Featuring Nice Blend of Chemistry, Versatility PHS Boys’ Hoops Optimistic About Prospects
Even though the Princeton High boys’ basketball team is welcoming back only three returning players from last season, Mark Shelley believes the squad is already a cohesive unit.
“What I feel and what the players sense is that we have a lot of chemistry,” said PHS head coach Shelley, who guided PHS to a 6-15 record last winter. “The guys like each other. We have a lot of guys who can fill different roles.”
The three returning guys, senior Kevin Kane, junior Matt Hart, and senior J.C. Silva, will assume leading roles at guard for PHS.
“Kevin and Matt look great, they are going to be real leaders for us,” said Shelley, whose team starts its 2014-15 campaign by playing at Hamilton on December 19 and at WW/P-S on December 22.
“They are the two guys that we are going to look to to do the bulk of the scoring. They worked hard all summer and fall, going to camps and lifting weights. J.C. will handle the ball a lot, he can also play some wing.”
Shelley has a lot of options off the bench in the backcourt, including seniors John Morelli and Chris Diver along with junior Michael Dowers and sophomores Sam Serxner and Andrew Goldsmith.
“Morelli, Diver, and Serxner will be backups by committee, they each do different things well,” said Shelley.
“John and Chris are a little better offensively. Sam is better defensively and is still learning our offense. Michael Dowers can really shoot. Andrew Goldsmith is a wonderful passer; he sees the court really well. He is also a really good defender.”
PHS will be looking to sophomore Zahrion Blue and the Moore twins, seniors Tommy and Tad, to provide some good punch in the paint.
“Blue is going to be really good; he can play the wing, he can play inside,” said Shelley.
“He has grown, he is about 6’2. He is versatile. He and the Moores are interchangeable. The Moores have that twin chemistry on the court. Tommy has a better outside shot, Tad gets more shots around the basket. We can go big with the three of them and Matt or we can play two of them with the guards and go small.”
As PHS looks to get back on the winning track, the big focus is on being on fundamentally sound at both ends of the court.
“Our offense last year was close to where it had been the year before but we just didn’t defend like the year before,” said Shelley.
“I think our points against average went up 10 points. We have put greater emphasis on defense, just in terms of the amount of the time we are spending on it. We need to defend better and keep people out of the lane. We struggled last year with athletic guards who could go to the basket. On offense, we need to be more consistent. Matt came on at the end of the year and Kevin was a little up and down. I am hoping both of them will be more consistent this year. I think we should be a better team all around.”