After cutting centres Alleyne and Underwood, Rainmen look for ‘presence’ - Metro US

After cutting centres Alleyne and Underwood, Rainmen look for ‘presence’

The revolving door to the Halifax Rainmen’s roster just keeps spinning.

Just three games into the Premier Basketball League season, the Rainmen are wasting no time making significant changes, cutting centres Shagari Alleyne and Cory Underwood yesterday with the intent of replacing them as early as today.

Alleyne, tied for the tallest player in Rainmen history at seven-foot-three, had been with the team since early December and was used as a bench player.

The six-foot-10 Underwood was signed last week and started on Sunday in just his second game, collecting 11 points and seven rebounds.

Neither, however, satisfied owner Andre Levingston, who has been desperately searching — without much success — for a true big man since he founded the franchise in 2007.

“We need a presence,” Levingston said.

“We need somebody who’s going to play hard all the time, run the floor, play defence, rebound the basketball and get after it. They just weren’t giving it to us.

“We had to make changes.”

The Rainmen, who are 2-1 after consecutive wins over the Quebec Kebs, have historically had plenty of turnover.

The past two seasons, only seven players from the Rainmen’s opening-night roster remained on the team at season’s end.

Eighteen players suited up for the club in 2007-08, while 17 graced the roster last season.

The ever-changing lineup has been shaped by in-season cuts, signings and trades.

But Levingston said three games was enough time to know Alleyne and Underwood weren’t going to measure up against top teams such as Rochester and Puerto Rico and that change was needed to “better the basketball team.”

“Every year, we’re going to have roster moves,” Levingston said.

“You put a team together you think you can win with, but when the lights come on, some guys can raise their games, some can’t. We had guys that just didn’t work out.”

Levingston said he intends to bring in two centres to replace Alleyne and Underwood. He also wants to fly in and evaluate a new guard and said more cuts could be made.

“It lets guys know they need to do their job,” Levingston said.

PBL standings

Puerto Rico 3 0 1.000
Lawton-Fort Sill 3 0 1.000
Rochester 2 0 1.000
HALIFAX 2 1 .667
Manchester 1 2 .333
Maryland 1 3 .250
Quebec 1 3 .250
Buffalo 0 3 .000
Vermont 0 1 .000

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