Connecticut Big Headed Prep

Damian Saunders excelled while at Crosby on the court, but the athletic 6-foot-8 forward didn't do quite as well in the classroom. Thus, he'll try and put it all together in the fall at Notre Dame Prep (Mass.). Look for Saunders to increase his profile under Bill Barton.

Damian Saunders didn't get much publicity, more so because of his grades than because of a lack of ability.

Expect that to change next year.

The 6-foot-8, 210-pound Crosby High (Conn.) standout will see his profile expand next year while playing at Notre Dame Prep for Bill Barton.

``I'm looking forward to a prep school year," said the athletic Saunders, who will head to UMass on Wednesday for an unofficial visit.

Saunders was a first-team all-state guy who put up impressive numbers (26 ppg, 14 rpg, 6 bpg) in his senior campaign, but got few looks because of sub-par grades.

Much like another Connecticut native, Lamonte Ulmer, did a year ago, expect Saunders to become a hot commodity after a year in Fitchburg.

Saunders is athletic, gets up and down the court and can be an effective rebounder and shot-blocker. His offensive game still needs some work, but he'll fit right into Barton's style and likely thrive.

Saunders said he may also run with the Connecticut Young Gunz in July. He played sparingly in April before shutting it down because of an ankle injury.

``I'm just looking for a school that's looking for what I can bring to the table," Saunders said.

As long as his academics are in order, that shouldn't be hard to find.

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