Team Preview: Thomas Jefferson Orange Wave
Head coach: Lawrence Pollard
Last season: 25-6
Postseason: Lost in the PSAL City Class “AA” Championship
They say that the third time is a charm. If that’s true, Thomas Jefferson Campus will win the City Championship this season. For the past two seasons, the Orange Wave have made it to the final round but lost to Benjamin Cardozo this season and Abraham Lincoln the year before.
According to Jefferson Head Coach Lawrence “Bud” Pollard, this year’s squad is more seasoned than last year’s team. In addition a few transfers, the Wave has 3 seniors, seven juniors and only two sophomores. “There’s a lot of parody in the Brooklyn double A,” said Pollard. “We have a lot of potential but it’s too early to tell.” Pollard keeps his hand close to his vest but said he believes his team has a chance to finally get to the mountain top this season if the team comes together and his star player Shamorie Ponds stays healthy.
Thomas Jefferson Campus plays in the PSAL Brooklyn “AA” Division
Thomas Jefferson Campus Orange Wave
Shamorie Ponds needs to stay healthy
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Shamorie Ponds Guard
Davere Creighton Forward
Jaquan McKennon Guard
Isaiah Deas Forward
Curtis Smith Guard
Shamorie Ponds ’16 is the team’s fearless leader. A potent lefty, Ponds can get it done by dropping 30 points on any given day or dominate a game with the intangibles including assists, blocks, steals or passing. Considered to be a human stat stuffer, the junior will need to stay healthy as he is prone to underdressing and catching cold.
Jaquan McKennon ’15 is a left handed point guard that is a compliment to Ponds in the backcourt. A hardnosed transfer from National Christian Academy, McKennon can shoot, pass and get to the basket to either finish at the rim or hit the mid-range jumper. He also likes to play and excels at one-one-one defense.
Curtis Smith ’16 is a high energy player who is a streaky scorer. The 5’10 junior played good minutes last season and bring instant offense when he enter the game.
Raheem Dunn ’16 is a 5’11” athletic junior guard who was the high scorer in last season’s championship game with 46 points. Although he’s more of a point guard, Dunn’s fits in well with Coach Pollard three-guard rotation.
Davere Creighton ’15 transferred to Jefferson from Brooklyn Collegiate. He’s a tough 6’5″ power forward who brings a much needed toughness to the team with his physical nature. A scorer who can put the ball on the floor and finish around the rim, Creighton could be a match-up problem in the PSAL at the four-spot.
Isaiah Deas ’16 The 6’5″ forward is potentially another match-up problem in the frontcourt. Deas can play all five spots on the floor and finds ways to get it done. Coach Pollard believes that Deas is one of the keys to how far Jefferson progresses up the playoff food chain this season.
Jordan Colson ’16 is a 6’5″ senior forward. A rugged and durable player, Colson didn’t receive a lot of playing time last season but is expected to put in major minutes this season.
Malachi Faison (6’4″ Soph), Jamari Lewis (5’8″ Soph), DeAnte Bridgett (5’6″ Jr.), Kerome Grant (6’5″ Jr.), Akeem Adams (6’0″ Sr.)
Coach Pollard believes in a fierce and aggressive level of play at all times. Many times Jefferson teams will win by attrition. Pollard says he’s a mixture of three legendary coaches. “I’m one-third Bobby Knight cuz I bug out some times; One-third Tark the Shark (Jerry Tarkanian) because I can deal with the lunatics and one-third Rick Pitino because of his defense.” Pollard’s assistant coaches are Seldon Jefferson, Frank Thomas and Kenny King.
Thomas Jefferson has probably had more dress rehearsals for the PSAL City Championship than any team in the PSAL. With the blossoming of their existing junior talent along with the infusion of senior transfers, the Orange Wave have a good shot at making it to the big dance yet again. Standing in their way are the same two teams that have stood in their way for the last two season. While they have a good shot at topping a rebuilding Lincoln team, Cardozo has upgraded plus has the experience to give Jefferson problems. Nothing less than a PSAL City chip would be considered a success this season.