Big Men Highlight Sanford's Roster
Sanford head coach Stan Waterman is 35 years old. He's entering his 11th season as head coach of the Warriors. So far, he's amassed a pair of state titles while keeping alive an amazing streak. Sanford has won 20 conference championships in a row.
During Waterman's first 10 seasons, his teams lost in conference just once. In the early 90s, Tower Hill gunned down the Warriors behind a big effort from swingman Carmen Wallace, the player of the year in the state who would later go on to contribute at Duke. That was, and still is, Waterman's only conference setback.
"I don't want to be around when we can't hang a conference championship banner here," Waterman joked.
By the looks of Waterman's 2002 bunch, he'll be hanging another banner at the end of the season, but the Warriors want a state banner to augment the conference one. Waterman has two state titles to his credit, but hasn't captured one since 1992. A bid for a three-peat in 1993 was foiled by Salesianum School.
This year's group is led by Will Sheridan, one of the best power forward prospects in the Class of 2003. Sheridan was a standout on the Tim Thomas Playaz and also an ABCD All-Star participant.
Sheridan is a terrific low-block scorer. At 6-8, he has wide shoulders and describes his game to his coach as "efficient." Sheridan wastes little time in getting into his move once he catches the ball and that's very important. If he feels like he can't get a shot, he's a quick and adept passer. He's not an Amare Stoudemire type athlete down low, but he beats people with positioning, savvy and skill rather than athleticism. He's a very intelligent post player. Toss in the fact that he's a terrific student and you have a young man who will be recruited at the highest level and deservedly so.
"He's a good kid," Dan McBride, a member of the Sanford JV team said. "He's very nice to the freshmen. He acknowledges you and encourages you in practice." McBride has a point. Sheridan is the big man on campus, but you wouldn't know it. He's about as modest as they come and takes the time to make his teammates feel important.
Helping Sheridan out on the blocks this year is sophomore Joe Dyson. The 6-9 Dyson is much more raw than Sheridan, but he's a space eater. He has a wide base and will help on the glass. The best thing that could happen to Dyson this year is that he learns from Sheridan and continues to develop.
The heart and soul of this team resides in the backcourt where senior guard Earl Miller is the team's best scoring threat from the perimeter. An accomplished driver and spot up shooter, Miller is tough and defends. He's still looking for a college but a strong showing at the upcoming Slam Dunk To The Beach should take care of that, provided he improves his SAT score. Miller is a lock to be recruited at the low-major level.
Waterman's bunch will have six games under their belts before that take on Inglewood (CA), Charlestown (MA) and either Kaufman (OH) or Salem Beach (VA) in the Slam Dunk To The Beach.
Remember the name Val Whiting? She was an All-American at Stanford and Olympian. She played high school basketball in Delaware and is now a member of the Minnesota franchise of the WNBA. Whiting works out with the Warriors and was in the gym on Monday taking part in drills and conditioning sessions. Most of the kids on the Sanford team are too young to remember, but Whiting was one of the best women's players of the last decade in the college game. … It costs $14,500 to attend Sanford. There are no scholarships per se, but kids can qualify for tuition assistance on an as needed basis. … The Sanford campus is comprised of 14 buildings and exemplifies a truly collegiate atmosphere. … Monday was picture day for Sanford and Waterman had the kids wear yellow construction helmets symbolizing the theme of "There's Still Work To Do." … One of the neat people at Sanford is manager London Murray. Here's to hoping this talented dribbler reconsiders and leaves her job as manager and rejoins the girls' basketball team. … Among the successful Sanford alumni are journeyman NBA scorer Walter Davis, Towson standout Ralph Blaylock and former women's standout at Virginia, Monick Foote. … Waterman said that prior to the departure of head coach Tommy Amaker, Seton Hall might have had a great shot at Sheridan. Now, Waterman says he sees the ACC as a viable option for his big man. ...
Next up on the Road Trip (Tuesday): Durham Northern and sophomore sensation Roy Bright vs. Wake Forest Rolesville and Demon Deacons signee Eric Williams.