There may not be a team in the country with more high-quality unsigned senior talent than Winchendon.
Well-traveled combo guard Robert McKiver leads the way for Winchendon coach Mike Byrnes. He's a one-time Georgetown commit who has called Georgia, Washington D.C. and Connecticut all home in recent years. McKiver is a terrific scorer who is developing his skills under Byrnes and is trying to learn how to run a ballclub and play in a system.
McKiver won't be lacking for options to pass the ball.
Jesus Verdejo, a 6-5, 200-pound wing from Puerto Rico who didn't qualify last season to play at Temple, is a well-rounded player who has qualified, can score points in a hurry and is getting interest from plenty of mid and high-majors. The big man is Canadian 6-8, 250-pound Franz Dorsainvil, who played at Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) last season – but had trouble getting back into the United States after spending most of the summer back home in Canada.
``He's a strong individual, who, if he played hard every possession, he could be one of the top 25 power forwards in America," Byrnes said. "He's not a bad kid; he just doesn't know how to do it yet." The other two players who will likely start for Winchendon are extremely underrated. Byrnes returns point guard Dominique White (5-10, 185) from a year ago and he'll get plenty of time this season. Florida native Louis Graham (6-8, 190) was a big-time steal for Georgia Southern and should be a fixture in the starting lineup.
``The biggest thing for this team will be whether guys make individual sacrifices for the good of the team," Byrnes said. "That will determine how well they gel together."
Wing Donovan Morris (6-4, 185) will also be returning for his second go-around at the Winch. He'll get plenty of time off the bench – as will 6-3, 180-pound wing Michael Kach, an athletic lefty shooter looking at Penn and Columbia.
A trio of foreign players will also add to the depth of this year's squad. Maciej Szlachtowicz (6-4, 180) is a wing from Poland, Mantas Griskenas (6-6, 175) is an athletic senior forward from Lithuania who signed with Northeastern , and Stuard Baldonado is a 6-7, 180-pound power forward from Columbia who gets things down around the basket.
Byrnes' squad could be the deepest in the prep ranks. He'll also have 6-8, 205-pound forward Doug McLaughlin-Williams, who committed to Boston University last season but is now open, and 6-6, 235-pound forward Jermaine Johnson, a California native who played at Trinity Pawling a year ago, in the mix.
``In my eight years here, I can safely say this is one of the most talented teams I've ever had from top to bottom," Byrnes said. "We may not have the high profile guy we've had in the past, but we're strong from one to 12."