Friday, 28 September 2007

Memorial Seahawks Preview

The phrase "rebuilding effort" may not be more applicable anywhere than to the situation facing Memorial Seahawks Head Coach Todd Aughey this coming season. With his six of his top seven scorers from last season's 5-15 (7-22 overall) team which did not qualify for the AUS tournament not returning and only three players who saw any time at all on this season's roster, the challenges are huge. The Seahawks lost players who collectively averaged about 35 minutes per game including Sean Thistle (19.2 ppg), Justin Halleran (16.7 ppg), Evan Constantine (12.1 ppg), Stephen Singleton (6.4 ppg), Colin Power (5.3 ppg) and Curtis Power (4.1 ppg), returning only 3rd year Mark English (3.7 ppg/1.6 rpg in 16 mpg) and a pair of sophomores: Randy O'Reilly (2.4 ppg/1.8 rpg) and Grant Harvey (4.4 ppg/3.4 rpg - MUN's top returning scorer and rebounder. While the recruiting class did bring in quantity with 7 first-year players listed on the roster, none of the newcomers would likely be considered a major impact recruit. Probably the best known name nationally is 6'10" Nick Rigakos, who spent his final year of high school at Woodbridge, ON Emily Carr H.S. after playing his first 4 high school seasons at Toronto Eastern Commerce. Rigakos was identified as the 8th ranked graduating center by Jim Thomas of All-Ontario Scouting Service in his annual ranking of the Top 50 graduating high schoolers in the province of Ontario. Aughey was able to bring in some experience as former Seahawk volleyballer Jeffrey Gallant will play basketball this season and Georgian College transfer Mark Lynch also has been added to the roster. Other freshman who will look to gain time include Justin Penney (St. Catherine's Academy; Salmonier, NFLD), Matthew Gregory (St. Catherine's Academy; Salmonier, NFLD), Jason Shepherd (Central Kings Rural H.S., Cambridge, Nova Scotia) and Andrew Spurrell (Saint Malachy H.S., Saint John, New Brunswick). Coming off a non-playoff, losing season and without virtually your entire lineup from last season is likely to present huge challenges to Coach Aughey, especially given the returning talent and relative improvements made by the other 7 teams in the AUS coming into this season. The Seahawks kick off their season next Thursday night in Montreal when they face the McGill Redmen and then move across town on Friday and Saturday to play in the NIKE Invitational tournament at Concordia with Laurier, Laurentian and the host Stingers also participating in the two-day, two-game event.

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