Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Preview: Saint Peter's Men Need to Mesh Talent

Here's another in the series previewing teams for the 2013-14 season.

Up now ...


2012-13 RECORD: 3-15 in the MAAC, 9-21 overall.

KEY LOSSES: Forward Darius Conley (8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds per game), guard Blaise Ffrench (7.2 points, 4.5 assists), swingman Yvon Raymond (10.4, 5.1, 2.5 assists).

LIKELY STARTERS: 6-2 junior guard Desi Washington (14.6 ppg. last season), 6-7 junior forward Marvin Dominiue, a transfer from Fordham, 6-7 freshman forward Quadir Walton, 6-0 freshman guard Trevis Wyche, 6-4 senior guard Chris Burke (5.5, 4.2).

KEY NEWCOMERS: Dominique, Wyche, Walton.6-6 junior forward Kris Rolle, junior college transfer.

NOTEABLE: The Peacocks lost three key pieces since last season, but have more than adequately reloaded, even though they have lost their first two games. One of those was to three-time defending NEC champion LIU-Brooklyn, the other to Hampton, picked to finish fourth in the MEAC ... Dominiue had a monster 31-14 game in the opener and, then, 12-7 vs. Hampton. He is a solid power forward, a transfer from Fordham, and coach John Dunne claims he'll be one of the top four or five forwards in the MAAC this season ... Walton, another solid 6-7 post player, had 16-11 vs. Hampton ... Burke is the only senior in the playing group, and he had a 13-11 game vs. Hampton ... Washington is the leading scorer from a year ago, and had games of 14 and 9 so far this season ... Wyche steps into the difficult role of starting at point guard as a freshman, but he had a seven-assist game so far ... Jamal Fields, a transfer guard from Fairfield, is the first player off the bench and is averaging 7.5 ppg. thus far ... Washington was pretty much the offense last season and ranked 41st nationally in made 3's per game with 2.7 ... As a team Saint Peter's only averaged 59.6 points per outing, and only 16 teams nationally scored fewer points ... Dunne's teams have always been highly effective on the defensive end and are likely to be the same this year. But, if the offense can pick it up, the Peacocks could be significantly better than expected ... It looks like there's more scoring in place this year, particularly if Dominique can keep up his scoring to join Washington as a solid one-two offensive punch ... Burke is also capable of averaging double figures and Fields is an unrelenting attack-the-basket player on the offensive end ... Much of the team's offensive success might revolve around how quickly Wyche can develop as the floor general. But, Fields is also capable of stepping in there for periods of time ... Veterans forward Maruis Tucker and guard Chazz Patterson haven't done much yet, but both should be solid off the bench ... The should also be more depth, particularly from 6-5 forward Kris Rolle, a junior college transfer, Vic Adams, another JC transfer, and returning 6-7 sophomore forward Elias Desport.

STRENGTHS: Although the Peacocks gave up 87 points in their opener, they're still likely to be defensive oriented and effective, and held Hampton to 64 points. The Dominique-Walton tandem up front is a little small (both are 6-7), but both are strong inside players. Washington is a proven scorer, and Burke lends veteran leadership. The depth should be better as newcomers develop.

WEAKNESSES: The overall height doesn't quite measure up to most MAAC teams. And, there's a chemistry issue. Three good starters graduated and the replacements are a transfer and two freshmen, one of them the team's point guard so far.

REASONABLE EXPECTATION: League coaches predict Saint Peter's to finish ninth in the league this season, and that's probably not too far off. But, your Hoopscribe knows Dunne is very good at getting the most out of his players and sees the Peacocks as potentially one of the surprise teams in the league this season. It wouldn't be a total surprise here if Saint Peter's finished as high as fifth, but it certainly could also finish where the coaches picked the team. If nothing else, there's plenty of room to develop as the season progresses and the team should be even stronger next year.

No comments: