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Boys Basketball: New Hyde Park 2011 Preview

Gladiators hope their conference boost leads to a change in the standings.

The  boys basketball team is moving up in ways it can't control and in one way the Gladiators hope they can.  With conference affiliation now determined by enrollment, the Gladiators move to Conference A-I. 

Winless in league play a year ago, the team is optimistic that improved shooting and an up-tempo game will take them out of the basement and towards the postseason.

Last Season: 3-14 overall, 0-10 Conference ABC-V.

Coach: Don Rood (ninth year).

Top Players:

  • Greg Simeon, center
  • Faizal Hussein, forward
  • Joseph Justice, shooting guard
  • Adam Priest, small forward
  • Kevin Towey, point guard

Position Breakdown: The Gladiators will look to push the ball up and down the court and have the backcourt to do just that. Kevin Towey runs the point and Rood considers this junior to be his top shooter. He'll be paired with Joseph Justice at the two and gives New Hyde Park another outside threat to go along with tough perimeter defense.

Up front, Greg Simeon mans the middle, averaging 10 points per game. Faizal Hussein will start as power forward, but could play the three if need be. Adam Priest is the projected starter there and Rood says he can score from inside and out.

Off the bench, Justice's brother Daniel is the sixth man, providing tough defense and an outside shot. Alex Chadli is a work in progress, providing a physical presence down low.

Rood wants his club to take fewer threes and attack the rim more to draw more fouls.  He stresses man to man defense, but will drop into a three-to-two or one-three-one zone if need be.  Overall, he says the Gladiators are a better shooting club than a year ago (when 30 percent from the field was considered a good night) and expects to register a few wins in league play.

Expectations: "I think we can be a .500 team at least and make the playoffs," Rood said. "That's going to depend on everyone playing the way they're supposed to play and playing as a team."

Key Games:

Dec. 17: Division @ New Hyde Park, 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 4: Westbury @ New Hyde Park, 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 28: Garden City @ New Hyde Park, 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 8: Wantagh @ New Hyde Park, 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 11: New Hyde Park @ Jericho, 7 p.m.

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