Turning the page to hoops.

I'm going to have a game preview in some form or another, but we're going to hold off on the basketball preview section until the home opener. The storm changing the high school tourneys has made a mess of a lot of things.

For now, some random thoughts, and if you'd like hit my email at mstraubblog@hotmail.com and I'll do a mailbag. Already have some in there to take care of from football season.

I'm going to pick CCSU in the top 3 in the preview section (where? You'll have to read!)
Ken Horton looks phenomenal, but will have the defenses going after him like never before. Several coaches at the CT 6 breakfast the other morning lauded about Horton, which means the defenses will be all over him.

There are two big keys to the season as I see it. One is getting the freshmen to gain their footing. Howie Dickenman plans on playing a few of them, and birdies keep telling me Shelton Mickell is the real deal. Dickenman is trying to rein him in a little, but he gives CCSU some explosiveness, particularly useful if he can be a driving option in the weave. The other two freshmen will compete for time at the point. It sounds more and more like De'Angelo Speech is going to be the PG, so we'll see how that goes. Love it on defense, need to see it work on offense.

The freshman I really like is Adonis Burbage. He's big enough for the wing and while he doesn't do one thing incredibly well, he does a lot of things well. Someone I trust compared him to Javier Mojica. That is obviously WAY, WAY premature, but in a body/game comparison I can see it.

The other key to the season: Robby Ptacek's feet. If his lower body allows him to have a big year, The Blue Devils can be very good offensively. If not, a somewhat deep team gets not so deep.

Overall I think you're going to see substitutions in waves, especially early in the year. The freshmen will be in and out and the bigs  I'm guessing will be used interchangeably in the post.

So in short, here it is: If CCSU finds a point guard, gets one freshman to contribute and 2 more to chip in, and makes its outside shots, this is going to be a big year.

Central wants to run and pressure, so expect high-scoring games this year.

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