Malone is hoping this year's team shows the toughness that he founded his program on. "This year every one of the kids is a Division I player. These are kids who are going to go fight for us and go back to what D.C. Assault is about. They're rugged, hard-nosed kids.
"I don't think there's a superstar on this team. All my superstars are in the stable waiting."
When Malone talks of his superstars, he's speaking of guys like Nolan Smith and Michael Beasley who will likely spend most of their time in the lower age groups.
Dante Cunningham and Arinze Onuaku, a pair of current juniors, will provide some stability inside. They could be joined by Luc Mbahamoute and Stephane Bakinde, both of whom are juniors and play high school ball at Montverde Academy in Florida. Look for the pair to play in some events with Team Florida early in the calendar but could also lace them up for Assault as well.
Any way you slice it, Cunningham is going to be a guy that Malone relies on heavily as he will on guard Raymond Brewer.
"I think my point guard is going to be one of the better ones of the summer. I think Raymond Brewer is going to be good. He's lost weight and we work him. When the season comes, I think he can be a big time player and there's nothing like having a good point guard."
D.C. Assault, regardless of who is on the roster, has always been a tough out at major events.
"This group is going to be real gritty, real tough and will play hard. It'll be a D.C. Assault team like we've been used to having. This is a solid group."
D.C. Assault (Washington, D.C.)
Coach Curtis Malone
Best Prospect Dante Cunningham
Projected Starters PF Dante Cunningham (6-7, 210, JR), PG Raymond Brewer (6-0,175, JR), SG Christian Jackson (6-4, 205, JR) , PF Arinze Onuaku (6-7, 215, JR), SF Stephane Bakinde (6-8, 190, JR)
Others SG David Potter (6-6, 185, SOPH), PG Eric Henderson (6-0, 175, SOPH), SF Justin Jack (6-5, 180, JR), PG Donald Kirk (5-10, 165, JR), SF Luc Mbahamoute (6-7, 180, JR).
Opening Tourney Sam Rines (March 20-23)
Famous Alum Dermarr Johnson