“Danny can play one of three positions,” L’Italien says of the freshman who has been playing since he was 6 years old. “The one, two or three. He knows everything that’s going on on the floor. He can shoot the ball from the three well. He’s got a good pull-up, he’s got a good left hand. He’s a good decision-maker. He knows when his feet are set and when they’re not set. He doesn’t force shots.”
L’Italien has known that Dan was coming up since the fifth grade. But it was the insistence of his players that truly sold the coach on the young man.
“They were right,” L’Italien says of his upperclassmen. “Danny has really sparked us. But Jake deserves a lot of credit too. He’s the older brother. At times, Danny has gotten more attention than him. Jake is a very humble, quiet kid. I think part of Danny’s growth is that Jake has been such a great older brother to him.”
It’s a situation where sibling rivalry could rear its ugly head, but Jake was happy to welcome his younger brother to the squad.
“I was excited when he made the team,” Jake says. “Not everybody gets the opportunity to play with their brother. Especially now that we’re on the same floor. It’s very interesting to see how that works out. The brotherly competitiveness comes out.”
“I think it’s something they appreciate now, but I think, the older they get, they’re going to appreciate the time they had to play together (even more),” L’Italien says. “The Fontaines (Brett and Colt) had that last year and Mike Shay, who is a sophomore, he’s got a younger brother, Robbie, in the eighth grade, who’s a good one too. (The Baribeaults) look like they’re really enjoying their time together and it’s nice to see.”