COLUMBIA — Mix an experienced coach with inexperienced players, and you have the Rock Bridge boys basketball team.
Jim Scanlon, entering his 30th year as the Rock Bridge boys basketball coach, isn't afraid to admit that his team lacks experience this season. The team is only returning one starter from last year, senior point guard Jackson Dubinski.
Rock Bridge boys basketball
Class 5, District 9
Coach: Jim Scanlon, 30th year
Last year's finish: 18-9 (lost in district finals)
Key players: Senior point guard Jackson Dubinski, junior guard Ryan Kreklow
Despite the lack of experience in his team, Scanlon suggests that his coaching philosophy remains the same.
"Experience, non-experience, it doesn't really make any difference," Scanlon said. "I coach the same way: Coach them hard on every possession, explain how every possession is important, work them on defense, try to teach them how to be successful, and try to get the ball on offense to guys who can score in certain spots."
However, the coach knows that he'll need some help from the few experienced players on the team. Aside from Dubinski, junior Ryan Kreklow is the only player to have received significant playing time last season. Kreklow averaged 10.1 points per game off the bench last year.
Dubinski and Kreklow "will have to do a lot of things for us until we get some more guys some experience," Scanlon said. "The other guys will be fine. They just haven't had the time on the varsity as these two guys. We're counting on them."
The coach singled out Dubinski, who averaged 11.5 points per game last season, as having the major leadership role for the team.
"Dubinski is really great to have on our team," Scanlon said. "He's a team guy. He loves Rock Bridge. I'd hate to think what we'd be like without him"
Along with Dubinski, the team has three other seniors — Travon Tumey, Zach Carroll and Arris Pardalos — who saw playing time last year. Scanlon expects those three to see an increased role this year.
"Our four seniors have really been good as far as leadership, working hard in preseason, and working hard in the offseason," Scanlon said. "They put a lot of time in. They're in great shape. I hope they have a good season."