The Green Knights will welcome as many as nine new players to the Men's Basketball team in 2011-12. "We've been fortunate," said Coach John Dyer, "we've been able to add some really talented players. I expect our team to be much deeper than in the past."
The 2010-11 squad was one of the best in Vermont Tech history. The team won 24 regular season games; was undefeated in YSCC conference play; and earned the #1 seed in the USCAA National Championship Tournament. The USCAA's leading scorer, All American Nick Simpson and All Conference post player Trent Roleau graduated. "There are some huge shoes to fill—Nick and Trent are among the very best to ever lace them up at VTC," said Coach Dyer.
Two JUCO transfers, Jhason Clark (6'4") and Sam Randall (6'0"), will play important roles. Jhason was a standout player at Schenectady Community College. "Jhason is a complete player—he's very mature, has a good sense of the game, he is very quick and he is especially strong going to the basket. He's going to give defenses some serious problems, "commented Coach Dyer. Sam Randall was the starting point guard for two years at Suffolk Community College on Long Island, NY. "We're delighted to have Sam aboard, says Dyer. "He's just a great guy and he'll solidify our backcourt."
Two Albany region players are expected to be big time contributors. Tevon Erwin (6'4") and Kevin Phillips (5'11") are both standouts on the nationally ranked Capital Rocks AAU team in Albany. Tevon is a versatile power forward. His AAU Coach, Antwan Morrison describes as a "rebounding machine." "What I like most about Tevon is his work ethic and his enormous heart," says Coach Dyer. "He out-hustles most players and out-rebounds players 4-6 inches taller. We're expecting big things from Tevon." Kevin Phillips is an outstanding point guard. "Kevin has great vision, awesome quickness, possesses superior ball handling skills and is a ferocious defender. We're lucky to have him," says Coach Dyer, "Kevin has the potential to be a very special player.
Mikal Williams (6'8") from Willingboro, NJ (Westhampton Tech) will add significant rebounding and scoring strength to the frontcourt. Mikal recently won the MVP award in a high stakes AAU tournament in Orlando, FL. "Mikal can fill some of the gap left by Trent Roleau's graduation," says Coach Dyer. "If Mikal works really hard, he can be a force in the YSCC."
Two Vermont standouts will provide serious depth to an already strong team. Lucas Dutil (6'3") was a three-year varsity point guard for Spaulding High School in Barre, VT. Josh "Boomer" Patterson (6'2") hails from Milton, VT and has transferred to Vermont Tech from Johnson State where he played for Coach Mike Osborne. Coach Osborne affectionately refers to Boomer as "one of the greatest guys that ever played for me—he's a plus for any team."
Two incoming recruits suffered knee injuries that will sideline them for all or part of the season. Nemars Dateau, a 5'11 " lightning quick point guard from Massachusetts, had surgery last season but should be ready to suit up by the second semester. Kyle Kissenberth (6'3"), a knockdown three-point shooter from Florida, will have to sit out the year but should be good to go next year. Finally, power forward Lasai Banks (6'5"), a transfer from Pima CC in Arizona is slated to join the team at the beginning of the second semester.
This year's recruiting class will form a solid nucleus for the future. "We've added talent at every position. Once this group learns to play together, they ought to be able to contend for a leadership role in the YSCC for the next few years."