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Queensborough is small. Real small. Just how small, you ask? The team's tallest players, freshmen Jeffrey Boone and Lloyd Knight, stand just 6-foot-3 and Sinnickson doesn't list one center in his 13-man roster.
"We have a new look this year," said Sinnickson, in his sixth year. "We've always had that big man in the middle. Now we're going to be more guard-oriented, we're going to play three or four guards at a time."
Sinnickson said he believes his team can again contend for the CUNY title, a crown the Tigers won for five straight years from 1994-98. But Queensborough will do so with almost an entirely new team. Only sophomore Ben Chobhaphand is back from the team that went 8-18 last year.
"Last year was a real down year for a lot of different reasons," Sinnickson said. "We had a lot of bad luck. But this year we have some pretty good shooters. We'll be able to score. The big question is will we defend and not turn the ball over."
As with any team that depends on its guards, outside shooting will play a big part in any success Queensborough has. Leading the crop of newcomers is freshman Nathaniel Kinnard out of Newtown High School. Kinnard, who played his AAU ball with Aim High, will be the team's starting shooting guard and will be relied upon for a bulk of the Tigers' offense.
"He's got a nice shot from outside and he will be our main offensive threat," Sinnickson said.
Joining Kinnard in the backcourt will be freshman point guard Mike Bowens, who Sinnickson labeled "quick and a good ball handler."
Sinnickson has also been impressed with the play of guards Destin Dandou, a 6-foot-1 freshman a native of France, and 6-foot Sebastien Prophete, who is originally from Haiti by way of Montreal, Canada. Sinnickson said he has created a new position for the duo he dubs his "French Connection."
"With their size, I like to call them power guards," he said.
In the frontcourt, Sinnickson said he expects Boone, who went to August Martin, to be the team's best post player. He is also impressed with 6-foot-2 freshman Jerrell Smith from John Bowne and Knight out of Van Buren.
But while he expects to be vying for the CUNY crown in February, a tournament hosted by Queensborough, Sinnickson is not as optimistic about his team's prospects in Region XV.
"The CUNY crown is a realistic goal. This group has the talent and the ability, it's just a case of executing," Sinnickson said. "I'd like to be competitive [in Region XV], but given our height limitations, it is going to be difficult."
After opening its season at Sullivan Community College Tuesday, the Tigers were scheduled to take on Kingsborough Community College Thursday. Queensborough opens its home slate Thursday against Suffolk West at 7 p.m.
©2000 Community Newspaper Group
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