Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Away from the big city of Boston, the Blackstone Valley Chaos has been one of the better programs in central Massachusetts for eight years running. Dennis Richey has run the program since its inception, with teams in a number of age groups and with girls teams as well. This year, his junior team, coached by Jim Coffey, is one with a good deal of size and some capable wing players for a starting point.

Perhaps the best post player, Nick Pasquale (6’10” Jr. C, Shrewsbury (MA) Worcester Academy) will be out until at least June due to a knee injury. The timing is unfortunate, as the year of prep he just finished has already done a lot to get the coaching staff excited about the player he can develop into. He’ll be joined by Kevin Durkin (6’8″ Jr. PF-C, Worcester (MA) Wachusett HS) and Rich Harrington (6’8″ Jr. SF-PF, Sutton (MA) High), the latter of whom has some good skills but likes to play away from the basket. Durkin has a good frame and some range on his jumper, and though he isn’t athletic, he’s intriguing. Harrington has a little length, and while he can shoot a little as a face-up four he will also miss some shots badly. Some of that may get better with added strength, although he’s also in the tough spot of having to play inside for his school team. Drew Vittum (6’5″ Jr. SF-PF, Shrewsbury (MA) St. John’s HS) is a solid complementary player who can play both forward spots.

Tyreik McCauley (6’6″ Sr. SF, Worcester (MA) Academy), an excellent student, could do a post-graduate year. For now, he’s still playing with this group, and he’s athletic and has a body that can still mature more. He has several ways he can score, but he can also be a bit lackadaisical at times. Quentin Bullen (6’2″ Jr. SG, Exeter (NH) Worcester Academy) is another option off the ball, and he’s come a long way to where he can shoot well and has a much better release.

If there’s one thing this team doesn’t have, it’s a true point guard. There are candidates, though. Davon Jones (5’10” Jr. PG-SG, Shrewsbury (MA) St. John’s HS) is one of them, though the well-built power guard does well playing off the ball as he plays bigger. Tyler Dion (5’8″ So. PG, Wachusett (MA) High) is a candidate that the coaching staff is high on. Nick Greer (6’0″ Jr. PG-SG, Upton (MA) Nipmuc Regional HS) has a good body and is heady enough to play the point, and his shooting ability seems good enough to keep defenders honest. Charlie Clay (5’9″ Fr. PG, Worcester (MA) Academy) could be a solution at some point, but probably not right now. His body has a ways to go, he lacks strength and his game is rough around the edges, although there is plenty to like about him with more experience.

The program has some younger talent to watch for as well. Luke Cowen (6’4″ So. SG-SF, Hopedale (MA) High) and Joe Saba (6’7″ So. PF, Fitchburg (MA) St. Bernard’s HS) might occasionally play up on the junior team. Freshman Romello Hill (Worcester (MA) South HS), who also plays football, and eighth grader Will Herndon (Worcester (MA) Holy Name HS) are also up-and-comers to look for down the road.

Blackstone Valley Chaos will not need to travel far and wide for the events they will play in. They were in the Northeast Hoops Festival last weekend, and will later be in the Hall of Fame New England Championship, the GymRat Challenge and Massachusetts AAU, and may add a June event in the mix. July will include the Hall of Fame National Invitational and stops in Atlantic City and New York.

When the conversation is about the very best programs in Massachusetts, Blackstone Valley Chaos won’t come up right away. But they continue to carry good talent in central Massachusetts and should be competitive in the events they go to, and if a true point guard develops or emerges they could be even better with the frontcourt players they have.

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