Rashad McCants may not have put up gaudy numbers in his first game of his senior campaign, but that's just fine with his coach.
McCants managed 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists in New Hampton Prep's 105-65 trouncing of Redemption Christian last week.
"He's grown so much since he came here last year," said New Hampton coach Jamie Arsenault. "I was watching tape of the first game last year and while Rashad was outstanding, he's so much more mature this year and much more comfortable. He's stepped up his leadership."
Besides more focus and the ability to lead the team, McCants has also improved his defense dramatically.
"He pressured the ball so well the first game to the point where he almost over-pressured," added Arsenault. "But I'd much rather have him do that rather than lay back and be lazy. Last year at times he had no idea how to play defense. This year he's become a tenacious defender."
Arsenault doesn't expect his star player to match his 24 point per game output of his junior campaign - and he's confident that'll not only be better for the team, but also for McCants' all-around game.
"If he averages over 18, we'll be a much better team," he said. "His assists and rebounds will go up. He was focused on scoring last year. This year he's focused on being a leader. The numbers won't be as glamorous, but his overall play will be much better."
Here's a look at McCants stats from the first game. New Hampton's next game comes Thursday at the Harvard JV team.
1-2 from the line