A team that didn't need a boost has received one anyway.
The men's basketball squad at Anne Arundel Community College, winners of six straight and 11 of their past 12, welcomed back freshman forward Ron Hubbard for yesterday's home game against Montgomery-Germantown.
Hubbard, a Meade High School graduate, was ruled academically ineligible, along with six other players, after first-semester grades were released Jan. 11.
Coach Rick Bloom was down to six players before adding a seventh, Clifton Jackson, but Anne Arundel showed no ill effects from the sudden lack of depth.
If anything, the Pioneers have thrived, relying on the scoring and poise of forward Steve Strauss and guards Gene Slocum and Gene Pleyo to compile a 15-7 record (14-6 in Maryland JuCo). They also have received quality minutes from center Jim Flahaven, forward Lester Lee and sixth man Jason Clarke, who can play guard or forward.
Now, the Pioneers have added Hubbard, a 6-foot-4 power forward who is averaging around 11 points and five rebounds. It can only get better.
"He's got the ability to play three different positions [small forward, power forward, center]," Bloom said. "We can change defenses. We're able to pressure on the defensive end. We're able to do more things. We've added another solid player.
"He allows us to get back to where we want to be."
But he won't be in the starting lineup. Not yet, at least.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Bloom said.