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Third-year Albany Tech men's hoops team opens season


titans_logo_2.jpgOctober 3, 2009 - (Albany Herald) The Albany Tech men's basketball team went from building a program to becoming a region championship contender in two seasons.

But this year? It appears the Titans are rebuilding after losing all five starters - and 10 total players overall from last year's team that went 20-12.

That means Titans coach Sylvester Patterson is just taking a wait-and-see attitude as his team gets ready to host Moody Air Force Base at 7 p.m. today at Albany State's HPER Gymnasium.

"We just don't know what we have right now," Patterson said as the team practiced this week.

Added Patterson, who has coached the program since it returned after an absence of many years in 2007-08. "Although last year, when we were picked to finish next-to-last, I knew we were not going to finish next-to-last."

Tech gave eventual region tournament champion South Georgia Tech a run for its money in last season's semifinals before eventually losing. This year, Titans post player Waylon Jones is out with a stress fracture, and it remains to be seen if he will return after Christmas or simply miss the entire season. Jones, who started 10 games last season, along with ex-Monroe star Wilbur Lake who also occasionally started, are the players Patterson hopes his team can build around.

Other potential key players are new - as in all five tentative starters. Ex-Westover players Rahaem James and Dominique Polite, Montavious Marc of Redford High School, Justin Wilcox of Wilcox County and Duran Blue of McEachern are slated to take the court first.

Polite played one year at Abraham Baldwin before the program was shut down by the school.

"I'm very excited about starting the season," Polite said. "I want to get back to playing. We're young and athletic and we all get along with each other. We've got good chemistry."

It remains to be seen,

however, how long it will take for the team to find an on-court leader. Last year's emotional leader, Truett O'Neal, currently plays for Albany State.

Patterson said the competition for point guard between Blue and Valdsota's Jeremy Fountain could be an intriguing one to watch.

"They both could start any day," Patterson said. "They are different types of point guard. We also have better shooters as a whole, I feel."

Last year, with a large post presence, outside shooting was not entirely necessary for Albany Tech. Defense, however, is something Patterson feels will be key for his team this season.

"We are really trying to stress defense," Patterson said. "At key moments last year, if we had played better defense down the stretch, I feel we could have won the region. Defense and rebounding will have to be something that helps define us."


By, Scott Chancey

Read original article HERE!



WALB Story: Titans ready for third season



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