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East vs. Rockhurst Basketball Preview

Preview of the East vs. Rockhurst Basketball Game

The Lancer Basketball Team will be taking on cross state rival the Rockhurst Hawklets for the 37th time this Friday.  You can view this game right here on www.smeharbinger.net.  The JV game will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the Varsity at 7 p.m.

Previewing the game with Rockhurst Coach Mark Nusbaum

How is your approach to this game different from others?
We try to keep it as normal as possible on the practice floor, but we also know that the school treats this week different. We talk about the atmosphere, the noise, the energy is different from most Friday nights.

Is this game one that you look forward to coaching?
I always look forward to this game because of my friendship with Coach Hair, the competitive spirit of both schools and the added dimension of the Coaches vs Cancer fundraising.

Does the home team have a sizable advantage each year?
I don’t know if it is sizable, but playing on the road in that atmosphere is tough. What a great Friday night feel!

Describe your team this year?
The strength of our team this season is balance. We have several players who can score in double figures on any given night. This kind of forces teams to pick their poison, so to speak. This year we’ve got more depth at each position. Also more balance.

From your time scouting East, what are your thoughts on them?
They have the same characteristics as all Coach Hair’s team does. They play tough, physical, smart basketball. They can play different speeds at either end of the floor.

What is going to be the key to the game?
Matching their intensity and blocking out the crowd.

Previewing the game with East Coach Shawn Hair

Do you feel like the home team in this series has a sizable advantage?
I’d play every game at East if I could. I think playing at home definitely helps you. It’s one of those games where both crowds are just so jacked up that it’s gonna be a sellout at 4 o’clock. But you know, it’s not like you’re going to Allen Field house and every fan in there is cheering for KU. It’s pretty evenly split up.

What is the strength of the team this year?
We’ve got really good balance. Vance obviously is our best scorer and Zach has really picked up his scoring as well, so I think that’s been really crucial because teams are really starting to guard Vance hard. And you know, we are starting to get contributions from Andy Hiett, Chase Hanna, Billy Sutherland and Henry Simpson, so those are bigs. All of those guys are crucial to our balance.

What is the difference between this years’ team and last?
We can defend. Holding Shawnee Mission West to 26 points, that’s a big deal. So hopefully we can build on that going into McPherson and come back ready to go ready to play Rockhurst.

What are your thoughts on Rockhurst?
They’re good. They’ve got good size. They’ve got three guys inside that are really good. Kyle Wolf, who is a junior, is about 6’5 and is a really good player. Probably their leading scorer. And then Brian Fosselman who is about 6’3-6’4 and kind of a three man. And then Pat Jones is a really good guard so they’re just a solid team all the way around.

What is going to be your approach to stopping their “big three?”
More than anything, you’ve got to keep them off of the boards, got to get back in transition. Can’t give up offensive transition buckets to Rockhurst, got to make it a half court game and you can’t give them second chance opportunities. If you give them second chance opportunities, they’re going to finish.

What’s going to be the key to winning this game?
The key for us is going to be settling down immediately; everyone is going to be jacked up, amped up. Settle down; get in the flow of the game as quickly as possible. Understand that every possession has got to be one; the offensive possession has got to be won. If we do that, we should be in good shape.

Link to live broadcast recording and game wrap up from the game:

http://smeharbinger.net/sports/live-broadcast-boys-jv-and-varsity-vs-rockhurst

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