BY MICHAEL CHAPMAN
It’s that time of year again: long nights, early mornings, and very long practices and games daily for the men’s basketball team at Indian River State College.
That’s right, it’s basketball season and the team is defending its Southern Conference championship. As of Dec. 2, the 8-1 team, ranked ninth in the region, feels confident that that goal is within reach.
“We would like to return to the regional tournament,” coach Joe Sanchez said. “We have some experienced returning personnel and we hope we can use that to our advantage.”
With only one starter returning, he is looking to play an up-tempo style. The team is two-deep at every position, without a drop-off in talent.
Sanchez is also emphasizing defense this season and expects to control the tempo against any team that the River face. Their single returning starter, Jonathan Fairell, is a center who is looking to control the paint and be a go-to option down low. Sanchez is looking for a balanced scoring attack from every position and thinks a good inside-outside game will result in balanced scoring.
With Florida being one of the top three most competitive junior college basketball states, it is not easy to finish with a good record. But the team is hungry and ready to practice every day, including a walk-through before games. Improving on last year’s great season is not something these players and coaches are hoping for, it is something they are determined to do.