Prep Tour: Massanutten Military Academy

WOODSTOCK, Va. – Tucked away in a rustic setting just off I-81 in Virginia is Massanutten Military Academy where Coach Bruce Kreutzer has one of his best teams to date. Leading the way is 2007 standout Darrion Pellum.

Last summer, Darrion Pellum was relegated to bullpen duty for the Boo Williams All-Stars. The 6-foot-6 wing tended to make the most of his playing time, albeit brief, and most of it coming on the back half of BWSL blowouts.

Determining how good Pellum was and what level he could play at was an arduous process. He'd be inserted into the lineup late, get a dunk, maybe bust a 3-pointer and it was obvious he had talent. How good was he? What level is he in college? Well, those questions were tougher to answer.

"I think, in the end, he's going to be a high-level player," Massanutten coach Bruce Kreutzer said last Saturday. We'd tend to agree. Pellum, a native of Hampton, Va., was recently reclassed into the 2007 group and he's the best talent at Massanutten this season.

Pellum is the top gun at Massanutten and that's probably going to mean a scoring average hovering around 20 a night this season. While he's not in tip-top shape yet, this young man who has interest from UNC-W, Purdue, High Point and South Carolina, is a good enough athlete and confident shooter to make it happen.

Expect Pellum's wing man to be Scott Grote (right), a one-time Eastern Kentucky commitment whose dad coached at Wright State back in the day. Grote, who had scholarship offers from the Colonels and Eastern Michigan as a senior, is at Massanutten for one reason.

"I don't know where I stand in D-I ball," Grote said. The 23-point a game scorer from Ohio is likely a solid mid-major recruit because of his ability to shoot the ball behind the arc.

While Grote gains notoriety, Bas Rozendaal (left) is seeking a different kind of comfort zone. The 6-foot-11 center from The Netherlands is settling into his new surroundings and working through some knee ailments. A potential mid-major prospect, Rozendaal just wants to get totally healthy.

"Right now (the knee) is really hurting my running and jumping," Rozendaal said. With Valparaiso keeping tabs on him, schools are going to want to see him change ends faster and put his skill package to work inside.

Complimenting Rozendaal is a forward already committed to UMBC. Ryan Washington is 6-foot-6 but that's OK because he's an effort guy; the kind that will fight for rebounds and keep balls alive. He'll be key in giving Massanutten a reliable boardman.

Sharing the primary ball handling duties for Kreutzer will be Patrick Bouili, Selden Edwards and Javon Borum. Kreutzer generally has a strong international presence on his roster and this year's imports (Buoli and Rozendaal) are a bit more skilled than other foreign players he's had in the past.

Expect forwards Joel Hafner and Kharrel Marsala to be strong rotation players while David Chambers, Mike Dinuzzo and Stetson Johnson fill out the roster.

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