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Springfield College men’s basketball notebook: Charlie Clay impresses, Jake Ross is still really good, the final cuts loom.

Freshman to watch: Charlie Clay

Clay was one of the most vocal players on the court during tryouts on Monday. On defense he was a consistent presence when it came to calling out shifts and letting the rest of the defense know who he had. On the offensive side of the ball he was just as impressive. In a drill that involved shooting against a defender, Clay went 33-43 from around three-point range. When he wasn’t putting away three-pointers he was able to find his way into the paint consistently and finish with a couple impressive moves down low. Clay was recruited out of high school to play, so it’s assumed that he will make final roster. Watch for him as a potential spark off the bench this season.

Jake Ross is still really good

Coming off a historic freshman season, a season in which he was named D3hoops National Rookie of the Year, Ross seems ready to raise the bar even higher. He showed that he can still get off and finish difficult shots in the paint, and showed during a 5-on-5 drill that he is still potentially the best defender in the NEWMAC (led the conference in steals per game last year with 1.8).

Get ready for another season of seeing Ross regularly pick up NEWMAC weekly honors.

The shrinking of the roster

Players in attendance at monday’s tryout: Andy McNulty, Stanley Davis, Cam Earle, Hunter Bowers, Kevin Durkin, Charlie Clay, Trey Witter, Deonte Sandifer, Ben Diamond, Brandon Eckles, Richard Jacobson, Ryan Millikin, Jake Ross, Caleb Nielsen, Heath Post, Kendall Baldwin (injured).

Last season the Pride carried 12 players on its roster. If Brock and co. decide to stay with that format, then that leaves four players that will be left off the roster. The competition for the remaining spots is very tight. The coaching staff will have some tough decisions to make in the next few days as the date for the first official practice approaches.

Injury report

Kendall Baldwin did not fully participate in tryouts on monday due to a hamstring injury. In the second half of tryouts he moved around and shot some free throws, but mostly rested and used a foam roller on his hamstring. After missing Sunday’s tryout as well, Baldwin is not to expected to participate until the team’s first official practice later this week.

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