After posting a huge win against MCI early, Rakim Sanders & Co. struggled through the middle of the season before finishing strong with a NEPSAC Class B title.
The 6-foot-6 Sanders, who is committed to Boston College, is back. So is most of the core from last year's 20-16 squad.
``Last year we played everyone in the country," Hart said. "We took a lot of lumps and the guys broke down and coaches broke down."
``Then we decided we were going to put it together and that's when we basically ran the table and upset Proctor."
Sanders and 5-foot-9 ½ senior guard Joey Accaoui will supply most of the team's offensive firepower. The duo couldn't be more different. While Sanders bas been physically blessed but doesn't always take advantage of his talent, Accaoui's work ethic is off the charts and always shows up to play.
``Rakim is starting to figure things out," Hart said. "He's in better shape and is working much harder. It's just a matter of time because once he figures it out, the sky's the limit."
Vermont-bound big man Garrett Kissell will once again be in the middle. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Kissell does a good job on the glass. Andrew Hanson, a 5-foot-10 senior point guard, will once again run the show.
Look for both 6-foot-2 junior guard Michael Culpo and 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Nyheem Sanders to fight for the remaining starting spot. Hart lost his sophomore big man Dartaye Ruffin, but he gained 6-foot-6 junior shooter Brian Hanuschak – who could also work his way into the starting lineup.
St. Andrew's will have depth with 6-foot-6, 250-pound senior Max Bense, 6-foot-3 junior Manny Odugbela and 5-foot-8 sophomore Michael Accaoui.
Hart & Co. will still play a difficult schedule that will include games at the Bay Ball Classic (Del.), a matchup against St. Benedict's (N.J.) at the Prime Time Shootout and also a game against Chris Wright (Georgetown) and St. John's College at the Hall of Fame Invitational.
``The key is leadership," Hart said. "We should have it with five seniors who have been through a lot together. We have four D-1 players who have won a lot of games and lost a lot of games."
``We're going to play the same way as we did last year," he added. ``We're going to press, trap, run and score. We shoot the ball really well."