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Date Posted: 20:08:47 11/14/05 Mon
Author: Mike
Subject: INSIDE (RE:SOBERS)

OK...Howie is showing faith in Sobers again! He was trumped up as a top recruit when he arrived at Central, had a poor freshman campaign, and an embarrasing sophomore campaign. I understand he almost left in the offseason and has also had surgery (several?) on his shins, and has had back troubles. Should we expect to see a quality sobers...or the same old same old?

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Replies:

[> Re: INSIDE (RE:SOBERS) -- J.J., 12:26:38 11/17/05 Thu

The game notes (and media guide) are up and looks like Sobers may get the starting nod. Gald to hear he is playing to his potential. With 4 strong guards and 3 forwards, we have the needed depth to make a great run this year.

but don't forget Jefferson is out for the first 3 games (I hate the NCAA!!), so we need the frontcourt to be real strong.

1 day to go!


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[> Re: INSIDE (RE:SOBERS) -- Mike, 18:04:43 11/17/05 Thu

I am surprised that Howie is starting Justin & Tristan...with Lenny out there are no other strong guards to sub in, I would expect Hickenbottom to check in off the bench in short order, and log a good number of minutes. I don't know what to expect from the rest of the squad yet, we have a short bench! (Obie,Tristan,Justin,Lenny,Jason & Javier are all starting caliber...Sobers is a ?, Middleton, Beaudet, Winters, Williams may log minutes, I dont think Brown, Niland, Gerrity, will touch the court)


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[> Sobers canít be torn away -- J.J., 09:32:53 11/18/05 Fri

More good news on Sobers. This could be a great year!

----
By MATT STRAUB , Assistant Sports Editor

NEW BRITAIN--Jemino Sobers worked his way into the middle of a scrum under the basket during a rebounding drill. He came out of the pile with the left side of his practice jersey torn, but still flashed a smile and gave a wink to a teammate. He went through the next couple of repetitions with the torn jersey hanging from his chiseled frame before eschewing it for the remainder of the practice. After all, considering what heís been through in his two years at Central Connecticut, he was not about to let a ripped shirt keep him from his chance to contribute.
Two years ago, the Ontario native was a freshman looking to make his way in Division I basketball in the United States. As the season went along, Sobers found his footing, playing a part on a team that went to the NEC championship game, even starting eight games.

Last year was supposed to be his breakout season, but it didnít work out that way. Instead of building on those eight starts, Sobers, beset by injuries, only played in eight games. As the Blue Devils made a valiant run into the NEC tournament where they nearly stunned top-seeded Monmouth, Sobers could do little more than cheer on his teammates and hope for another chance.

Now that chance has arrived, and someone is going to have to do much more than tear his jersey to make him miss it.

"I started off well as a freshman but then stress fractures bothered me for the rest of the season about halfway through, and last year they kept bothering me," Sobers said, his voice trailing off as he relived the physical and mental pain of his sophomore season. "I wanted to get out there so badly, and now I get to do it. I only have two years left."

For those two years, if his legs let him, Sobers will have a pivotal role inside, helping a Blue Devilsí team stacked on the perimeter but in need of a presence in the paint. Obie Nwadike is coming off his own injury, and Rich Pittman has graduated. Now, more than ever, the opportunity is there for Sobers to make his mark on the court instead of on the bench.

"He has a positive attitude. He probably feels like he hasnít maximized anything about his abilities in the last two years, and thatís really through no fault of his own because of the injuries," CCSU coach Howie Dickenman said. "People tell me that they remember different situations about how when he was a freshman he did this or how exciting he was..We havenít seen that since his freshman year."

While much of his focus is on having a bigger role, Sobersí desire to contribute should not be mistaken as selfishness. In fact, much of the reason he wants to have a stellar season is because he knows what his production may help bring.

"I want to help us get back to where we were my freshman year," he said, referring to the NEC title game.

Sobers wants to succeed for his team, but his team wants him to succeed for him.

"I think he wants to atone himself this year for the sake of his team because he certainly is a team player," Dickenman said. "Everyoneís pulling for him to have a big year."

Whether heís being pulled for or having his jersey pulled on, Jemino Sobers is happy to finally be pulling his weight for the Blue Devils.

Matt Straub can be reached via email atmstraub@newbritainherald.com


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