Jeff Dunlap is counting on Carl English being a quick study.
Wednesday morning, immediately after English was introduced as the newest member of the St. John’s Edge, he and Dunlap — the Edge’s head coach — hurried to the Provincial Training Centre for the 36-year-old Newfoundlander’s first practice with the Basketball League of Canada team.
It was one of only a few workouts English will have with his new club before the Edge makes their debut Saturday night in Charlottetown, P.E.I. against the Island Storm.
Nevertheless, Dunlap says he’s certain English, a shooting guard, can become a feature player for the team almost immediately.
“I’m confident he will be,” said Dunlap, “because he shoots the ball so well.
“He will command a lot of attention from our opponents, which will either free things up opportunities for others on our team or depending on his conditioning and how quickly and how well he adapts to our system, will open up shooting opportunities for him.
“But I believe he’ll be able to do that as quickly as anyone I can imagine. I expect him to play with us right away.”
English is not a bit fazed by those expectations.
“I’m not too concerned about Saturday, Sunday or next week,” said English, whose recent individual workouts while contract negotiations were ongoing often coincided with Edge practices.
“I’ve been watching in the background … trying to stay out of it, (but) sneaking around, watching what they’re doing and talking to coach (Dunlap) as well.
“I think I’ll fit in. But I expect will take a week or so I’d say of getting accustomed to going up and down the floor with the guys and getting used to my teammates.”
Not that they are all strangers. English knows fellow Canadians Grandy Glaze and Alex Johnson, and counts veteran point guard Rashaun Braodus as a relatively new friend, although he said their connection goes back the better part of two decades to the 33-year-old Braodaus’s home state of Hawaii, where English played college basketball.
“He watched me playing in Hawaii and we played against each other in summer leagues,” said English. “Then last year, when I was with ALBA Berlin and we went to Lithuania for the Euro Cup, one of my teammates from Hawaii was there and introduced me to Rashaun.”
English said the two kept in touch, including when Broadus spent some time in Germany and that the two “were talking throughout the summer when all this stuff (about English possibly signing with the Edge) was going on.”
Now the two could find themselves sharing a backcourt for the expansion club.