Boys' Basketball Preview: St. Pat's Irish

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Last season, St. Pat's boys' basketball finished with a 10-15 record, losing to Paxton in the second round of the Subdistrict D1-12 tournament.

St. Pat's boys' basketball coach Bill O'Malley addresses the team prior to a practice (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)

The Irish return three starters from last year's team, but will need to rely on some of the younger players on the roster to step up and contribute.

"We have a couple underclassmen that are going to help us out a lot," said senior guard Dolan Branch.

"We've got some good young guys that are capable of stepping up and we're expecting them to do that this year," said senior forward Charles Aufdenkamp.

With little to no experience at the varsity level, Aufdenkamp said the biggest thing for the younger players, is to get as much experience as they can before the season starts.

Despite the lack of experience, the players believe their speed will be an asset on the court.

"We're pretty quick we move the ball pretty well in the open gym so I think we'll be all right," Branch said.

"I think we'll definitely have some more speed than last year. Good ball control, good ball handling, for pretty much everyone in the starting lineup," senior forward Landon Lawrence said.

Another asset the players believe will stand out is the team's chemistry.

"I think a strength of ours is going to be our team chemistry we have a lot of guys that really like each other and are willing to go out and play for each other every night," Aufdenkamp said.

One weakness the team will have to work around is their lack of height.

"Inside we don't have the most height, that most teams have so we need to come out and rebound and it's got to be a team effort," Aufdenkamp said.

However, Aufdenkamp hopes the speed can make up for the lack of height.

"We're going to be able to run the ball a lot, we have a lot of speed on our team, we're not going to have the most height or size on the team, but we're going to have some speed we're going to get out and try to run as much as we can," he said.

The Irish open their season at Broken Bow on Dec. 6.