Prep Tour: Massanutten Military Academy

Richard Moore takes over at Massanutten Military Academy and new head coach has talent around him. Darrion Pellum should be one of top scorer's on the post grad circuit.

WOODSTOCK, Va. – There's a new skipper in town at Massanutten Military Academy. Richard Moore, an assistant last year, takes over the reigns of one of the stronger regional prep teams in the south.

"It's a little different view from the No. 1 seat," Moore said. Bruce Kreutzer, last year's head coach, is now an individual instructor for Kevin Cantwell at the Suwannee Sports Academy outside Atlanta. The former coach helped Moore transition from assistant to head coach and now the program is in his hands – capable hands at that.

Moore was a guard at Fairleigh-Dickinson during his time as a college player. At 40, Moore looks spry enough that if need be, he could suit up and get 20 on any given night. Fortunately for the new coach, he won't have too.

Scoring points at Massanutten is the job of Darrion Pellum. The 6-foot-6 wing is a player high-majors are going to want to continue evaluating throughout the year. At this point, he doesn't appear to be a guy in a hurry to make a decision as he doesn't take the SAT until mid-October.

For Pellum, there's pressure to perform on the court and in the classroom. "There's pressure. I know I need to do good off the court in school and on the court. But I know I got coach on my side if anything is slacking."

North Carolina State came in and is looking at Pellum. He said Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tulsa, Oklahoma and VCU are also interested. Until that test score comes through, Pellum's biggest task is mentoring the new guys as he's a returner to the program, the final holdover from the Kreutzer Era.

"It's real important for me to be a leader," Pellum said. "We've got new players and they're looking for me to step up since I was here last year. I know the program on and off the court. We've got to learn everything especially with the military marching … left-face, right-face and all that. Basically, I have to step up for me and the coaches."

Helping Pellum will be a pair of committed players. Joseph Fulce, a combo forward, is headed to Texas A&M. At 6-6, he'll be a versatile forward option inside and out who is also a willing defender, something Moore puts a priority on.

Butler is the team's lone big man until help arrives internationally. A pair of big kids could wind up on campus this month but if they don't the burden of being the top interior threat rests squarely on Butler's shoulders; he's committed to Tulsa and is a native Texan.

Christopher Hall, a sweet shooting guard out of Fort Lauderdale, will be charged with running the show. Expanding his comfort zone and being a leader on the court will determine what level he plays at and how successful his club is. He's going to get help on the wings from Ru White, a Richmond native, plus the quickly improving Abdullah Dosu. Aaron Dobson, a wing out of West Virginia, could move into that sniper role from the outside.

Pellum sees a change in the makeup of this bunch that should show itself in the win column. "The biggest difference is coming together as a team," Pellum said. "Last year we had a lot of individuals and that wasn't bad but I feel that there was some slacks in the defense. This year we haven't worked much on offense just a whole bunch of defense."

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