When the Halifax Rainmen take the floor tonight in Quebec City, their top scorer could be Eric Crookshank. Or Brian Silverhorn. Or Glen Dandridge. Or Cordell Jeanty.
In fact, the Rainmen boast a half-dozen players who can light it up on any given night, a fact that comforts them heading into the Premier Basketball League’s opening night.
The Rainmen face the Quebec City Kebs at 8:30 p.m. and the Montreal Sasquatch tomorrow at the same time.
“For a team with this much talent, it’s going to take turns, who’s going to be the person we lean on,” said Rainmen head coach Rick Lewis. “It’s going to rotate. We’re going to be able to score. We’re going to be able to score at will.”
That was certainly the case in the pre-season. Four different players led the team in scoring during a four-game tournament at The Tower that started on Boxing Day.
Returnees Crookshank and Silverhorn looked as good or better than last year; point guard Kevin Hammack controlled games; Jeanty and Rob Sanders showed toughness and scoring prowess; and Dandridge flashed his shooting ability.
Crookshank and Silverhorn led the team in pre-season scoring, averaging more than 20 points per game.
“We’ve got a real good team, real talented,” said Hammack, a four-year NCAA Division 1 starter at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. “We’re starting to gel and put it together.
“We have some things to work on, but when we get those things down, we’ll be able to compete for a title.”
Defence is one thing the Rainmen are highly concerned about. They finished with a 3-2 pre-season record, but struggled to lock down the opposition in their losses.
A healthy roster will help, as they played with seven men during the pre-season because of injuries to Sanders (Achilles), SirValiant Brown (ankle), Jimmy Twyman (ankle) and Tyronne McNeal (groin). All will be available tonight.
The Rainmen beat the Kebs 101-95 in exhibition play on Dec. 21.
Said Dandridge: “We won up there with seven last time. Hopefully we can do the same thing with 11, the full squad.”
• The seats were filled at The Tower for all four games ... The Rainmen haven’t played a regular season game since March 15 in the American Basketball Association, nearly a 10-month break ... The Rainmen debut at home on Jan. 9.