The La Roche College men's basketball team approaches the start of the 2012-2013 season with high expectations. The Redhawks return eleven upperclassmen and welcome five new faces to give La Roche a potent combination of experience and talent. Last season, the Redhawks tied for 2nd in the AMCC Conference with 19-9 record and finished 13-5 in conference play.
"Derek has worked hard and is ready to make his senior year a very memorable one. He had some big games as a junior and will look to build on them and become a more consistent player."
"Joel is one of the many great big men in the AMCC and like Derek, he has to become a more consistent player and build on the 20+ point and 10+ rebound games he had last year. He's not as vocal a leader as Derek but has a knack for leading by example."
This season represents a great opportunity for the junior class to have a major impact after facing a lot of adversity throughout their young careers.
"The junior class all starts with the battle at the point-guard position. Both Ryan Frantz and Lionel Perkins need to step up and be leaders on the floor. Other juniors expected to make huge contributions include David Jackson, Andre Flanigan, Daron Tabron, Neal McKown, Joe Dice, Jean Freeman, and Oneal Brown. The great thing about this group is they bring a lot of game experience."
La Roche welcomes five new players that has the coaching staff buzzing with excitement.
Nick Herman (West Allegheny High School), a sophomore transfer, started every game as a freshman at Waynesburg University. "Nick's year of experience is something that the coaching staff valued very highly through the recruiting process. We felt he was going to help push junior point-guards Ryan Frantz and Lionel Perkins on the floor and teach incoming freshman point-guard Jimmy Hawley. Jimmy processes a ton of talent with the ball and has a big upside. Another freshman, Torin Smith (Grove City High School) comes from a very good high school program and has a quality jump shot and a great understanding of the team game. Jared Richardson (Cardinal O'Hara High School) and Zaire Redding (Maritime Academy Charter High School) hail from the Philadelphia Area. Jared is a combo guard and loves being in the gym and polishing his skills. He also has great feet on the defensive end of the floor. Zaire brings an attitude to the floor and finds ways to get rebounds and compete.
We feel that the coaching staff has found five incoming players that will push the upperclassmen immediately and set themselves up for bright futures."
The Redhawks' off-season preparation will be put to the test when practices start on October 15 and embarkon a new stage in the journey. La Roche opens the season at Clarion on November 15, before games at Slippery Rock on November 19 and at St. Vincent on November 20. The Redhawks home opener will be held on November 24 against Geneva and begin AMCC Conference play on December 1 at D'Youville.
The road to the postseason is about to begin, embrace the journey.