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CCRI Knights Men’s Basketball 2013-14 Preview
The 2013-2014 CCRI Knights Men’s basketball team has a new look as it enters the upcoming season. Head Coach Rick Harris enters his eighth year and he along with his staff believe that it could be one that returns the Knights back to the NJCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship in Danville, Illinois.
Once again Coach Harris and his staff of Carmine Goneconte and Andy Jackson along with newcomer Soap Toun have set the team goal to return to Danville. To accomplish that goal the coaches will have the players focused on working hard each day to improve individually and as a team in order to put them in a position to play against the nation’s best once again come March.
As always, The Knights play one of the strongest junior college schedules in the country and will be relying on returning players to lead the newcomers. Leading that group of talented and experienced sophomores will be 6'8" big men Pat Marchand ( Cranston, RI) and Elijah Okagbare ( Boston, MA). Coach Harris believes the size and talent of these two will create difficult match-ups for DII opponents, along with the size needed to compete with the DI teams the Knights will face. The wing and guard positions are manned by a combination of slashers, shooters and ball-handlers. That includes Rudy Brito ( Pawtucket, RI) a 6'2" athletic guard who has had a great off season and is ready to take on a major role for the Knights. 6'7" forward Alioune Ndaiye (Senegal, Africa) and Pat Doyle 5'11" guard (Narragansett, RI) both red shirted last season and gained valuable practice experience. Coach Harris also welcomes back 6'4" multi-talented forward Anthony Henry ( Danbury, CT) who played for the Knights during the 2011-12 season. These six veterans are battle-tested and prepared, and ready to help get the Knights back on top.
Coach Harris welcomes in ten new student/ athletes who will help with that process. According to Coach Harris “The newcomers are quick, strong and talented and could be one of the most talented teams that have ever taken the CCRI hardwood floor.” Anthony Jernigan (Hartford, CT) a 5'9" point guard and 6'1"Kevin Marmolejos (Queens, NY) are two outstanding guards who have transferred in from Monroe Community College and will provide immediate excitement. The wing and guard positions are manned by a combination of slashers, shooters and ball- handlers including combo guard Rob Skinner (Winsted, CT), shooter Cody L'Heureux ( North Smithfield, RI) who was a 2013 Providence Journal 1st Team All Stater, 6'4" all purpose forward Omar Orriols ( Boston, MA), 5'10' combo guard Austin Gagan ( Coventry, RI) and 6'1" shooting guard Brendan Haynes (Coventry, RI) son of CCRI all time great Doug Haynes, and two Hope High School products 6'1" forward Johnson Weah (Providence, RI) and 6' shooter Malieke Young ( Providence, RI). Also coming on board is former Mt Pleasant H.S./ Providence Journal 1st Team All Stater, 5'10" point guard Billy Soriano (Miami, FL).
Coach Harris and his staff believe that with this collection of talent, all the pieces are in place to have a season to remember. Of course this can only happen if all the players come together as one cohesive unit. Coach Harris added “Personal agendas have to be put aside and the goal of becoming a team that works as one and seeks team glory over individual glory must become the common theme". " I also feel that the addition of Soap Toun to an already potent coaching staff including Carmine Goneconte and Andy Jackson is one which will provide the team with every opportunity to improve daily and reach their potential.” The 2013 - 2014 CCRI Knights have begun to take the necessary steps to reach their goal of returning to the NJCAA DII National Championship in Danville, Illinois in March and have the opportunity to face the very best teams from around the country.
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