Wildcat Basketball Returns to Manhattan

Fans got their first looks at the 2005-2006 men's basketball team in Saturday's scrimmage. What impressions did the team make? Check out the notes and the newcomers....

- The opening lineups appeared to be the first teamers in purple and backups in white. Starting for the purple squad were Clent Stewart, Lance Harris, David Hoskins, Cartier Martin and Dramane Diarra. The white's starters included Mario Taybron, Curtis Allen, Akeem Wright, Deilvez Yearby and Tyler Hughes. The purples dominated the first go-round, beating the whites 16-2.

- Harris and Martin definitely stood out as the top scoring threats. Harris nailed his first two shots: a 15-foot jumper and a three. Martin was also good on his first two attempts.

- It was good to see the newcomers in action. All the new scholarship players participated in the scrimmage except for freshman Darren Kent, who was suited out, but did not take part in any drills.

- As has been mentioned my coaches several times, all the newcomers seemed to bring a sense of quickness and athleticism.

- Hoskins looked strong going after rebounds and showed a little slashing ability.

- Taybron, who is competing with Stewart for the starting point guard position made a couple turnovers n the offensive end, but showed good quickness on defense. Seeing him in person, it was also astonishing to see how muscular the kid is.

- Serge Afeli saw minutes as a reserve, and appears to be just what the coaches described him as - raw, but quick and athletic. He ran the court well, but it's tough to really peg his ability after one intra-squad scrimmage.

- The lineups remained small throughout the scrimmage, with Martin and Yearby working exclusively at the '4' position.

- It's been awhile since we've seen him on the court, but Diarra seemed a little stronger and more explosive than he was two seasons ago. - Other than Hughes, Diarra and Afeli, it seems any player out there could handle the ball well enough to move it up the floor on a break

- Fans were sent away happy, as Lance Harris ended the scrimmage by weaving through defenders with time running down and dishing behind his back to Afeli for a dunk.

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