Boys basketball previewFootball success pushes back start for Irish basketball
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
An extended run by the Rosemount football team in the state tournament was exciting for anyone involved with Irish athletics.
Certainly the coaches for winter sports teams are proud of how their players performed during the fall season. It was a winning experience that can only prove beneficial to other teams with increased confidence and maturity.
It also means winter teams were a bit behind in getting ready for the season. It even meant an early schedule change for the Irish boys basketball team. To account for the football team’s postseason run and to allow for proper preparation for the winter season, Rosemount postponed its season opener from Tuesday, Dec. 7 until today.
Irish boys basketball coach Bryan Schnettler isn’t worried about the late start.
“Realistically, what we’ve found is, it’s a long basketball season,” Schnettler said. “Conference play doesn’t start until January. We’ve got time to get games under our belt, learn what we have to improve on and figure out the things we do well. And hopefully we’ll win some games along the way.”
Making up for missed time might be especially important for Rosemount’s boys basketball team.
The Irish have lost their top seven scorers from last season. They will not feature many players with significant varsity experience when they open the season today at Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
Despite the inexperience, Schnettler believes the pieces are in place to continue building the program in his second year as head coach.
“I’m very excited for this team,” Schnettler said. “Guys are listening. We’re more skilled at all positions than we’ve been since I’ve been here.”
Rosemount won’t have time to ease into its schedule. Benilde-St. Margaret’s is the third-ranked team in Class 3A.
“We’ve only been going for a week, but I think they definitely need to play against someone else,” Schnettler said. “Benilde is one of the top five teams in the state, regardless of class. They are a class below, but they will be a very good measuring stick for us.
“There’s a purpose for that. We want that. It will help us get ready for conference play. We’ll see what it takes to beat those teams, the type of teams we’ll face in March in the section and conference.”
Schnettler has size to work with as he sets his lineup.
Senior captain Jeff Ruhl is listed as 6-foot-4. Junior captain Brandon Forcier is 6-foot-5.Leo Lakpa is the other captain and will play guard, while guard David Morgan is 6-foot-3. Matt Nelson is 6-foot-7 and Andrew Nelson is 6-foot-8.
“We’ve got some good perimeter guys and our post guys can all play out on the perimeter,” Schnettler said. “But getting it inside will be a point of emphasis. We’ll play inside-out.”
There’s a secondary reason for the strong non-conference schedule other than preparing for the tough South Suburban Conference.
“It’s also because I think our team’s going to be better,” Schnettler said. “I think we’re going to be good. We’ll compete well.”