Two Added To Bring Roster To TwelveTwo Returning Players Added To Critical Roles
Lee was an important part of last year’s team and just returned from playing summer ball in El Salvador, where he was one of the top players in the league. Last season for the 78’s he averaged just under 18 points per game last season with 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
He’s got a very sharp crossover and first step that can leave most players behind one on one, giving him some easy lay-in buckets when in isolation. He’s a solid passer and rebounds well for a guard. In some ways, he set the tone for the team early last season with five three-point makes in the third quarter of the season opener last season on the road in New Jersey, leading the 78s back into a game they went on to win after being down double-digits at halftime. Equally as important, he has a motor that never stops. His compete level is a 13 on a scale of 1-10.
He played his college ball at Westfield State, averaging over 20 points per game in his junior and senior seasons. See Lee’s player profile for more information.
A walk on at division two UMASS Lowell his freshman year, Mark went on to play the first three years of 29 games, starting 16, his senior year. UMASS Lowell had moved up to division one, giving him three full years of division one experience by the time he graduated.
Mark appeared in six games last year for the 78’s as well as the playoff game. He averaged just short of eight rebounds per game, leading the team in each of of the games he played in. Adding him to the roster is adding our best defensive player and an extremely smart, tenacious defender who seemingly knows where to be at all times. He fights for rebounds and can guard four positions. See Mark’s player profile for more information.
Full Roster In View
With now twelve players named to the roster, with the remainder being announced at the end of this week, the full personnel that Coach Leonelli has to work with this season starts to take shape. The 78’s had goals to get bigger and deeper this season, and certainly accomplished both.
In the front-court, adding Chris Fitzgerald at 6’9″ and 270 lbs gives the team another option in the middle alongside 6’10” Sean McCarthy and 6’7″ Jose Cruz Jr. who can also play the outside up front. At the wing, adding Maurice Horton’s shooting and well rounded game to Sam Longwell’s 20 points per game and rebounding last season and now Mark Cornelius’ defense and rebounding should show significant improvement in all phases of the game.
The guard position was already strong last season. The league’s leading scorer, Tony Gallo, at 32 points per game and Kamahl Walker’s 20 points per game was a dangerous combination. Added to that, the team had Scotty Tavares’ elite passing ability and the motor, effort and scoring ability of Lee Vazquez. While the team was dangerous with that combination, adding an elite true point guard like Naadir Tharpe and the all-around game of Dmitri Flores in the back court, Coach Leonelli will be well positioned to roll a very up-tempo game playing all twelve available players.
Remaining additions to the 2018-19 roster will be released by November 6. The 78’s open their 2018-19 season on November 10 at 7pm and Worcester State University.