Prep Profile: Winchendon

Winchendon won the NEPSAC Class A title last year with chemistry and strong leadership. This year there's no questioning Mike Byrnes' backcourt duo, but he still questions whether this group will have the same unselfish attitude as a year ago.

There may not be a more talented backcourt in the nation than what resides in Winchendon.

Mike Byrnes, who claimed his first NEPSAC Class A crown in seven years at Winchendon last season, will rely heavily on the guard tandem of Justin Dentmon and Tyree Evans.

``They are probably the most talented two guards I've ever had together," Byrnes said. "We match up very well with any other backcourt in the preps."

Dentmon (6-0, 180) is one of the most underrated point guard in the country and the Illinois native will head to Washington next season and play for Lorenzo Romar while Evans (6-2, 180) is a big-time shooter who has signed with Cincinnati.

Sylvester Seay is a long, talented 6-9 ½, 200-pound California native who will head back west and play at Arizona State. Seay spent last season at Lawrence Academy (Mass.) and will need to display more toughness and help on the boards this season.

The final two starting spots are up for grabs. Robert Robinson is a 6-8, 210-pound power forward who is athletic, rebounds and plays hard on the defensive end. He'll likely battle 6-8, 240-pound junior Tim Brown for the starting power forward job. Brown is similar in that his best assets come on the defensive end, but is raw offensively. Ben Brown, a 6-10, 190-pound Richmond, Va., native who has committed to Charleston, will also battle for minutes with Robinson and Brown. Two of three could even play together. Another option would be to play Oliver "O.J." Harrison, a 6-4 ½, 185-pound athletic swingman from Danville, Ill, who missed nearly all of his senior season due to injury.

``We've got to have a good year from our power forwards," Byrnes added. "Tim Brown, Rob Robinson and Ben Brown have to rebound. If we get 15 rebounds out of them as a group, we'll be in good shape."

Lorenzo Keeler, a 6-3, 170-pound wing from California, should see plenty of time off the bench in the backcourt while 6-8, 190-pound forward Rimas Zaranauskas, who hails from Lithuania, will figure into the equation as well.

Other players who will see action include 6-10, 220-pound Ping Shang (China), 6-7, 190-pound Jose Alameida (Portugal) and 6-2, 190-pound guard Miks Liepins.

``The key will be how well we play together and share the ball," Byrnes said. "Last year no one cared who scored as long as we won. The one thing we need is for someone to step up and become a leader. We have a lot of talented players, but we don't have a leader."

At least not yet.

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