Traveling Team: Delaware Sharpshooters

It's a big year for Delaware basketball. It's been a long time (maybe never) since a First State traveling team boasted a pair of high-major prospects. Meet the 2004 Delaware Sharpshooters.

When Duane Coverdale's Delaware Sharpshooters take the floor this spring, they'll have plenty of ammo and even more motivation.

"We'll be the Rodney Dangerfield," Coverdale said. "We won't get respect and we want respect. We want to be known as one of the top teams in the country and the only way to do it is to beat them. Whoever we play, they think they'll beat us because we're from [Delaware]. They need to play with a chip on their shoulder."

The Sharpshooters are going to have to bring it because the days of catching teams off guard are over. Coverdale's bunch has a Top 15 stud in Eric Boateng and a guy who will contend for Top 50 status in guard Josh Thornton. The pair gives the team an incredible base of talent that from a state that doesn't exactly turn out power AAU players or teams.

"[Having two big time players from Delaware on the same team] never happened that I know of," Coverdale said. "Not being as heavily recruited as these two guys coming out of the state in the same class. It hasn't happened since I've been doing it."

Boateng will draw big time high-major head coaches to the stands when he plays. For the Sharpshooters to win games, Boateng must score and play to his ability. Coverdale says his teammates fully understand how good he can be. "They're actually kind of proud of him. They follow his accomplishments. They know their abilities and everybody knows where everybody stands. They know they can play and they know who the elite player is and they know they're good players."

The inside-outside combo will feature Thornton on the wing firing 3s at a good pace. Coverdale thinks Thornton is the best scorer on the team and they'll need his points. Expect the guard to play with extra motivation as he's coming off an injury-riddled high school season.

There isn't another prospect on the level of the two stars but plenty of guys who can play a role. "Edwin Lashley has potential to be a Top 150 player. Rashawn Johnson has gotten interest from Clemson and some mid-major schools. He just needs to learn to get more comfortable playing at this level. Pete Parabicos can probably play at a low-Division I school."

In the end, this could be the best year ever for a Delaware traveling team. "We really upgraded our schedule. I normally carry 8-10 guys. I'm carrying 12 because I plan on going deep into tournaments. We'll get the kids exposed and kick a little tail."

Delaware Sharpshooters (Milford, Del.)

Assistant Coaches Darryl Norwood, John Pierce, Marty Bailey, Keith Fagg

Affiliation Reebok

Projected Starters C Eric Boateng (6-10, 220, JR), SG/PG Josh Thornton (6-1/170, JR), PG Kyle White (5-10/160, JR) Sussex Central, SG Edwin Lashley (6-4/190, JR), SF John Holmes (6-5/195, Prep) Hill School

Others SG Rashawn Johnson (6-2/170, Prep), PG Mark Williams (5-9/155, Prep), SF Willie Fowler (6-4/215, JR), PF Pete Parabicos (6-6/225, JR), PF Rick Williams (6-6/180, JR)

Could Show Up On The Roster PG Jawan Carter (5-11/160, SOPH), C Robert Jackson (7-0, 250, JR)

Top Prospect Eric Boateng

Famous Alum Albert Mouring

First Tourney Charlie Weber (April 9-11)


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