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Glen Ellyn

Raiders' defense is key to success

GLEN ELLYN – With head coach Wade Hardtke being the tallest guy on the bus this winter, Glenbard South’s boys basketball team will rely on its athleticism as the Raiders begin the 2013-14 season.

“We will be small,” Hardtke said. “We will need to be scrappy defensively and we will have to manufacture some points. We won’t be able to bang it inside.”

The squad does return three starters in seniors Chaun Rickette, Alex Jeske and John Marks. Rickette averaged 17.3 points per game a year ago.

“We bring back some guys who obviously bring back some experience, and those two are good things,” Hardtke said. “Chaun continues to put the ball in the basket. He’s improved his perimeter game. Last year he did a lot of his scoring off the dribble. Now he is a lot more comfortable spotting up. And Alex will
be our second guy [offensively].”

With a lack of height on the roster – Glenbard South’s two tallest players are Marks and Bill Bair, who are listed at 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-5, respectively – the Raiders will need to extend their defense.

“We have to use our athleticism to get out and pressure people,” the coach said. “If teams are essentially able to get the ball inside, I think
we are going to struggle. We have to use that defensive pressure and intensity to disrupt what other teams are trying to do.”

Inside the Metro Suburban Conference, Riverside Brookfield is once again the clear-cut favorite, with the Bulldogs looking for their eighth straight league title. How it shakes out behind them is anyone’s guess.

“RB is loaded,” Hardtke said. “They are really deep this year. And it’s a toss up from there.”

As for where Glenbard South ends up, one of the many keys for the Raiders is staying healthy.

“We are not very big and we are not very deep,” Hardtke said. “The defensive end will be key. We’ve got to be able to stop people. And on the offensive side, we have to manufacture points whether in transition or if we spread the floor. We will do a lot more off the dribble then we have in the past.”

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