Winchendon Profile | Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Winchendon Profile

Year in and year out Winchendon has one of the most talented team’s in New England. This year is no different except that several of the most talented players on the roster will be staying past this season. 6’8 sophomore PF Alex Oriakhi (pictured above) and 6’6 SF Jamal Coombs both arrived at Winchendon this month to begin their sophomore seasons having already committed to attend the University of Connecticut. That means Coach Mike Byrnes will have three years to work with and develop these special talents. While that is definitely good news for Coach Byrnes it may be even better news for Oriakhi and Coombs who will have some of the best preparation possible before joining the Connecticut program.

Another widely talented underclassman is 6’6 SG Mathiang Mauot a junior who comes from the Sudan. Mathiang has a great body, range beyond the three on his jumper, and the ability to get to the rim in one dribble. He is also a tough competitor who goes hard every time down the floor. He is a definite high-major prospect.

Darius Gabriel is a 6’1 junior point guard who will be recruited by some of the best mid-major programs in the country on up. He is a very good athlete, super quick, and fast very from baseline to baseline. He is very good with the ball in his hands, goes right or left equally well, and has a very effective hesitation move. If he continues to develop his outside shot and his ability to run a team it is very possible that he could sneak onto the high-major level.

6’5 junior guard Chris Turner is a very good shooter with deep range. He also has a nice 1 dribble pull-up moves that he utilizes when defenders fly by him on the close-out. He doesn’t go to the rim off the dribble especially well but he is such a good shooter it doesn’t really matter. He is a mid-major recruit who could play at a higher level if he improves on the defensive end of the ball.

6’6 junior forward Romeric Lasme, the younger brother of Massachusetts center Stephane Lasme, is another quality underclassmen prospect. He has a high-major body but low-major skills at the moment. He is a good shot blocker and finishes everything in transition. The level of his recruiting will depend on whether he can add a couple more inches to his frame and improve his fundamental skills.

As talented as the underclassmen are the only player on the team who Coach Byrnes expects to play more than 22 minutes a game is 6’0 post-graduate point guard Malcolm Grant from the Bronx who has already committed to attend Villanova. Malcolm is the definition of a point-guard as he is a great leader, very unselfish, and very skilled. He is a very good shooter from behind the three-point line as well as off the dribble and a tremendous passer with both his left and right hands. Complementing Malcolm in the backcourt will be Kindard Dozier, a super strong slashing guard who is hoping to earn a division one scholarship this year.

6’6 Mike Ringgold, 6’5 Kevin Menner, and 6’6 Andy Pellitier are three seniors who will all get opportunities to play the wing in the Winchendon rotation. Ringold and Menner are both slashers with great bodies who are definite division one prospects while Pelletier is less of a natural athlete and is hoping to land in the Ivy or Patriot league next year.

Coach Byrnes has two very different options at the center position. John Hegarty is a 7’0 310 pound player who will eat up space in the middle and be an effective scoring option on the low post while 6’8 Ousmane Lo is a long but skinny player from Senegal who will block a ton of shots but is very limited offensively. Both players are capable of producing at the mid-major level next year.

With so many talented players on the roster Coach Byrnes is hoping to push the tempo on every possession, swapping players in and out quickly so they can wear down their opponents. With the amounts of talent they have assembled there is a good chance they are able to do that both this year and beyond.