Rend Lake College Men’s Basketball Preview

https://www.rlc.edu/athletics/athletics-news/13388-2017-bball-preview

INA, IL –  Click on the link above for the full preview, schedule, and roster from Reece Rutland, Sports Information Director of Rend Lake College.  The text part of the preview is below.

Tommy Holder last year as a Rend Lake Assistant (RLC Sports Information)

In his first season since transiting from Rend Lake College assistant coach to head coach, Tommy Holder is anticipating the Warriors will be highly competitive in a very strong Great Rivers Athletic Conference and an even stronger NJCAA Region XXIV.

Holder has brought in a wide-array of fresh faces to give the team a new look and address some of the issues he observed with last year’s team.

“The first thing we addressed this year was something I felt like we lacked last year. I really wanted to see us elevate our point guard play. We have a few guys that can handle the ball for us this year; Trevyon Williams (Springfield), Jason Towers (Maywood) and Juwan Moore (Morrilton, Ark.). Then, we have one of our returning players, Kenny Berry (Granite City) that can handle the ball as well,” said Holder.

“I feel like they are all going to bring different things to the table, but they are all very capable ball handlers that will be able to adequately get us in our offense.”

In addition to new point guards, Holder has also brought in a recruitment class full of shooters to help spread the floor on the offensive side of the ball.

 

Carterville’s Austin Swalls

“Austin Swalls (Carterville), David Hunt (Chicago) and Jordan Doss (Chicago) are all pretty good shooters with size. This team has got a lot of length. We’ve got quite a few on the roster this year in that 6’6 to 6’8 range. There’s just a lot of versatility we have. I’m pretty excited about the group.”

Holder went on to say that he sees more spirit in this group. He described last year’s team as more reserved, and said he is looking for this team to have a stronger competitive fire on the court and at practice.

While the new head coach sees several improvements to the offense, the team is still built on a bedrock of defensive focus. He anticipates the team picking up opposing ball handlers further up the court than they did last year.

“The defense is going to feed our offense. But, we should be a lot of fun to watch. There are some really athletic players on the team this year. I know the fans like to see the dunks and things. There will probably be plenty of that. I just want to see productivity, and I anticipate getting that from this group,” he said.

In addition to taking over as head coach, Holder also serves as the academic adviser for all the RLC student athletes, and the position has afforded him the opportunity to be more active in visiting local high schools to see and support in-district programs at that level.

With community building in mind, Holder anticipates new initiatives to foster a stronger partnership between his roundball Warriors and the district.

“We want to actively get the community involved in what we do. I want each of our high schools to know that we would love to see them come watch a game at Waugh Gym. We invited many of the high school teams to come to campus over the summer and work out with us,” Holder said.

“We’d love to have people come out and support these young men. RLC is a great place to watch a game, and I think we are going to have a team people can be proud of this season.”

 

DeMarius Dabney

In addition to being Holder’s first season as head coach, he has also brought in a crop of new and talented assistant coaches to help maintain the team.

De’Marius Dabney was a coach who Holder had worked with in the past when they spent time coaching a summer club.
“What stands out to me about De’Marius is that he is mature beyond his age. He’s just got such a wealth of knowledge. He’s also very good with strength and conditioning, so that will help a lot going forward.”

Sam Ficker comes into the Warrior program with coaching experience at the college level. Ficker is bringing in a couple years of experience when he served for two years as a grad assistant at Lincoln University. Holder also said that he brought Ficker on because of his poise, something the often-fiery new head coach knows will help balance him out.

Sam Ficker

“There’s a lot of responsibility molding these young men. We want to be focused doing our best job of helping facilitate them both athletically and academically. When you have the ability to divvy things out to assistant coaches you trust, it becomes less strenuous and everyone gets the attention they and support that they need,” Holder explained.

The Warriors kick off their season with a home opener against Danville Area community College at 3 p.m. on Nov. 4.

 

 

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