SARANAC LAKE — Chad LaDue is still learning how to pronounce some of the names on his North Country Community College men’s basketball roster.
There are 20 players on this year’s roster, including 10 from outside the United States.
“Of the 20 players we have, 14 are freshmen and there’s a lot of learning going on,” LaDue said. “We have only three players back from last year and three sophomores who transferred in.
“Michael Boyea is our only returning starter, while Donovan Patraw and Srdjan Grcic saw some action for us off the bench. The rest of the guys weren’t wearing Saint uniforms last year. We actually have 17 new faces.
“I’m still getting to know the players and they’re still getting to know me. I didn’t expect to keep 20. But they decided to continue and put the work in. They were willing to do what it takes to stay on the roster. Every kid on the team is someone I recruited, so it’s hard not to keep them.”
The Saints open their 2013-14 season at 7 p.m. Wednesday at rival Clinton Community College.
“We don’t have a “stud” player on the team or one of the top 10 players in the region,” he said. “But we have a lot more good players than we’ve had and I like where we are. We scrimmaged against Division III teams and competed very hard against that level of talent. We didn’t back down from the challenge and got better and better.
“We have a lot of similar guys doing the same thing. I have a pretty good pulse on who our top eight to 12 players will be. What’s nice with a roster this large is that we have options. But the minutes start for real on Wednesday.”
LaDue doesn’t know what to expect from his team at this point.
“We had a lot of returners last year and we set high goals last season,” he said. “This year, our goal is to get better every day. I don’t know what were going to be, but we will compete every day. It might be more by committee.”
Chateaugay’s Boyea and Australian freshman Matthew Gullotta will be the captains on the team.
“Boyea led our team in minutes last year,” LaDue said. “He’s a great leader and the son of a coach. We expect him to build on last year.
“Gullotta is just a workhorse and a coach’s dream. He sets screens, rebounds and has a high basketball I.Q. There hasn’t been many times when I’ve had a freshman as captain.”
LaDue mentioned seven other players who are expected to fill key roles.
“Ege Cinel is a 6-2 guard who transferred in,” he said. “Nikola Cvetanovic is a transfer from Coastal Georgia and has a chance to be a pretty solid point guard and also someone who can play off the ball as well.
“Ivan Grcic came to the team in January, while Daniel Trentsch is a very athletic 6-1 player from the Boston area who can shoot it. Clement Gibson is a little point guard who is very quick and a sparkplug.
“Thomas Barnes can play either the two or three, can shoot it and get to the rim. And it’s nice to have Jonathan Dunlavey from Malone on the team. He will play some minutes for us.”
There’s not a lot of height on the squad.
“We’re not real big in the post,” LaDue said. “To a degree, I’m concerned about that. But I do like our toughness.
“I don’t like to say we’re rebuilding when it comes to a two-year school. But even though we have a good upside, we are rebuilding.”2013-14 North Country Community College Men's baskeball roster 1- Srdjan Grcic, sophomore guard, Belguade, Serbia 2- Daniel Trentsch, freshman guard, Nahant, Mass. 3- Ege Cinel, sophomore guard, Istanbul, Turkey 4- Clement Gibson, freshman guard, Brooklyn Center, Minn. 5- Derek Oursler, freshman guard, Cazenovia 10- Michael Boyea, sophomore guard, Chateaugay 11- Cameron Foust, freshman guard, Columbus, Ohio 12- Stefan Antonijevic, freshman guard, Belguade, Serbia 13- Ivan Grcic, freshman guard, Belguade, Serbia 15- Thomas Barnes, freshman guard, Killeen, Texas 20- Danilo Bozovic, freshman guard, Podgorica, Montenegro 21- Gerard Hussain, Dingle Voctoria, Australia 23- Donovan Patraw, sophomore guard, Winthrop 24- Matthew Gullotta, freshman forward, Southport, Australia 32- Luka Mrdovic, freshman center, Podgorica, Montenegro 33- Nikola Cvetanovic, sophomore guard, Belguade, Serbia 34- Samuel Johns, freshman forward, Geelong, Australia 35- Zane Ramsdell, freshman forward, Winthrop 42- Jonathan Dunleavy, freshman forward, Malone 44- Devon Barnes, freshman center, Chateaugay Head coach: Chad LaDue Assistant coaches: Rob Roy, Joe Akey --2013-14 schedule Wednesday, Nov. 6- at Clinton Community College, 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9- at Mohawk Valley Community College, 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12- Word of Life Bible Institute, 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16- vs. Corning Community College, at Chateaugay Central School, 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17- vs. Finger Lakes Community College, at Chateaugay Central School, 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21- at Elmira junior varsity, 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23- at Broome Community College, 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24- at Tompkins-Cortland Community College, 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7- Onondaga Community College, 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8- Cayuga Community College, 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14- at Jefferson Community College, 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9- at SUNY Adirondack, 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11- Hudson Valley Community College, 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14- at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16- Schenectady County Community College, 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18- SUNY Delhi, 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20- Columbia-Greene Community College, 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22- at Herkimer Community College, 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25- Mohawk Valley Community College, 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29- Clinton Community College, 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1- at Columbia-Greene Community College, 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5- SUNY Adirondack, 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8- at Hudson Valley Community College, 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12- Fulton-Montgomery Community College, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14- at Davis College, 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15- at Schenectady County Community College, 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18- Word of Life Bible Institute, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19- at SUNY Delhi, 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22- Herkimer County Community College, 1 p.m.