Bryant Bulldogs 2010 NCAA Mens Basketball Preview

By Joel Welser


Bryant Bulldogs

Northeast Conference


2009-10: 1-29, 1-17

2009-10 postseason: none

Coach: Tim O’Shea (9-50 at Bryant, 129-145 overall)


Bryant’s fist season as a member of the Northeast Conference did not exactly go too well as the 1-29 overall record would indicate. However, this team is still a work in progress and they are aiming to be more competitive by the 2012-2013 campaign when they will be a full fledged member of the NEC and eligible for postseason play.


Key Losses: G Chris Birrell, G Adam Parzych, C Nick Pontes


Key Newcomers:

This is already a relatively young team which started two freshmen last year and return enough depth to make due without much of an impact from the six incoming freshmen. Yet, for a team that went 1-29, there is always room for the new guys. Guards Matt Lee and Corey Maynard may have the toughest time cracking the regular rotation due to the depth in front of them. Wing Troy Robinson and redshirt freshman small forward Tim McKinney will look for some minutes at the three spot off the bench. Alex Francis has a little more versatility and could fill in at the three or four spot. The most intriguing newcomer is seven-foot redshirt freshman Alex Herzing. At 250 pounds, Herzing has the potential to be a major force in the paint for the next four years.



A season ending injury to Cecil Gresham eight games into the 2009-2010 campaign pretty much ended any hopes the Bulldogs had of improving from the previous season. In those eight games <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Gresham averaged 14.5 points and 3.9 rebounds. The 6-5 wing is a superb shooter and knocked down 23 three-pointers in those eight contests. Now healthy, Gresham is in for a big senior season. Raphael Jordan looked like just another freshman who came in off the bench for most of last season, but he came on really strong at the end of the year. His 7.2 points, 2.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds per contest over the course of 30 games does not begin to show how well he played in February. Barry Latham started 25 games last season, but could be relegated to the bench. He is not much of a shooter or scorer in general, but he is a good glue guy…and he can do that off the bench or even from the four spot. Michael Croney is in a similar spot after starting 17 games last season. With the return of Gresham and the emergence of Jordan, there is not much room left in the backcourt. The result is a deep and experienced backcourt that also has another sophomore in Erick Smith who could be ready for a breakout season if he can find the floor.



As impressive as some of the young talent on the perimeter performed as freshman, Bryant is most excited about 6-8 sophomore Vlad Kondratyev. He only started half of the team’s games a year ago, but he was second to only Gresham with 8.9 points per game and turned into the teams best scoring option after Gresham went down with his injury. Kondratyev proved to be at least a capable rebounder, especially on the offensive end, but does need to toughen up in the paint. Part of that issue is due to his ability to step outside and hit the mid-range jumper and occasionally the long ball. With Papa Lo hanging out in the paint, Kondratyev can afford to spend some time on the perimeter. Lo is not a scorer, but he is a good rebounder and a great shot blocker. If he can play closer to 20 or 25 minutes per game, the Bulldogs frontcourt will have their scorer in Kondratyev and their rebounder and defender in Lo. Claybrin McMath had a relatively successful freshman campaign and will be asked to do more off the bench as a sophomore.


Who to Watch:

Frankie Dobbs followed Coach Tim O’Shea from Ohio to Smithfield, Rhode Island and sat out last year due to transfer rules. Dobbs was a relatively important player off the bench for the Bobcats during his freshman campaign and proved to be a solid ball handler and distributor. The Bulldogs lack a true point guard and Coach O’Shea hopes Dobbs can fill that void. If not, somebody like Jordan, who committed way too many turnovers last year, would be forced to run the show.


Final Projection:

This group is still young and not as talented or experienced as just about every other team in the NEC. They may finish last in the conference again, but they should win more than one game. More important than wins and losses will be the development of the younger players as Bryant looks towards their future as a Division I program.


Projected Post-season Tournament: none


Projected Starting Five:

Frankie Dobbs, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season

Raphael Jordan, Sophomore, Guard, 7.2 ppg

Cecil Gresham, Senior, Guard, 14.5 ppg

Barry Latham, Senior, Forward, 5.3 ppg

Vlad Kondratyev, Sophomore, Forward, 8.9 ppg