If you followed the Erie BayHawks last season, you know Ivan Harris, Jackie Manuel, Jarvis Gunter and Oliver Lafayette.
If you followed them really closely, you know Raheem Moss from training camp. He was the last player cut before the regular season opener.
If you follow area college basketball, you know Gannon center Kyle Goldcamp and Edinboro guard Joe Jones, who is from Erie.
So those seven guys need no major introduction.
The remaining 10 in training camp for the BayHawks?
They’re a different story. Let’s a take a look at them.
Donell Taylor (6-6, 185, G, Alabama Birmingham)
His history: Born July, 26, 1982 in Montgomery, Ala. Played overseas in Greece the past two season. Before that, he played two seasons for the Washington Wizards. He averaged 2.6 points in 101 career games counting the playoffs. He averaged 15.5 points as a senior at UAB.
His words on driving from Montgomery to Erie: “I drive from Alabama to Washington, D.C. all the time. I drove from Alabama to D.C. to go chill with some of my boys before I came up here. It was relaxing for me. Seeing stuff I’d never seen. Just scenery is a lot different when I drove from D.C. to here. See the mountains. Just the rural stuff. It was real nice. Peaceful for me. I just took my time and coasted.”
On being the No. 1 pick (of the BayHawks, second overall): “It’s a lot, but then again it’s not because we’ve been playing this game our whole life. Just got to go out there with a chip on your shoulder. Try to prove to yourself, your teammates and your coach that you were worthy of being that No. 1 draft pick, but at the end of the day, try not to get the big head about it.”
John Bryant (6-11, 305, G, Santa Clara)
His history: Finished his career the all-time leader in rebounds (1,152) and blocked shots (246) at Santa Clara. Was named the West Coast Conference player of the year in 2008-09. Averaged 18 ppg and 15.1 rpg as a senior. Took three days to drive from California to Erie. Arrived Thursday night. Second round pick of the BayHawks.
His words on slimming down to his playing weight at Santa Clara: “One of the goals as the season goes along is to get down to that 280 weight that I was playing at my senior year. It’s definitely been a struggle, but now that I’m back in a routine, have a place live and get back into the routine of practice, it’ll definitely help me drop down and shed the weight.”
On what he’ll bring to the table: “The biggest thing is rebounding. Defensive rebounding is one of the biggest things that I feel I do good. Something I feel like I can bring to this team. Also just being a presence on the inside. Just find a role on the team, but if it’s to be a scorer, I’ll be a scorer. If it’s to get the ball in the post and find other players and get people open, I’ll do that. I’ve done every role a big man can do. Basically I’m going to find my role and see what the team needs as we go along in terms of the chemistry. See what the team needs me to be to get us wins. I’m here to do whatever and work my butt off.”
Ryan Troutman (6-2, 165, G, Tusculum)
His history: Averaged 11.8 ppg., 5.0 rebounds and 6.17 assists, which was ranked 11th in NCAA Division II play in 2008-09. He finished his 59-game career with the best assist per game average in SAC history at 5.73. He shot 87.9 percent from the free throw, a number that ranks second all-time in school history. He arrived in Erie at 11:30 a.m. Friday. A seventh-round draft pick of the BayHawks. Participated in their free-agent tryout in Erie.
His words on the anticipation of camp: “I’m very ready to go. I’ve been waiting all summer trying to find out if I’m going to get somewhere. It feels good to be here.”
On having two other Division II players in Edinboro’s Joe Jones and Gannon’s Kyle Goldcamp and Division III player Jeff Skemp of Wisconsin-Platteville and NAIA player Zach Sowers of William Jessup in camp: “Your whole time being in Division II or whatever level your at, you’re always labeled as a “Division II” player. So it’s nice to see that no matter where you play, if you can play, you’ll be given a chance.”
Cedric Jackson (6-3, 190, G, Cleveland State)
His history: Born March 5, 1986 in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Averaged 10.9 ppg as a senior at Cleveland State. Played two season at St. John’s before transferring to Cleveland State. His hometown is Columbus, N.J. Joined the BayHawks through the team’s allocation list.
His words on how he plays: “I always like to bring out the toughness. To be a great defender. Defense always wins games and championships. I like to play with toughness, but I like to be smart. Have strategy. Outsmart the opponent. Use what you have. Be smart and everything else will take care of itself.”
Rod Wilmont (6-4, 205, G, Indiana)
His history: Averaged 12.6 ppg and shot 39.5 percent from 3-point range as a senior with the Hoosiers. Played in the D-League for Fort Wayne two seasons ago as he averaged 11.7 points. He had 39 assists and 51 turnovers in 50 games. He played overseas in Turkey and Italy last season. Came to Erie as a fifth-round draft pick.
His words on there being several shooting guards/small forwards in camp: “I don’t get into all that. This is my third year as a professional. You’ve just got to go out there and play your game. You’ve just got to play. It’s all about playing. I’ve been in NBA veteran camps. This right here? I’m just trying to get better every day and just play the game the right way. Coach Treloar and Coach McDonald, I’ve been with these guys. They coached me at Indiana. I know exactly how they are, what they bring and they’ve known me for a long time. They coached me for two years. I know they’re looking for a guy that can put the ball in the hole from the outside. That’s the reason why they drafted me. When I was with Fort Wayne a couple of years ago. That was my job. That’s what I did. I put the ball in the hole. I’m just going to go out here and play ball. That’s all you can really do.”