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NIKE EYBL Team Preview: Albany City Rocks (NY)

04/12/2016, 4:15pm EDT
By D1 Circuit Staff

Team Information:


LOCATION: Albany, NY

HEAD COACH: Jimmy Hart

2015 EYBL RECORD: 11-6

KEY RETURNEES: Andrew Platek, Anthony Gaines

2015 Recap:


The City Rocks had a successful season in 2015, winning 11 games on their way to making the Peach Jam field. Guard Kevin Huerter and wing Andrew Platek were the two best players for this squad, and although they had a very deep roster, they lacked a ton of size which really showed against some of the bigger lineups they saw at Peach Jam. Six of their graduates are heading to Division 1 schools.

2016 Outlook:


Platek, who was the team’s leading scorer last season at just over 13 points per game, leads the charge this year for a team that features the bulk of last season’s competitive 16U team. With a ton of talent across the board and a deep rotation, it should be much of the same for City Rocks as they still lack elite size. They have several talented guards, and will likely need to play small ball in Division A.

The Star(s):


Platek will enter this year as one of the best returning scoring prospects from last season in the EYBL, and he can really shoot the rock. A versatile wing, Platek can defend big and small and usually will be on the opposing team’s best player. With Huerter moved on to graduation, this is now Platek’s team. He is tremendous from behind the arc, and his strong junior season cemented his status as a can’t-miss high-major prospect.

The Sleeper(s):


Point guard Kristers Zoriks is lightning-quick and should be a perfect addition to this roster. The 6-foot-2 guard is a terrific playmaker and plays with poise well-beyond his years. City Rocks' assistant coach Pat Neary said that Zoriks should be a beast this year, and with Platek echoing those sentiments, it’s almost a sure thing that the Latvian-product will make a big impact in 2016.  

The Supporting Cast:


Both Dominick Welch and Malik Zachery could come in and lead this team in scoring in a handful of games. Both of them can put the ball in the bucket, and the Rocks will definitely need their offensive services through the circuit. In the frontcourt will be 4-star forward Hameir Wright and undersized wing Anthony Gaines, a veteran of the City Rocks in 2015. Wright is one of the more underrated frontcourt prospects in the League and could open some eyes early on, especially after his strong performance in last year’s 16U Peach Jam. Jimmy Boeheim, the son of Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim, is a combo forward who will likely come off the bench, and should provide a nice scoring punch when he’s on the floor.

The X-Factor:


Platek is a proven scorer who knows how to play in this League, but finding a backcourt stud who can match Huerter’s production may prove to be tricky. The Rocks are used to playing small, but will ultimately need a big man to take on an increased role. They have a very deep roster with a number of players primed to step up. The always well-coached City Rocks should find themselves in the running for a berth at Peach Jam.

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