2010-2011 Council Rock North Basketball Preview

Council Rock North has some incredibly lofty expectations heading into the upcoming season.  The Indians are the defending SOL champions, going 22-6 last year, the fourth most wins in school history.  Their magical season came to an end with a home state playoff loss to Hazelton Area.

The team returns eight players, including four starters.

Council Rock North head coach Derek Wright has done a fantastic job for the Indians.  Entering his ninth season, Wright has won two SOL titles, compiling a 119-90 career record at North.  He talked about the overall team goals for the season.

“We challenge our guys with the quote win every day,” said Wright.  “What that means to these guys is that every day they give their best, they give everything they have whether it’s a practice or a game.  I know it’s cliché, but if we do that, the other things will take care of themselves.”

“I’m sure the kids have a lot of goals in terms of where we’re going to finish, and that’s good, but we still have a lot to work on,” said Wright.

A few of the players spoke about the team’s potential for the 2010-2011 season.

“I think the first thing we want to do is repeat as league champions,” said last year’s team MVP Charlie Anastasi.  “To me that shows the culmination of a whole season of work.”

“We’re a big team and we know how to play together,” said starter Aaron Morgan.  “We’ve been playing together for three year.  We’ve grown as a team.  There’s a lot of good teams in the area, it’s going to be a fight.”

“I just want us to get better everyday,” said starting point guard Aaron Goodman.  “I want us to get better on offense and defense.  We’ve got good length and size.  We got people who can score.  If we can put that to work, I think we’ll be alright. 

First Team All Suburban One League pick Charlie Anastasi enters his senior season.  He averaged 8.6 points per game, and led the team in rebounding snatching down 7.1 a night.

“Charlie is one of the most impressive young men I’ve ever coached,” said Wright.  He’s got a lot responsibility this year with the team as a leader, on and off the floor.  He’s really worked on his game in the off-season.  He’s become a much more talented player.  We’re really excited for him.”

Aaron Goodman has been the leading scorer for the Indians the past two seasons as a freshman and a sophomore.  The Second Team All SOL selection averaged 12.0 points per game.

“He’s matured a lot,” said Wright.  “We’re expecting a little bit more defensively than we have in the past.  He’s a tough match-up problem for a lot of teams.”

Handling the point guard position is Aaron Morgan.  Morgan averaged 8.5 points per game and a team leading 3.9 assists per game last season.  He received First Team SOL honors last year as a sophomore.

“We’re putting a lot of added expectations on him,” said Wright.  He’s going to have the ball most of the time, and guarding the ball most of the time.  The way he plays is going to be the way we go.”

Senior John Raymon, a Third Team SOL selection, averaged 8.6 points a game and 6.1 rebounds a contest.

“He’s got to be our paint pounder,” said Wright. “He’s got to be the guy that we can depend on defensively to guard the basket, and offensively to get some easy buckets.  He’s an ex-factor for us.”   

Four Indians will not return due to graduation; Andrew Stress, Nick Donofry, Ty Bostain and Tim Filer.  Stress led the teams in steals with 32, and finished his career fifth on the Council Rock North steals list with 120.

“He was always our best defender on the floor,” said Wright.  “He brought a lot of toughness.  He brought great leadership in terms of how hard you have to play, to play North basketball.  We’re going to have to get that from some other guys this year.”

Stress’ leadership will be missed.  With his departure, others guys are going to have to fill the void not only from a leadership role, but also as a defender.  Morgan will be the on-the-ball defender as referenced earlier. 

One player that Wright sees making bigger strides is Matt McCloskey.

“He’s one of our smarter players,” said Wright.  “He really knows what we expect as coaches.  We expect him to give us some leadership too.”

Wright commented on some players that should see the floor more than they may have in previous years.

“Our bench is going to be really important,” said Wright.  “Players like Hunter Stevens, Alex Jordan, Jordan Chernin, Liam Kane who are going to get their first serious varsity minutes.  There’s going to be games where we’re going to be in foul trouble or we need to give somebody a break.  They just have to make sure when they step on the floor that we don’t lose anything defensively.”

Even with the grand aspirations, the Indians remain humble.  There’s always room for improvement and progress.

“We need to work on playing hard and smart at the same time,” said Wright.  “Right now we can’t think and play at the same time.  We’re struggling with being able to know where we should be and knowing what defenses we’re in when we’re changing defenses.  These guys have the ability to be smart players.” 

Council Rock North’s school record for most wins in a season is 23.  That was achieved by three different Indian teams; the 1991-1992, 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 squads.  By season’s end, the Indians and their fans will figure out if this year’s Council Rock North team can surpass that mark.

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