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Mad Ants camp opens with diverse mix of players

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For more on the Mad Ants, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1

New coach Henry will test conditioning with two-a-days

Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 6:33 pm

Mad Ants coach Conner Henry took a power lunch this week in anticipation of the opening of training camp.

Or maybe it was a potential power lunch.

Henry sat down with three veterans – Ron Howard, Chris Porter and Anthony Harris – and laid out his plan.

“I talked to them about the season and our expectations,” Henry said. “All three of those guys look in good shape.”

What kind of shape the Ants will be in when training camp morphs into the regular season depends on an interesting mixture of veterans such as Howard, Porter and Harris, and some former Ants and newcomers.

It should be a competitive camp, opening today, and Henry took some time to give his initial view on the players. Some highlights:

* Howard, the Ants' all-time leading scorer: “I see him starting at the point, but I also see him playing together with Anthony, as well. Ron likes to score the basketball, that's his strength. If I take a few minutes off his workload at the point and let him play off the ball, it could make him fresher.”

* Chris Hunter, the former Ants center who has been out of basketball for two years due to injuries: “We had him in for a workout. He looked surprisingly good in the half court, but physically and conditionwise, he was very limited running up and down the court. He looks fantastic. He looks like he has 3 percent body fat.”

* Terrance Henry, the No.10 overall pick in the D-League draft: “He gives us a 6-8, very long, left-handed, talented offensive wing. We believe he has an off-the-bounce game, which we need right now.”

* Alfred Aboya, a 6-9 forward out of UCLA, picked in the second round of the draft: “He's a very physical, smart player that we know will run the floor, defend fiercely and rebound. So that was a real need for us to go along with Chris Porter. Alfred has been playing overseas a couple years and he's in good shape. Characterwise, we know we're getting a really quality person and a really tough person.”

* Olek Czyz, a 6-7 player, down from the Milwaukee Bucks. “We see him as a fixture on our team. He's athletic. He'll have to play the 4 and maybe slot into the 3 at times depending on our lineup. We know he plays incredibly hard and he's a good passer. We're excited to see him. There's a lot of people who said we will really like him and he'll help our club.”

* Salim Stoudamire, 6-1 guard, who played three years with the Atlanta Hawks: “Jeff (Potter, Ants president) saw him this summer and he looked in great shape. I'm counting on him knowing how to play. He may fit in nicely with all the veterans we have.”

* Rod Wilmont, a former Indiana University and Mad Ants guard who serves as an assistant coach at Canterbury High School: “He's very vocal on the floor when it comes to the defensive end, and I like that. If Rod makes shots and takes good shots, he has a chance to make the team. He's been here. He's a veteran. They know him and like him here. But guys have to make shots.”

The Ants' two-a-day training camp sessions start today, with the team being pared to a degree by Nov. 14. The final roster must be set by Nov. 21 and the team opens its season Nov. 29.

Mad Ants training camp roster

Alfred Aboya F 6-9 245 UCLA

Brandon Beasley F 6-5 210 William Penn

Olek Czyz F 6-7 240 Nevada

Will Frisby F 6-8 235 Miami

Anthony Harris G 6-2 190 Miami

Ramon Harris F 6-7 220 Kentucky

Terrance Henry F 6-9 210 Mississippi

Ron Howard G 6-5 185 Valparaiso

Chris Hunter F 6-11 240 Michigan

Matt Humphrey F 6-6 200 Miami

Chris Porter F 6-7 215 Auburn

Kyle Randall G 6-1 178 Central Michigan

Titus Robinson F 6-7 205 Buffalo

Salim Stoudamire G 6-1 180 Arizona

Terrance Thomas F 6-7 230 Baylor

Rod Wilmont G 6-4 215 Indiana