A 15-player, senior-led team with size has Lisle coach Mark LaScala and his players excited for the 2012-13 season.
Size, depth and athleticism should be strong suits for the Lions this winter.
“We’re much deeper than in the past,” LaScala said. “I could probably mention 11 or 12 guys.”
LaScala said the depth will make practices more competitive and will help in game situations when adversity rears its head.
“Kids get sick, kids get hurt, kids get in foul trouble, and to some degree (our depth) protects us against that, so it’s a good thing to have,” LaScala said. “The flip side is, there are only so many minutes and only one basketball. As long as we remain unselfish, it will be a big plus for us.”
Senior guards Cody Monson and Johnny Parrillo and Romeoville-transfer Lamont Ross, also a senior, figure to be cornerstone players for the Lions. Returning seniors Greg Saul and Dawon Burrell should also have major roles in a more uptempo offense that will take advantage of the depth and Lisle’s overall athleticism.
“We want to run. I think that’s to our advantage, especially with our depth because we can sub in and wear the other team down,” the coach said. “I think we’ll be fun to watch.”
Burrell, Saul, Ross and junior center Shane Murray add height that Lisle hasn’t had in years. LaScala envisions that physical element being a plus on both ends of the floor.
“This is the biggest team I’ve had since I’ve been here. Usually we’ve had one 6-foot-5 guy or maybe two, and this year we have three guys 6-5-plus,” LaScala said. “Then Dawon and Lamont are 6-2, 6-3 but they’re long, so we hope to take advantage of that length at both ends of the floor.”
The Lions will play five games in six days at their own Thanksgiving tournament to start the season, during which time LaScala will further evaluate his team and let the performances of his players help determine the rotation. Lisle opens Interstate Eight Conference play Nov. 30 at Sandwich with the goal of winning the conference title by season’s end.
“Win conference and win a regional are always goals, but I think there’s a buzz and the kids feel like they have a shot to do that,” LaScala said. “But we have a long way to go, a long way to go.”
At a glance
COACH Mark LaScala2011-12 RECORD 12-18TOP PLAYERS Dawon Burrell sr. F Cody Monson sr. G Johnny Parrillo sr. G Lamont Ross sr. F Nick Saul sr. FFIRST GAME 7:30 p.m. Monday vs. University High at Lisle tournament
9 Number of players, out of 15 total, taller than 6 feet