stands out, but when the game is over you look up and find he’s posted a double-double.
Dascy and Ellis will see time at small forward as well, and Terrell Brown (6’6″ Fr. SF-PF, East Providence (RI)) may also be in the mix as he is very long and a baby physically but has a ways to go to be a factor. John Geary (6’5″ Jr. SF-PF, Duxbury (MA)), another excellent student, is a lefty with a good body who can hit from long range.
The Saints have two candidates for time on the post. One is Nikola Vukavusic (6’8″ Sr. PF, Bar (Montenegro)), who has a good body and really went to work inside on Monday. The other is Andre Berry (6’7″ Jr. PF-C, Malverne (NY)), who has a wide body and needs to get in better shape but also boxed out well.
Last year, the Saints were hardly loaded but made it to the semifinals in NEPSAC Class AA. The Saints’ biggest need this year is for someone to grab the mantle of leadership. Could it be Colson, who has been there longer than anyone else? Could it be O’Brien, who has played in Class AAA but is a newcomer? If that question gets answered and some chemistry develops, there’s no reason this team can’t at least be a sleeper in Class AA.