From post to perimeter — that seems to be the transition Aurora Central Catholic’s boys basketball team is making.
Shot-blocker deluxe Robert DeMyers graduated. In 23 games last season he rejected 116 shots and averaged 12.7 points and 9 rebounds. Gone too is Joey McEachern, who averaged 11.9 points and 6 boards.
Graduated 3-point ace Paul Kaminski might fit in with these 2012-13 Chargers, who coach Nathan Drye sees as being better all-around shooters. In a Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division that seems wide open, ACC may shoot its way into contention.
“We’re not as athletic or as quick, but I think we’ll shoot it better and hopefully make a few more threes,” Drye said.
On a team with several program legacies — Hollon, Czerak, Harreld — at least the last one will get to loft up a bunch. Sean Harreld, younger brother of former Chargers hero Ryan Harreld (now at Aurora University), finished fourth in the 2012 3-point contest as a sophomore.
Long-range bombs are his role. Phil Schuetz, a 6-foot-3 forward, will range most everywhere else. Drye sees the “bouncy” Schuetz as the team’s leading scorer, off junior-year averages of 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds.
“He can shoot it, he’s athletic, pretty good on the floor, he can dunk it,” Drye said. “He’s pretty well-rounded.”
Sean Anger, Zach Flint, Michael O’Donnell and Shawn Soris will all have to pick up scoring from last year; none averaged more than O’Donnell’s 2.8 points a game.
One player yet to be mentioned may be the key to it all — point guard Anthony Andujar.
“I think he’s going to be one of the best around. That gives us something to work with,” Drye said.
An oft-injured 5-10 senior who spared his health by not playing football this season, Andujar averaged 5.7 points, 4.4 assists (to 3.0 turnovers) last basketball season. Drye said Andujar has a great pullup jumper but last year’s shooting percentages may indicate what he’ll do: 32.9 percent from the floor, lowest among regulars, and 81.9 percent from the free-throw line, best on the team.
If the speedy Andujar gets a lane, he’ll take it in for the foul or finish; if not, it’s kick-out to Schuetz, Flint, Harreld and friends.
Aside from the 6-7 Anger, more post presence and rebounder than scorer, the Chargers are of average height. Drye’s trademark 2-3 half-court zone defense doesn’t necessarily require size against most teams since Chargers players know every angle of it, but rebounding is the coach’s big concern.
“If we can board I think we’ll be OK,” he said. “But if we starting giving up three, four shots we’re in a world of hurt.”
Coach: Nathan Drye (ninth year, 129-109)
Last year: 12-18, 4-6, fifth in the Suburban Christian Blue
Key returnees: Anthony Andujar, G, sr.; Phil Schuetz, F, sr.; Zach Flint, G, sr.
Skinny: Andujar looks to feed hungry shooters.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.