The St. Augustine Prep boys basketball team begins the season unproven. The Hermits also begin with plenty of potential.
St. Augustine is young but talented and should again be one of the Cape-Atlantic League's best.
"Our freshmen and sophomore class is probably the most talented group together that I've ever had," said Hermits coach Paul Rodio, who will begin his 37th season this month.
Sophomores Mike Vasturia and Sa'eed Nelson came off the bench last season. Rodio said the 6-foot-4 Vasturia could become one of the best in South Jersey. Nelson will play the point. Both players need to mature, according to Rodio.
Freshman forward Justyn Mutts, and guard Austin Kennedy also should be part of the playing rotation this season. Jacob O'Neill is a 6-9 sophomore.
The Hermits do feature some upperclassmen, but they lack court experience. Junior Nate Aldrich missed all of last season with a knee injury. Senior forward Brian Seward started last season and senior forward Nate Segal came off the bench.
Senior guard Kevin Kennedy - Austin's older brother - will either start or be one of the top players off the bench.
"We need the three seniors to carry the leadership for us," Rodio said.
Contact Michael McGarry:
St. Augustine Prep
League: Cape-Atlantic League National Division
Group: South Jersey Non-Public A
Coach: Paul Rodio (781-219, 36 seasons)
2012-13 record: 23-6
2013-14 prediction: Favorite – The Hermits will blend talented freshmen and sophomore classes with gritty and determined upperclassmen.
Key players: Kevin Kennedy, Sr., 5-10, G; Adam Kennedy, Fr., 5-10, G; Sa'eed Nelson, So., 5-6, G; Brian Seward, Sr., 6-2, F; Nate Segal, Sr., 6-2, F; Jake O'Neill, So., 6-9, C; Mike Vasturia, So., 6-5, F; Nate Aldrich, Jr., 6-4, F; Justyn Mutts, Fr., 6-5, F.