By: Jonathon Burgin
It’s late October, and CPHR is getting excited about this upcoming ’12-’13 high school hoops season. Join us as we take a look at some talented prospects from the class of 2016 (freshman), as we travel to East Walnut Hills and drop in on Coach Bryan Laake and the Purcell Marian Cavaliers.
Since Coach Laake has taken over the program he has persevered through all types of obstacles and has continuously been a strong force in rebuilding his program. With only two seniors returning from last year's team (most notably athletic power forward Dwayne Wilson), Coach Laake has five young freshmen, who are surrounded by a lot of hype, that are looking to contribute on the varsity sooner rather then later.
|Jamel Howard is one of Cincy's|
most talented freshman players
Jamel "Mo-mo” Howard – 6’3 SF: Athletic kid with offensive skills, getting better by the day. Glass-eater who can start the break with his athleticism with a block or a rebound.
Carlik Jones – 5'8 PG: Crafty ballhandler who looks to get to rim set up himself and other players. He wants to improve defensively by helping out more by rebounding from his position.
Peyton Smith – 5’8 PG: Ballhandler, pass-first, likes to get everybody involved, and also looks for his shot. Takes pride in locking his man up on the defensive end of the court and playing the passing lanes for easy buckets.
Mello Dockery – 6’3 SF/PF: Hard-worker in the post and good mid-range shooter, likes to play inside-out. Efficient rebounder and defender with great strength.
Rashaad Ali-Shakir – 5’10 PG: Grew a little over the summer which will help him to score, but also has a pass first mentality to get teammates involved. That growth spurt has helped him on the defensive end with being able to guard some bigger players on the perimeter and also rebounding better from that position.
Now that you know the players, let's continue with some Q&A with the freshmen and Coach Laake:
CPHR-Are you looking forward to the competition in the GCL playing against the heavyweights?
Consensus from kids- Yes! We’re looking forward to bringing back a winning attitude to the Purcell Marian program. We won’t back down to the competition and want to let everyone know that the Cavaliers will soon be back.
CPHR-Coach Laake I know you are excited about this season and the young talent that you have in your program, what do you expect"?
CL-"I don't know exactly what to expect but I know we will have fun and play fast".
CPHR-Each of your five freshmen have something different to offer. Who do you think can contribute early?
CL- "We could have 13 or so guys on varsity to contribute, as for the freshmen because of positions (Carlik) has the best chance because the ball will be in his hands, That's not saying anything from the other two guards Rashaad and Peyton. Mo-Mo has the intensity and defensive presence and Mello works hard and is one of the strongest freshmen I've seen".
CPHR- I'm going out on the limb about the season and saying you will eclipse the 3 win total of last year. How many wins are you looking for this season?
CL- "It's up in the air because of our brutal schedule, but willing to give it all we got. I’m definitely looking for us to finish over .500".