BARRINGTON, R.I. – St. Andrew’s will have a different look this year. They will be younger, but will have more size, although one constant is that the players come almost exclusively from Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At first glance, it appears that they have a good balance between the two ends of the age spectrum.
The unquestioned leader will be Syracuse-bound Michael Carter-Williams (6’5″ Sr. SG, Hamilton (MA)). Now in his third year at the school, the lanky wing barely missed a jumper in Monday’s open gym workout but didn’t stop there. He also drove aggressively and finished well, including with the left (off) hand, and generally looked like a man among boys. As his high school career draws to a close, he now looks like he has a very complete offensive game.
Three other seniors join him, with Myles Brilhante (5’8″ Sr. PG, Fall River (MA)) being another holdover. A solid point guard who takes good care of the ball, he’s improved noticeably and that was apparent as he now looks like a better shooting threat. Besides making a couple of good passes on the go, he knocked down a shot from deep and another from about the foul line off the dribble.
The senior who could be headed for a breakout year is Aboubacar Casse (6’5″ Sr. SF, Thies (Senegal)). His body hasn’t matured yet, and he has the frame to carry more good weight to go with being a plus athlete. He shot the ball well from long range and made a nice shot off the catch from mid-range, and that’s a good start as he doesn’t yet have a good feel for the game.
The other senior is Anderson Santana (6’4″ Sr. SG, Boston (MA)), who had a decent showing before a minor injury ended his day a little early. His upper body is more developed than his lower body and he knocked down a couple of jump shots, and will give them one more perimeter threat.
A pair of juniors will give the team good size, starting with one who is repeating this year in Cedric Kuakumensah (6’7″ Jr. PF, Worcester (MA)). It hasn’t taken long for him to benefit from being at the school, as his body is in better shape and he had a very good showing on Monday. He scored some post baskets, including a nice move to his left, passed well out of the post and ran the floor well. No one rebounded better than he did, and he looks ready to anchor the frontcourt.
The other post player is Kalusha Ndoumbe-Ngollo (6’7″ Jr. PF, Paris (France)), who did not work out with the team on Monday. Head coach Mike Hart thinks Kuakumensah and Ndoumbe-Ngollo can play well off each other up front, with the latter being a more natural post player.
Another junior, Tom Garrick (6’3″ Jr. SG, Seekonk (MA)) helps round out the backcourt. The son of the former Rhode Island star, he hit several three-pointers on the day and also got some offensive boards. He still has some physical upside as well. Josh DiPietro (5’9″ So. PG, Narragansett (RI)) could be in the mix as well, but is currently out for a while due to an ACL tear in his left knee.
Two freshmen who should get some minutes have noteworthy relatives. Edson Dascy (6’4″ Fr. SF, Fall River (MA)) is the younger brother of Youri, who just finished up at the school in the spring. Unlike his older brother, he’s been playing the game for a long time and has a little different game as a wing. He had his moments on Monday, hitting a few three-pointers along the way. Bonzie Colson (6’4″ Fr. PF, New Bedford (MA)) is the son of the former Boston College assistant and projects to play in the frontcourt just like his father did. He goes up against Kuakumensah every day, and while he’s not mature physically he is carrying some bad weight that he’ll have to shed along the way. Having played in the BABC program, he’s already made his way onto the radar.
Hart likes the team he has and knows a bigger challenge is ahead in the new-look NEPSAC. The Saints won’t be as talented this year, but they should be competitive and a better team come February than in November.