Why are the Rhode Island Breakers returning to the Deep South Classic again this summer? The easy answer is Molly Bent, a 2016 UConn signee. An outstanding guard, Bent wasn’t being recruited by the Huskies until one game in the 2015 Deep South Classic.
“We think the Deep South Classic is fantastic because we know that we are going to play against top competition, and that’s what draws the college coaches. Whether we win or lose, those coaches are going to see our kids,” explained Breakers coach Steve Nyzio.
“We were playing one of those teams last year, and Connecticut had an assistant at the game watching a player on the other team. That assistant started watching Molly, and she liked what she saw. Molly ultimately verballed to Connecticut. That’s why we go to the Deep South Classic.”
The 19th Deep South Classic will be played from April 21-24 in Raleigh, N.C., and it will once again be held at the magnificent Raleigh Convention Center. The entire event will be played under one roof, with action flowing on 20 courts.
The Breakers will once again bring a talented group of athletes to the event. Leading the way will be veteran guards Kasey Gagan (2017, 5-6, PG) and Allie Lopes (2017, 5-7, CG).
“Kasey is a scoring point guard who is a very good athlete,” Nyzio said. “The girl can jump, and she is an excellent defender. Offensively, she is a slasher, but she can shoot the three. Allie is a player who has improved by leaps and bounds, and she is have a great high school season right now. She is an excellent defender, she has a strong mid-range game, and she shoots the three.”
The Breakers should also get a boost from Michaela Sullivan (2018, 5-11, F), Oluchi Ezemma (2018, 6-0, P), Madison D’Ambra (2019, 5-11, W) and Jessica Rylander (2018, 5-7, PG).
“Michaela is a very strong player who is a scoring machine inside,” the coach said. “She has the ability to step out to the three-point line, but the majority of her points come within 10 feet. She is probably the best player on our team.
“Oluchi is big, strong and tough. She runs the floor very well, and she is very good on the defensive end. She is very good at anticipating plays. Ouch is also averaging about 30 points per game for her high school team this winter.
“Madison is another strong player who has a very good upside. She plays on the perimeter, and she is probably the best scorer on our sophomore team. She can score from anywhere — three-pointers, slashing, mid-range, and she has a beautiful step back shot.
“Jessica is a true point guard. She isn’t a big scorer, but she gets a lot of assists. Jessica does a great job running the offense, she can thread a needle with her passes, and she is a very, very good defender.”