Boys basketball preview: Red Devils boast strong, versatile roster

Published: Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 5:30 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Bill Ackerman)
Hinsdale Central's Chase Hamilton pressures a Glenbard West player in a game last season. Hamilton is one of several Red Devils expected to contribute this year. (photo by Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)

HINSDALE – Hinsdale Central’s boys basketball team is built upon leadership and versatility.

Endowed with an all-upperclassman squad and several returning players, Hinsdale Central head coach Nick Latorre believes the team’s biggest asset is its versatility, depth and leadership.

“We have a lot of players that will have a chance to play and contribute,” Latorre said. “We are very strong inside, but we can also run the court and get out in transition.”

Division-I recruit Matt Rafferty leads a strong corps of Red Devil forwards. A 6-foot-8-inch junior forward, Rafferty commands an inside presence but has also developed a versatile mid-range jumper and is an adept ball handler and passer.

He is supported on the low block by 6-foot-7-inch senior Ian Bunting. Bunting – who has committed to play football next season at the University of Michigan – is a three-year varsity basketball player who excels on defense and has the athleticism to get out and run the court.

Forward Grant Lillard is the team’s defensive stopper, according to Latorre, and will regularly match up with the opposition’s best player. Senior Ryan Scales will come off the bench and play valuable minutes at forward.

The Red Devils also very deep at guard. Chase Hamilton, Jacob White and Jordan Bradshaw are mainstays in the Central backcourt while Neven Mulc, Grant Hutcherson and Thomas Ives will come off the bench.

Bradshaw will start at point guard and run the offense. Hamilton – a three year varsity player – is one of the Red Devils’ leading scorers and White is a relentless competitor who consistently wins battles for rebounds and loose balls.

The Red Devils will enter the season with a target on their backs as the defending West Suburban Silver champs. With a bevy of depth and talent, Latorre likes
his team’s ability to play a variety of offenses, which should keep Central in the thick of the WSS race again this
season.

“Our versatility is one of our biggest strengths,” he said. “We have the personnel to play and uptempo offense, or a lot of set pieces, or run a high-low game with our bigs.”

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