This summer Albany head coach Will Brown and his staff have been emphasizing individual workouts with center Richard Peters.
Brown and his staff added the 6’10” lefty, who has three seasons of eligibility remaining, to the roster during the spring signing period. Originally a Washington State commit before eligibility issues from prep school forced him to go the junior college route, Peters averaged 2.4 ppg and 2.8 rpg last season in limited time.
That limited time was because Peters had labrum surgery on his hip the spring of his freshman year, which forced him to sit out the 2012-13 season at Tallahassee CC. Brown said that he got up to about 335 pounds before a six-to-nine-month rehab process began.
“We want to get him to a point where he’s at a productive weight,” Brown said. “If that’s 275 then that’s fine, if it’s 265 that’s fine as well. We don’t need him to get into skinny jeans, we need him to be a force block to block for us at our level.”
At the end of last season Brown said he needed to get a down low presence that could play with the big bodies in the league to replace graduating senior John Puk who averaged 6.4 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game. While his presence on the stat sheet might not have been impressive, he was one of two players to start every game and played 28.9 minutes per game at the center spot.
“We needed a huge body, that with [Jameel] Warney in the league for another two years, we needed a big body that can lean and bang and be a physical presence,” Brown said referring to the reigning America East Player of the Year. “I think at some point over the next three years he’s going to be a good player, that could be this year, that could be this month, it could be February. It’s eventually going to happen.”
Brown surmised the easiest way for it to start happening is emphasizing it during individual workouts. Throughout the summer the coaching staff, worked Peters out separately from the small group workouts they did.
“We work Rich out, just coaches and Rich,” Brown said. “Probably five times a workout he goes, ‘man you sure you don’t want any of those teammates to work out with me coach?’ Just because you’re getting every rep, you’re not getting any rest.”
“He wants to be really good and he’s willing to put in the work, so he’s got a chance. I think at some point over the next three years, he’s going to be a good player.”
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the America East conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.
Matt Giles contributed in reporting this story, following him on twitter @HudsonGiles.