Deep Carson team kicks off season tonight in Elko
When Carson High’s boys basketball team kicks off its 2014-15 season tonight in Winnemucca against Spring Creek, coach Carlos Mendeguia will have one of the deepest teams in recent memory.
Mendeguia returns seven players — Dilyn (22 points, 48 assists) and Jared Rooker (33 points, 11 steals), Kyle Steele (219 points, 87 rebounds), Ian Schulz (50 points, 48 rebounds), Asa Carter (133 points, 58 rebounds), Brandon Ruf (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Cameron Price (279 points, 135 rebounds) — from last year’s 12-11 team. Certainly a nice nucleus to say the least.
Throw in talented sophomores Tez Allen, Jayden DeJoseph, Greg Wallace and Jace Keema plus juniors Cody Azevedo, Kyle Krebs and Eddie Duarte, and you have a good mix of experience, size and athleticism. It’s a good recipe to start with.
“We’re fairly young,” Mendeguia said. “I kept four sophomores. We have four seniors and six juniors. The sophomore will have an opportunity to contribute. They are young, but very athletic. The varsity level is a different level than JVs. Once we get into league games we’ll see how they do.
“We had a pretty good summer. We played a lot of tournaments, a lot of competitive tournaments and had 10 to 12 kids all the time.
“It helps when you have people buying in and showing up. We’re able to get our system in and we didn’t have to start all over again in the fall. I know summer is different because not everybody (on the other teams) may be showing up. Overall, we did what we needed to do.”
Mendeguia believes the Senators will be better for a variety of reasons.
“We’re deeper and more versatile,” Mendeguia said. “We have three or four guys that can play multiple positions. I have four guys that can play two through five (shooting guard through center) on offense and defense. We have four or five guys that can handle the ball and shoot the 3.
“We’re more athletic. We have 14 guys and any one of those guys can go in and give us something positive. You are only as good as you practice, and we could start a different lineup every day. I’ve told the kids we’ll re-evaluate after every game. They will earn their minutes at practice. We have had good competition at practice, and we have a deep enough team that guys are pushing each other.”
Mendeguia isn’t sure how his football players — Dilyn Rooker, Wallace, Duarte, Carter and Schulz — will contribute this weekend.
“They are banged up a little bit,” Mendeguia said. “We told them to tell us what they can do and can’t do. We’ll be watching them closely. I haven’t seen any of them play since we finished the summer stuff.”
Carson’s top two scorers from last year, Price and Steele, have been working in the off-season. Both are expected to have big years. Both should average in double figures.
“Cameron has gotten serious about the game,” Mendeguia said. “He’s gotten stronger. He’s been working on his jump shot. He can step out and shoot the 3. This is the third varsity year for Dilyn, Cameron and Kyle. I’m counting on my seniors to carry a big load this year.”
NOTES: Carson is carrying 14 players, and Mendeguia admits it’s cumbersome in terms of establishing a rotation. He does feel it will help in case of injury, illness or ineligibility … Carson has made two adjustments to its schedule. The Reno game originally scheduled for this past Tuesday has been shifted to Jan. 3 at 1:30 and will be a varsity only game. The Reed game, originally scheduled for Dec. 9 at Reed, will be played Dec. 23 at 5 p.m. Mendeguia was asked by Hug to switch the Dec. 19 game to a different day, but he said Tuesday afternoon he doesn’t want to give up a Friday night home game… The Elko Tournament is the first of two tournaments this year. Carson will travel to San Diego over the Christmas break (Dec. 26-30) for a tournament.