RAHS boys basketball counting on its depth

When Kevin McKenzie took over as head coach of the Roseville Area High School boys basketball team last year, he inherited a team coming off a state-tournament appearance. That state-tournament squad featured a senior-heavy lineup, leaving not much experience for McKenzie.

A year later, McKenzie is in his second season with the Raiders and the cupboard is a bit more stocked.

“We bring back a lot more experience this year,” said McKenzie, who came to Roseville after coaching at St. Paul Academy. “There are 10 guys who are back and will be in the mix.”

Roseville’s roster is guard-heavy so that’s where McKenzie sees the team’s strength.

“We have a lot of guys who can handle the ball and play on the perimeter,” McKenzie said. “I also like our scrappiness, toughness and quickness.”

Among the retuning players is senior guard Joe Wright, who played in 25 games last year and stepped into a starting role in the second half of the season. He is the team’s leading returning scorer after averaging almost seven points per game. 

Senior Anthony Weber is what McKenzie described as an “undersized center” but he averaged five rebounds per game last season. Junior Nolan Wald, at six-foot-five, provides some more size.

“We have a lot of good basketball players,” McKenzie said. “Because we have a lot of good basketball players and depth, if the guys play with intensity and play team basketball, we could be very successful as far as wins and losses.”

Defense is another important area for Roseville this season. 

“That’s what we’ll have to rely on,” McKenzie said. “We’re going to play disciplined, aggressive defense that needs to force bad shots and turnovers.”

Roseville opened the season last week with a trip to North St. Paul to face a Polars team that went to state last year. The Polars got scoring from only five players but came away with a 63-51 victory.

Roseville’s scoring was more balanced but not enough to pull out the win. Drew Adams paced the Raiders with 14 points and Wright added a dozen. Richard Wilson chipped in with nine points and no other Raider scored more than four.

The Raiders played St. Louis Park on Dec. 3, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

Up next for Roseville is a non-conference home game against Totino-Grace on Dec. 9 and a visit to Rosemount for a matinee tilt on Dec. 10.

The Raiders open up Suburban East Conference play on Dec. 16 at home against Stillwater and visit Burnsville for a non-conference game the next day.

McKenzie sees Cretin-Derham Hall and Woodbury as the favorites in the conference.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

2016-17 Roseville Area High School boys basketball schedule

 

Dec. 1 at North 7 p.m.

Dec. 3 vs. St. Louis Park 2 p.m.

Dec. 9 vs. Totino-Grace 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 10 at Rosemount 3 p.m.

Dec. 16 vs. Stillwater 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 17 at Burnsville 3 p.m.

Dec. 20 at Centennial 7 p.m.

Dec. 22 vs. St. Paul Central 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 27 at Bethel tournament TBA

Dec. 28 at Bethel tournament TBA

Jan. 3 at Woodbury 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 5 at East Ridge 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 13 at Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 17 at Park-Cottage Grove 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 20 vs. White Bear Lake 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 24 at Cretin-Derham Hall 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 27 vs. Mounds View 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 31 at Stillwater 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 3 vs. Woodbury 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 8 vs. Spring Lake Park 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 10 vs. East Ridge 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 17 vs. Forest Lake 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 21 vs. Park-Cottage Grove 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 24 at White Bear Lake 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 28 vs. Cretin-Derham Hall 7:15 p.m.

Mar. 3 at Mounds View 7:15 p.m.

 

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