Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Despite Some Big Missing Parts, Saint Vincent Shows It Can Play

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Despite Some Big Missing Parts, Saint Vincent Shows It Can Play

Article excerpt

The fact the Saint Vincent College men's basketball team got off to a 5-3 start this season is surprising in one way and not surprising in another.

The Bearcats had senior guards Dennis Bassich and Tauvon Pettiford returning from last season's 19-8 team that was a field goal away from playing in the Presidents' Athletic Conference championship game.

Bassich, who is 6 feet 3, was the team's second-leading scorer a year ago, averaging 16 points per game and Pettiford, 6-4, finished the campaign with an 11 ppg. average.

Toss in 6-2 sophomore Isaac Turner, who was outstanding in an abbreviated freshman year, and it is easy to see why Saint Vincent won five of its first six games before dropping two PAC contests.

Bassich, Turner and Pettiford are averaging 17.8, 13.0 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. That's a scoring trio any coach would like.

Here's the interesting part of the Bearcats start. They are doing it without 6-8 Grant Latus, a Mt. Lebanon High School product, who is out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and minus 6-8 freshman Ralph Nin, who started one game this season, played in five before being sidelined with a hand injury.

"We don't have the power-style game like we've had in the past and Grant was the only true center we had," said Saint Vincent coach D.P. Harris, who is in his ninth season running the program. "We're more of a fast-paced style."

So far, that has worked pretty well for the Bearcats.

Harris, who came into the season with a more-than-respectable 151- 69 record at Saint Vincent, said depth is a team strength.

He normally uses 10 players when everybody is healthy and there is the possibility the Bearcats could get a transfer student over the holidays who will see plenty of minutes.

Dillon Stith, a 6-5 sophomore, and 6-7 junior Armani Fountain have been the other starters to go with the three guards. …

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