By Garrett J. Wood
---- — PLATTSBURGH — With a good mix of local and out-of-town talent, the Clinton Community College men’s basketball team will look to improve on last year’s 7-21 record.
With a team that is dedicated, hard working and has good depth in the frontcourt, the Cougars are optimistic that they will have more success this year than last.
They open their season away from home at 7 p.m. Friday against rival North Country Community College.
“The best thing about the team this year is that they are really committed,” Clinton coach Kevin Daugherty said. “They have been working extremely hard and are meshing as a team.”
It’s going to take a lot of hard work with only two returning players from last year’s squad.
Standout sophomore guard Chris Miller (6 feet, 3 inches) and sophomore center Matthew Spencer (6 feet, 8 inches) are bringing their experience playing college ball to a team with 12 freshmen and two other sophomores.
Miller landed in Plattsburgh from Brooklyn, and last year he scored in double figures in 24 of 27 games for the Cougars. Daugherty described Miller as one of their best and a very aggressive yet steady player who brings a lot to the team.
Spencer hails from Gouveneur and will be an integral part of the post play, which the Cougars hope to capitalize on.
“We have a lot of height this year,” Daugherty said. “We also have a lot of depth in the post. It’s a first time for this team (while under his tutelage) to have post players like this.”
Freshman Jamie Davison will start at guard with Miller. Daugherty categorized Davison as a floor leader, good passer and a decent threat at 3-point range, and he added that Davisson stepped in and asserted himself from the beginning to grab a starting spot.
Statin Island native Kyle Young, a freshman, will also start and, at 6 feet, 4 inches, add his height to the post play. He is quick and has good hands and good fundamentals, Daugherty noted.
Plattsburgh native Kyle LaPoint will add even more depth to the post and backcourt game for the Cougars.
“Kyle has played very well from day one,” Daugherty said. “We worked hard to get him here. He is a hard-nose, strong player that can take it to the basket as well as play really tough defense.”
These starters will provide a good foundation to build on as the season goes on and will be a presence on the court.
“We have some really excellent players,” Daugherty said. “With a good mix of local and outside players, we haven’t had such a good starting core since our run in 2007.”
Daugherty said that the team added three players from Peekskill, which is considered to have a powerful basketball program. Kyree Hull, Saleem Sutton and Mykell Krecko migrated from Peekskill.
According to Daugherty, Hull is a very athletic guard and will most likely take the role of sixth man. He also noted that Sutton shoots the 3-pointer really well, and that he is still growing. Krecko will be called upon, with his long arms, to block shots, rebound and get second-chance opportunities in the paint.
Plattsburgh local Jordan Knight, who was a leader and strong player for the Clinton soccer team, will play guard on the court. He is an all-around good athlete and also has a really good 3-point shot, Daugherty noted.
Mario Chabau and Delron Gray are both from Queens and will add talent to the backcourt with their shooting ability. Brooklyn is also represented on the team in the form of Christopher Martinez. He is a power forward who, Daugherty said, is hard to stop on the inside.
Rounding out the local talent is Jordan Cooledge from AuSable Valley. He played well for the Patriots and is expected add a little spark to the team with his intensity and hard work.
“These groups of guys have meshed a lot quicker than I expected a new group of guys to do,” Daugherty said. “We have guys fighting for spots, and that brings a lot of intensity as well.”
One of the big problems for the team last year was keeping the players on the team. By the end of the first semester, a few players were academically ineligible and a couple other players were asked to leave. This year Daugherty doesn’t think he will have the same problems.
“At this point I’m pretty optimistic, especially with the team’s intensity,” Daugherty said. “I’m really happy with where we are right now, and we will improve throughout the season.”
Clinton Community College
2012-13 men’s basketball roster
No. Name Hometown Yr. Position
1 Jamie Davison Mooers Fr. G
2 Jordan Knight Plattsburgh Fr. G
3 Jordan Coolidge AuSable Forks So. G
5 Kyree Hull Peekskill Fr. G
10 Johnson Antamolagun Queens Fr. G
11 Christopher Martinez Brooklyn Fr. F
12 Tequan Campbell Mount Vernon Fr. G
14 Christopher Miller Brooklyn So. G
20 Delron Gray Queens Fr. G
22 Kyle LaPoint Plattsburgh Fr. G
23 Saleem Sutton Peekskill Fr. G
25 Kyle Young Statin Island Fr. F
32 Mario Chabau Queens So. G
33 Stefan Radan Burlington, Vt. Fr. F
34 Matthew Spencer Gouveneur So. C
42 Mykell Krecko Peekskill Fr. C