Freshmen look to crash the dance

With the new basketball season comes new expectations, new rivalries, new hopes and new players.The Bulls boast five freshmen this year who will use their size and physical prowess to make an impact this season and in the program’s future.

Kelvin Brown, Marlyn Bryant, Brian Swift, Brandon Brigman and Greg Brittian will form what coach Seth Greenberg calls “the most physically mature group that we’ve signed.”

Brown, a 6-6, 220 pound forward out of Dillard High School, is probably the most notable of the group. He led Dillard to two state championships in which he was named Most Valuable Player twice.

“Brown is a slasher, an outstanding rebounder and a terrific defender,” Greenberg said of Brown.

Bryant is going to be another physical player who is the type coaches love because of his willingness to play hard and improve.Bryant is a 6-3, 203-pound guard out of Leesburg High School and was named the Florida 5A State Player of the Year and nominated as a McDonald’s High School All-American.

“Bryant is getting better every day and improves in front of your eyes,” Greenberg said. “He competes, he’s hard-nosed and plays to win. His willingness to compete and get better is very exciting.”Bryant is a humble player who is just glad to be playing Division I, looking to use it to make him a role model for his hometown. The thought of playing with such tough competition, although he’s excited about it, isn’t going to stop him from competing as best as he can against a tough schedule.

“I think we can stick right in there, if we just keep working hard in practice and doing the right things,” said Bryant. “If we just listen to what Coach Greenberg is saying, like executing our plays, getting back on defense and doing stuff like that, then I think we can stick right up in there with the best of them.”

Brittian rounds out the forward trio and is called by Greenberg a ferocious rebounder and physically mature. He is a 6-6, 225-pound transfer student from Central Florida Community College where he led the school in scoring with 19.4 points per game which was 19th in the nation for NJCAA D-I schools.Along with three physical forwards, the Bulls also recruited smart guards to help in the program’s future.

“Brian Swift is a pure point guard who can run a team and distribute the basketball,” Greenberg said. “He has a pretty good feel for a freshman at that position.”

Swift is out of Warrensville Heights High School in Ohio and he is a 5-10, 152-pound freshman who figures to be the backup point guard who will improve this season and learn from players such as starting guard Reggie Kohn.

“I think that if we push each other to work hard we’re going to be as good as we want to be,” Swift said. “We’ll work hard and keep focused on everything and do what the coach tells us.”

Brandon Brigman is a large banger who, at 6-8, 275 pounds, will give the Bulls help in the paint. As a senior at St. John Neumann, Brigman averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots a game.

“Brigman is a very, very skilled frontcourt player who needs to play harder and use his skill to an advantage,” Greenberg said. “He has the potential to be a big body, skilled frontcourt player who can both play under the basket and score on the perimeter.”The five new players will add to a team that was preseason ranked No. 2 in Conference USA. They all are working to become a unit and bond as a team.

“We’re like brothers on the court, we play around, go to each other’s houses, play Playstation and hang out, we do everything together,” Bryant said. “We try to be like a family, that’s what you have to do to become a successful basketball team.”

In this family, the kids are willing to prove that they belong and will fight with their older brothers through the season ahead.

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