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Saint Joseph's College of Maine
 
November 14, 2009

2009-10 Monks Basketball Season Preview

STANDISH, ME - The Monks will have a new look this season as the men attempt to repeat as GNAC Champions in 2010.

Six seniors departed in May, including three starters: Scot Vachon, Elbie Murphy and Mitch Ouellet. Vachon, the Monks' starting point guard the last three years and the 2009 GNAC Tournament MVP, returns as a graduate assistant and is expected to help ease the transition as the Royal Blue reloads with an infusion of talented contributors.

Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99, who is entering his seventh season on the bench, has rebuilt the program into a regional contender by bringing in top-level recruits and teaching them the Monks Basketball philosophy. Although his team lost a bevy of good players, fans should expect the Royal Blue to be in position to pursue the conference crown, as several youngsters gained valuable experience during last season's playoff drive and the newcomers appear poised to contribute immediately.

   
 
  Ray Eatmon '10
 
  Alberto Rue '10
 
  Tyler Kelley '11

BACKCOURT

The success of the 2010 team will likely be determined by the play of a talented group of guards.

Senior guard and Co-Captain Alberto Rue (Jamaica Plain, MA) returns after averaging 5.3 points and 2.1 boards per game in 2009. Rue, a 2008 GNAC All-Tournament selection, is one of the best long-range shooters in the conference and looks to cap his career with his finest season yet.

Tyler Kelley '11 (Saco, ME) was one of the Monks' best success stories last season. After an injury-marred freshman campaign, Kelley broke out in a big way as a sophomore with 12.1 PPG and a program-record 49.1% (54-110) three-point conversion rate. A dedicated player with a non-stop motor, expect Kelley to exploit opponents with his lightning-quick release as he continues to pile up points for the Monks this season.

A pair of talented sophomores - Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, NY) and Chris Petzy (East Kingston, NH) - returns to the Shores of Sebago looking to provide major contributions for the Royal Blue this year. O'Brien, who averaged 8.6 PPG and 4.4 RPG and was named to the Maine All-Rookie team as a frosh, is a highly-skilled player with the ability to play both inside and outside. Petzy, one of the team's hardest workers and best outside shooters, scored 5.5 PPG last year as a key reserve for Coach Sanicola and looks to play an expanded role as a sophomore.

Rashon Jones '11 (Bridgeport, CT), one of the Monks' most athletic players, returns to the squad and will share time with freshman Julio Vazquez (Waterbury, CT) at the point position. Vazquez, one of the Monks' top incoming recruits, possesses the talent to contribute immediately.

 Jack LaFreniere '13 (Alton, NH), Tom Ray '12 (Cape Elizabeth, ME) and Spencer Adams '12 (North Yarmouth, ME) will also play important roles coming off the bench for the Monks this season.

FRONTCOURT

Co-Captain Ray Eatmon '10 (Huntington, NY), one of the best rebounders in the conference, if not the region, leads a group of athletic forwards that is packed with potential. Eatmon averaged 12.8 PPG and 9.3 RPG en route to All-GNAC First Team and All-Tournament honors as a junior and enters the 2010 campaign needing 251 points to become the 32nd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Also, if he grabs 223 rebounds this season, Eatmon would be just the third SJC player to collect 800 caroms in their career.

 Anthony Savino '11 (Portland, ME/Cheverus) will see increased minutes as a junior and appears ready for the expanded role after working hard in the offseason to add muscle to his 6'4" frame. Freshman Craig Merrick (Ledyard, CT), a 6'6" forward with excellent shooting touch, could see considerable minutes in his first season at "The Lake" and Khiry Praylow '12 (New York, NY), a strong 6'2" forward, will also see time coming off the bench for the Monks.

The 2010 season promises to be an interesting one for the Monks as the team looks to repeat as GNAC champs with a new-look roster. Fans should expect an exciting brand of basketball from this team, as the squad is filled with quick, athletic players who can shoot and play suffocating defense, which is the trademark of Monks Basketball.

The Monks will kick off the 2010 season at "The Lake" against 2009 TCCC Champion University of New England on Sunday, November 15th at 3:00 PM.