St. John’s Basketball Looking for 6th Consecutive Central Mass Title
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
"I'm always optimistic, and I love when a new year comes," Foley said. "Being around the kids and building a team really keep me going."
Foley's Pioneers have now won five consecutive Central Mass championships, and the expectations are always high for his teams. While there isn't any one dominant player on the St. John's roster right now, the coach feels good about his team's balance and chemistry. He says the Pioneers go at least seven or eight deep with starter-quality players, and he loves the development of sophomore point guard Davon Jones.
"The point guard is probably the most important player on the floor, so to have him step in as a freshman last year and play as well as he did was a great thing for us," Foley said. "I think he was a little rusty, since he was coming off of football season, but he really got going a little later in the year, and that's when we got on a roll. He's a tough kid, and he's just a terrific passer. He always seems to find the right guy in the proper position to make a play."
To compliment Jones, Foley looks for senior captain Kenny Harrington to provide outside shooting in the Pioneers back court, and forward Tarik Octave to give St. John's a slashing threat to the basket. Down low, the Pioneers will look to make up for a lack of height with toughness, as center Charlie Murray checks in at little over 6-foot-1 and power forward T.J. Kelly comes in around 6-foot-4.
"We feel that almost every basket we score should be off a pass," Foley said. "We don't have any great one-on-one scorers on this team, but I don't feel that the game of basketball should be a one-on-one game. I think we have a very balanced team with a bunch of different guys that can help us win."
Even with all the success his teams have had over the years, Foley still only dreams small at the beginning of each year.
"Well, our first goal is to win the first game," Foley said with a laugh. "But, seriously, our primary goal is to win 10 games. That gets you into the tournament, and once you're there, anything can happen. Last year, St. Peter-Marian and Holy Name came in as the top seeds, but we were playing well down the stretch, and we were able to beat themin the tournament."
St. John's begins it Central Mass title defense tonight at Marlborough. Tip off is scheduled for 7 pm.
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