Bullis: Team Preview
The Bullis Bulldogs, led by Coach Bruce Kelly, have been a powerhouse in the IAC since Kelley took over the program. He has captured seven IAC championships in 14 seasons. But, this year’s team is different. They are filled with young, talented and new faces that have tons of potential, but limited experience. With Vado Morse off to Mount St. Mary’s, the Bulldogs lose someone who was a staple in their offense for all four of his years at Bullis. Not only will Bullis have to find a way to replace Morse’s 23 points per game last year, but they will need to find their primary ball handler who can be relied on to create for himself and his teammates. With all of that said, I’m very intrigued and optimistic about this Bullis team. Despite their lack of depth and experience, the Bulldogs are extremely talented. They can score it with ease and will play at a very fast pace. Here are some of their players I think you should keep an eye on:
Although he’s just a freshman, Bullis will look for Rice to carry a heavy load on the offensive end. He is an extremely polished scorer with an arsenal that is polished beyond his years. Rice can score at all three levels and has good size that helps him finish in traffic. For the past couple of years Bullis has relied heavily on Vado Morse to put the ball in the basket, but with Morse at The Mount, Rice will be essential to Bullis’ success.
As I mentioned above, 23 points per game is never easy to to replace. But when you have sophomore Eric Reynolds, it makes it a little bit easier. He is a pure sharpshooter who only needs a little bit of space to let it fly. Reynolds also has great lift on his jumper that allows him to elevate over defenders. After showcasing his potential during his freshman campaign, he’ll be expected to produce in his second year as a bulldog. Reynolds has improved his handle and touch around the rim, making him a constant threat on the offensive end.
When you have all of these talented scorers, you need someone to feed them the ball in their spots and that is Cole Hanin. Due to an injury to senior point guard Jesiah Matthews, expect Hanin to be the catalyst for Bullis. The sophomore point guard is the ultimate competitor, leaving it all out on the floor every time he touches it. The foundation of his game is the elite IQ. Hanin tends to see things before everyone else, on both ends of the floor. He is also one of, if not the best three point shooter on the team. Hanin has “in the gym range” and uses a quick, no hitch release (similar to Stephen Curry and Trae Young) which allows him to get his shot off quickly. He is very vocal on the court and a great teammate, both are traits you hope to find in a point guard.
Tarke is the epitome of versatility—he can guard everyone on the court and is lethal in transition. With a jump shot that is improving day by day, Tarke can impact the game in so many different ways. The senior is at his best when he is attacking downhill, Tarke’s combination of size and speed is scary when he is in control. Bullis will also rely on him to create for his teammates when he gets in the lane as he draws multiple defenders once he touches the paint. He is the only player in the rotation that has experienced an IAC Championship, he knows what it takes to win and will need to pave the way for his talented young teammates.
As I mentioned before, the Bulldogs are always one of the top contenders in the IAC. That being said, there are other teams in the league that were competitive last year, and return most of their top players. Bullis will have their ups and downs, but with their talent, you would be stupid to count them out at the end of February.