As he stood outside the Walsh Center Monday night after his team’s last practice before its first exhibition game, Fairfield Men’s Basketball Coach Tim O’Toole said his unproven team will have some things going for it as it attempts to beat the odds and get back to the NCAA tournament. One of them is its depth.

“Our strength is in our number of guys,” O’Toole said, “because they can all do different things and they can do them pretty well.”

O’Toole’s comments came after his team had finished a hotly contested intra-squad scrimmage, which was decided by two points, in which nearly every player on the court contributed to the scoring effort.

The team attended MAAC media day Tuesday at Madison Square Garden and headed to West Point, N.Y., Wednesday to take on Army in its first scrimmage. They conclude the exhibition season with a scrimmage Saturday at Penn and open the regular season next Friday at Saint Francis of New York.

Fast-improving freshmen

All three freshmen who played in Monday’s intra-squad scrimmage played a prominent role in the outcome. After Herbie Allen hit the front end of a one-and-one to put his team up by two, the ball was in Jeremy Reedal’s hands for the final shot. Reedal missed, but knocked down shot after shot throughout practice, including a 15-foot-jumper off of a no-look pass from fellow freshman Jon Han.

“Their progression at practice has been very good,” said senior tri-captain Alvin Carter.

O’Toole said he has been impressed by all three players, but noted that Han “sees things that not a lot of people see” on the court. His no-look pass repertoire also included a dish to teammate Mamadou Diakhate ’07 for an easy lay-up.

O’Toole said the three freshmen will all be in the Stags’ regular rotation of players. He said he has not yet decided on a starting lineup, and that the ones he uses in this week’s scrimmages will not necessarily resemble the one he puts out on opening night.

Deep Sixed

The Stags were picked sixth in the MAAC in the pre-season coaches’ poll which came out Tuesday. The ranking came as no surprise, given the team’s lack of size. Terrance Todd ’06, the Stags leading scorer for the last two years, was named to the all-MAAC first team, and despite being suspended for the year, DeWitt Maxwell ’06 was named to the all-MAAC third team for the second straight year.

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