Rainmen set their sights on 'bruiser' Thomas ahead of draft

The Halifax Rainmen’s starting five is set, but it’s depth they’re seeking in the Premier Basketball League draft.

 


The Halifax Rainmen’s starting five is set, but it’s depth they’re seeking in the Premier Basketball League draft.

 

The Rainmen hold the seventh and 17th overall picks in tomorrow’s 20-selection draft in Chicago, and the main priority is a big man who can back up 6-foot-11 former Minnesota Timberwolves draftee Gordon Malone.

 

Although the starting lineup will ultimately be determined by head coach Les Berry, the five spots are earmarked for Malone, point guard Jason McLeish, guard Tony Bennett, wing Desmond Ferguson and forward Eric Crookshank.

 

“We need a backup for Malone, it’s very important,” said Rainmen owner and general manager Andre Levingston. “We have some height but we don’t have guys with a lot of body on them. Gordy is 6-foot-11 and a well-built guy, but we need a guy with some power who can back him up.”

Levingston said a player he is eyeing is 6-foot-8, 322-pound DeAndre Thomas, a friend of Bennett’s and former Indiana Hoosier. Levingston called Thomas a “bruiser” and “space-eater” who is “light on his feet and mean.”

“He’s high on my list,” Levingston said.

Levingston plans on running the heavyset Thomas through fitness tests when he travels to Chicago later this week.

The Rainmen tried to land a big man at last year’s draft, but 6-foot-10 Acadia Axemen alumnus Walter Moyse — selected second overall — didn’t end up signing a contract. They also selected 6-foot-8 David Bailey in the second round of that draft, a role player last season who won’t be back in 2010.

Levingston said he will probably select a guard to come off the bench with his second-round pick. That means a player such as Randy Gill — who finished sixth in PBL scoring last season with 21.9 points per game and who is among those eligible to be selected — isn’t of interest to him.

“We’re not looking for a guy to come in and be a game-changer,” Levingston said.

“I don’t know if that guy exists for us with what we’ve already signed (via free agency).”


 
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