Saturday, August 15, 2009

Manhattan: Recruits Bring Needed Offense


The Jaspers weren't exactly an offensive juggernaut last season, averaging 64.4 points per game (sixth among the 10 MAAC teams). And, then, they unexpectedly lost their second-leading scorer, 6-3 guard Chris Smith (13.4 ppg.), who transferred to Louisville this past spring.

So, guess what Manhattan needs most from incoming players?

You're right if you guessed offensive production. And, head coach Barry Rohrssen made the right moves while recruiting to bring in some potential solutions.

Eligible Transfer

- Rico Pickett, a 6-foot-4 guard who transferred in from Miami Dade Community College. There, Pickett averaged 17.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. As a freshman, Pickett played at the University of Alabama, where he started 20 of 29 games and averaged 5.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. Pickett appears likely to get into the starting lineup almost immediately (coaches don't bring in junior college transfers to sit the bench), and provide height at the guard position and a well-established ability to score points. In terms of impact this season, Pickett will be among the top handful of players joining MAAC programs.

Incoming freshmen

- George Beamon, a 6-4 guard from Roslyn (Long Island) High School. Beamon could also get into the playing group relatively quickly because of his ability to score. He averaged 34 points per game as a senior at Roslyn, and 30.5 points per outing as a junior. He scored 56 points in a game last season and was over 40 in eight games overall.

- Kevin Laue, a 6-11 center from Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy. Laue has gotten considerable attention nationally because, due to a complication at birth, his left arm stops an inch below his elbow. But Laue appears to have significant potential as a player. Reports indicate that his "handicap" has no affect on his play, that he is a defensive presence in the lane and has a good shooting touch. He averaged 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per game at Fork Union last season and appears capable of developing into a solid contributor, at least.

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