Blatche is a 6-11, 225-pound senior from Syracuse, N.Y., who has aspirations of jumping directly to the NBA after this season in the prep ranks. Dorell Wright did it last year after the season at South Kent and Blatche will likely follow. Thomas is a relentless 6-6, 190-pound junior forward who spent last year tearing up the prep ranks while with St. Thomas More (Conn.).
``I don't think they'll be a better tandem in the country in the frontcourt," Chillious said. "Andray has been the biggest surprise of the whole group. He's come in and been one of the most mature guys. He's been very business-like when it comes time to play."
Chillious will also have plenty of other options along the frontline, including 6-8, 215-pound face-up four-man Mike Evanovich, who comes to South Kent from E.O. Smith in Conn. A pair of imports – 6-11 post-grad Filip Toncinic (Croatia) and 6-8 ½ Matthew Bryan-Amaning (England), a talented sophomore who played for the same club team as Loul Deng, will both see extensive action as well.
South Kent will also boast a pair of wings that will challenge for a spot in the starting lineup. Gilbert Brown is a 6-6, 195-pound junior who is getting Big Ten looks and A.J. Hawkins is a 6-5, 190-pound post-grad from Edmund, Okla., who is getting interest from the likes of UMass, URI, Ball State and Nevada.
The backcourt isn't as stacked as the talent up front, but it's still a formidable group. Look for 6-1, 175-pound David Fine, the son of Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine, to run the point. Other guards that will vie for playing time include Mitch White (6-2, 185), Scott Uyuentin (5-11, 170), Chad Taueg (5-10, 170), Fitz Robertson (5-9, 165) and Mike Jackson (5-8, 165). Chidi Okoli is a 6-5, 200-pound wing from Georgia who will also make his way into the rotation.
``This group from Day One plays more like a team than we did last year," Chillious said. "They move the ball and no one really cares who scores. Obviously, we have much more depth up front than we had last year." ``The only thing that concerns me is complacency," he added. "We've got so many guys at each position. But at the same time, they'll get better every day in practice."