Prep Tour: South Kent

Even NBA General Manager's would marvel at the size of Raphael Chillious' frontline at South Kent (Conn.) this season. With guys like Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Dele Coker, Papa Dia and Christian Morris, South Kent will be formidable - especially up front.

When college coaches enter the gym, they look in disbelief at the mammoth size along the frontline. South Kent coach Raphael Chillious has plenty of options, but it'll start with veteran forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning – now entering in his third season since arriving from England. The 6-foot-9 Amaning will likely be joined by 6-foot-10, 260-pound Dele Coker and 6-foot-9 skilled forward Papa Dia in the starting lineup.

Then you add in a pair of juniors with massive 6-foot-9, 265-pound Christian Morris and skilled 6-foot-9 junior Jin Soo Kim.

A late addition was 7-foot-2, 270-pound Nigerian senior Kenechukwu Obi, who actually dwarfs guys like Coker and Morris.

Amaning is already committed to play for Lorenzo Romar and the Washington Huskies while Coker and Dia are both going through the recruiting process.

Morris has dropped about 25 pounds since a year ago and Kim is coming off a solid performance with the Korean National Team.

``A year ago, we were very young," Chillious said. "Now I look around for the young guys and there really aren't any. This team is more mature than last year's. I think we'll have better maturity and leadership with guys like Matthew and Dele."

Chillious will also have the luxury of using 6-foot-6 ½ Manual Cass at either forward spot. Kieran Ramsey, a 6-foot-5 wing out of Harvard-Westlake (Calif.), will battle for minutes and will likely be a role player.

The backcourt will be the key since that's an area that's been of some concern over the past two seasons at South Kent. Mike Walker is back for the second year, but he'll have competition from Mark Lyons, a hard-nosed, athletic Schnectady, N.Y., native who played well with the Albany City Rocks this past summer.

``It was definitely an up and down season and we didn't do as well as we should have last season," Walker said. "But it's a tough league. I think we're going to be really good this year because we've got a lot of guys coming back. We've got a lot of teams that we've got to pay back for last year."

``We're deeper in every way than we were last year," Amaning added. "I think we're a lot more athletic overall, also."

Amaning and Chillious are both looking for Oregon State commit Calvin Haynes to be a major contributor and a likely starter at shooting guard. David Hicks (6-1, 200) is an underrated guard out of Minnesota who is arguably the best perimeter threat for Chillious' team this season.

``I think we're going to be good, but the main thing we need to do is play hard," Dia said.


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