PATTERSON, N.C. - Here's a shocker: Patterson has players again this year. Chris Chaney's group features a Connecticut pledge, a pair to New Mexico, one to FIU and a slate of others that will send their commitments in later this fall.
When we attended a workout last week, the theme was instilling toughness. Chaney's kids have always been the aggressors and he's intent on instilling that mentality into his guys, especially the bigs.
"All the post guys play hard and within themselves," Chaney said. "Freddy Asprilla has been the best of the group. Rodrigo Peggau is tough as nails and Will Brown is very athletic. Isaiah Rusher's been hurt but he's a great rebounder. Our guys get after it and as usual they play hard."
One of the big reasons for the trip to the mountains in N.C., was to see Peggau. However, minutes into the workout he was done. "I think I might have sprained my knee," Peggau said.
The fuel for Chaney's Fastbreak lineup is likely to be supplied by three sources: Nate Miles, Chris Turner and Courtney Fortson. The well-traveled Miles is the team's most complete offensive weapon. The UConn-bound wing has range, touch and never lacks confidence.
Turner, who is getting mid and high level attention, is perimeter oriented and like Miles, has plenty of confidence in his stroke. Fortson's the player who can coast to coast in an instant. A scoring point man, he's fast with the ball and fearless in the paint. However, with weapons abound he'll have to take on a leadership role and table his point production as needed.
"We're expecting big things from him," Chaney said. "He'll be one of the leaders if not the main leader on the team. We're talking to him everyday about it and he's been better every day."
Chaney can go to the bullpen for all sorts of assistance. If he needs a versatile contributor who can defend more than one position, he may opt for Varez Ward. Combo guard Darius Johnson-Odom, the former MVP of the N.C. state title game, is also capable and should be a mid-level signee.
A couple of foreign prospects will get looks this fall. Mathiang Muo, a combo forward out of Sudan and Nemanja Mikic, a Serbian small forward, are on the radar of some teams. Ditto for academic-minded forward Victor Ojeleye, Akron native Cameron Joyce, Georgian Chris Kupets and Surfside Beach native Kurt Fenderbosh, a D-II shooter.