On Sept. 15, the first practice of the Tars’ 2011-2012 men’s basketball season commenced. This year’s squad features seven players returning from last year’s back-to-back Sunshine State Conference Champion team and seven players who are new to the program.
The Tars have had six days of practice to begin their campaign, but not without good reason. Because the Tars’ roster of 14 men includes seven new players, five of whom are first-years, the coaching staff needs to transform this group of talented individuals into a coherent team before their season opener on Nov. 11 against Palm Beach Atlantic.
When asked how the new players were adjusting to the team’s system, coach Tom Klusman said, “It’s always difficult for new players; you can see them out there thinking a lot.”
Klusman also said that he foresees his biggest challenge as “getting the team to mesh and have everyone playing on the same page with one another.” Although the Tars’ chemistry as a team is still developing, Klusman remains optimistic about his team’s potential for this year, describing his players as “incredible athletes.”
What should Rollins basketball fans be looking forward to this season? Klusman described his squad as a “long, athletic, and fast-paced team that plays extremely hard.” Basketball teams with these characteristics always bring an element of explosiveness to the court and have the potential to make any play something spectacular.
On offense, the team likes to get out on the fast break, shoot threes and drive hard to the rim. “There have been some dunks in practice that just make you go ‘Holy cow!,’” said Klusman. As defending champions, the Tars expect strong competition from their opponents, setting the stage for intense matchups.