St. Mary's High School will look a lot different next high school season, after the recent loss of more players from their starting roster. While Head Coach Damin Lopez and his Knights' program were looked to be building a strong basketball dynasty several years ago, now the Knights' coaching staff is looking to simply build a strong team for the season. After losing star guard Jason Fontenet to a transfer last season, now the St. Mary's program has lost the services of 6-foot-7 senior forward Seydou Tamboura.
Recently, Tamboura decided to leave St. Mary's and now has landed at PHH Prep, where he will play his senior season of basketball. Tamboura had looked to anchor this year's St. Mary's ball club, but now will hope to take his play to another level on The Grind Session this prep season - a big difference from the level of play in the AIA Division. Tamboura, who currently does not have any offers to his credit, will also look to improve his college recruitment, while under the PHH Prep umbrella, which has been highly successful at helping prospects land college homes.
The St. Mary's program will have to pick up pieces once again, and will have to rely heavily this season on the play of gifted 6-foot-2 rising junior point guard Styles Phipps, who is the program's top player and prospect. Phipps was already expected to have a big junior season for the Knights, but now he will need to have a huge season to keep his program in the playoff hunt all season. The addition of 6-foot-7 sophomore transfer Caspian "Cash" Jones will now be tremendous for the Knights, as Damin Lopez and his staff will look to build for the future, while maintaining what they have this season.
Tamboura will be a big loss for this year's St. Mary's team, as he was the program's most dominant rebounder. His size and athleticism are glaring, and he gave the Knights a strong inside presence, even though he is still very raw offensively. Tamboura's ability to rebound and finish, and also block shots would have been big for the Knights this season, although now they will have to band together to make up for the loss. Tamboura is still a project offensively and needs deveopment to reach his full potential, but he is a very nice looking juco prospect that could blossom over time at the right junior college. His physical talent and strength are impressive, and if he can add an ability to shoot the ball from mid-range consistently and even further, then his recruitment would soar over time, but it will take some time.
The PHH Prep program has retooled for another season as well, and will welcome the addition of Tamboura, especially after recently losing Vince Delano to a transfer to AZ Compass Prep. PHH Prep will be athletic and fast this season, and should have numerous prospects to promote with their play this prep season.
We will have to play much faster this season," said St. Mary's Head Coach Damin Lopez.