Catching Up With Coach Treloar

Monday, November 16, 2009

Of all the conversations I had during BayHawks media day, the quote that stood out the most came from BayHawks coach John Treloar, who said, "I believe this team can become the premiere D-League franchise."

It's a lofty goal, but one I was glad to here coming from the head coach. He's on board with the organization in Erie and wants to see it succeed on and off the court. He made a point to say that the basketball following in Erie is great, especially the support of the local Division II colleges. "We're not in direct competition with them," Treloar said, and the BayHawks don't want to be. Instead, they offer local fans something different. "Fans who come to our games are going to see more size, more athleticism, just a higher level of basketball," Treloar said.

That high level of basketball comes thanks to the hard work of Treloar and assistant coach Ben McDonald, who helped lead Erie to the playoffs last season as an expansion franchise. After a busy offseason, they're back and ready to try to build upon their first year success.

While Treloar says that every season is a new beginning, he does have four returning players in training camp that should ease the transition from season one to season two. Nonetheless, there are several holes to fill in the roster, most notably the spots of Erik Daniels and Maureece Rice, Erie's top two scorers from a season ago. Treloar spoke highly of both players, but feels good about the players Erie has in camp.

Some of Daniels' experience will be replaced by Donell Taylor, Erie's number one draft pick in the D-League draft, who has played two seasons in the NBA. As for Daniels' position on the floor, Treloar is hoping to find a more traditional low-post center this season. "We wanted to be able to have five or six big guys in camp," he said. Between returning Jarvis Gunter, allocating Kyle Goldcamp, trading for Alade Aminu, and drafting John Bryant and Jeff Skemp, the BayHawks accomplished that goal and brought six players listed at 6'10" or taller into camp.

There's no telling just yet how many of those big men will make the final cut, but one thing is clear. As the BayHawks enter their second season, coach Treloar is very satisfied with the relationship he and the organization has with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"Danny Ferry and Mike Brown have been great putting this together," Treloar said. "Their vision of the relationship between the Cavs and Erie has developed into a great situation." Treloar has taken part in the Cavaliers' mini-camp and training camp and even sat in on meetings leading up to the draft.

But Cleveland is only one of two NBA affiliates for Erie. After a one-year partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers that involved very little interaction, the BayHawks are excited about their new affiliate, the Toronto Raptors. Despite being in a foreign country, Toronto is actually closer than interstate city Philadelphia, and the BayHawks believe the manageable travel distance will encourage more work between the two organizations. "The situation with the Raptors is new but has the potential to develop. Bryan Colangelo has really welcomed us in," Treloar said.

Treloar has some very difficult decisions to make over the next 10 days as he trims the roster from 17 down to 10 by the start of the season. But having been through this process once with success, Treloar is confident heading into the season. And he's not the only one, as the first D-League power rankings have Erie projected as the fourth best team in the league.


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About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

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