It is apparent rather early in discussion with new Capers Head Coach Dave Petroziello that there is a definite plan for this program which, on the floor among other things is a dedication to the mantra that defending and rebounding will be the foundation for winning (and PT!). Some may regard CBU as a rebuild – especially with only 4 returning regular rotation players due to graduation and academic casualties – however ever-optimistic and hard working, Petroziello was still able to attract several impact new faces to Sydney, travelling all over the country most of the summer to augment his returning group.
With the return of all-conference forward 6’5″ Kenny Jean-Louis, Petroziello has a leader-type who has already embraced the veteran, experienced role. 6’2″ athlete Seth Amoah also returns and Petroziello is already scheming to take advantage of his ability to fill gaps in the passing lanes defensively. 6’7″ Kyle Hankins has added bulk to his long frame while 6’1″ Jack MacAulay, already part of Capers lore with his game-winning shot last season vs. Dalhousie, continues to use the fact he was an under-the-radar, little-recruited guard to his advantage. 6’6″ Tevin Bartley, who graduated high school as a member of the final-ever Eastern Commerce team in Toronto a few years ago, came on late last season including a 14 point effort in just 17 minutes in Capers AUS quarter-final loss to Acadia, remains with the program but will sit out this season to focus on academics.
Still, CBU was thin at the point last season, so the addition of 6’2″ German import Nico Brauner, who sat out last season to adhere to pro transfer rules after playing one season in the German Pro B league, is earmarked to run the lead guard spot. Unfortunately, Brauner, in his second season of eligibility, is nursing a foot injury and is expected to be out until mid-October. Brauner, when healthy, should see major minutes as the starting point guard.
Augmenting his back court, Petroziello brought in a pair of GTA-area transfers including 6’2″ Aaron Hayles (Pickering, ON via Durham College) who can defend and should provide solid backup pg minutes. As well, 6’1″ combo guard DaShaun Lalor-Crooks, from TRC Academy Prep, will bring his tough on-the-ball “d” and ability to get out into transition to Capers lineup.
To re-fortify the front line, Petroziello went back to his days at Keyano College to bring in 6’4″ Aussie Blake Gallatly, who was the ACAC Rookie-of-the-Year when Petroziello coached him at Keyano. Gallatly is a physical three/four who won’t back down and will complement the athleticism and finesse of Jean-Louis and company on the wing. 6’7″ Junior Moaku, a native of Hamilton, ON, returns home after two seasons at Iowa Central Community College where he averaged 3.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last year. Moaku is a likely rotation guy up front who will fill a void in the post after the graduation of Meshack Lufile. 6’5″ Christian Affolter, a native of Switzerland, also returns from last season’s roster trying to move up in the rotation.
Another veteran who has returned after three seasons away from the program is 6’6″ Shacier Locke, who orginally joined the program as a Jamaican import but has since received his Canadian residency and, older and stronger, will fight for time up front also.
Capers started their pre-season action yesterday with a 5 quarter controlled scrimmage against Mount Saint Vincent Mystics, winning 110-84 and allowing the staff to get everyone in action and working their system. Next action for the Capers is in two weeks when they travel to Montreal for four-games in four days, beginning with a match at UQAM on 5th October followed by the Concordia Classic against Brock, the host Stingers and Nipissing. CBU then travels over the Causeway to participate in the ST. FX Invitational, getting conference-rival Saint Mary’s in the first round. The pre-season ends with Capers annual Center 2000 tournament that sees Saint Mary’s, Acadia, UPEI, St. FX, Maine-Fort Kent, Holland College and Thetford Prep as the participants.
Expect a group that utilizes their quickness and athleticism defensively to speed up tempo and account for a relative lack of size up front. And, if my read of Petroziello’s tone is correct, a group that will be held accountable at the defensive end.