Martello likes potential of Gators

Published: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 05:55 PM.

In addition to Spicer and Dunford, the Gators lost Steven Grant to graduation. Grant, who also played football, could drive the lane and battle for rebounds as well as hit the occasional outside shot.

Martell hopes that football/basketball players Austin Martin and Richard Stroheker will do some of the things Grant did.

“Both of those guys are kind of an inside player and more defensive than anything else and they should do a good job for us,” Martello, who played basketball and football in high school, said. “One of the benefits of having played football is there’s a toughness about them that is always a plus.”

The team’s youth is evident on the roster, where Sanders and Adrian Smith are the team’s only seniors. Last year, Smith was the Gator player rotation’s eighth man; Martello expects him to move up in the rotation and be a key contributor coming off the bench.

Martello understands small school athletics’ cyclical nature, having been through seasons when he was forced to place eighth-graders and freshman on the varsity.

 The veteran coach believes Baker is nearing the end of a down/younger cycle.

“I think we are on the bottom of the down slope of the cycle or maybe on the rise again,” he said. “We had the three or four years where those eighth- and ninth-graders came through and they were very successful years for us. In three years, I graduated 22 seniors.

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