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Talented Tars Need Chemistry

Monique Henry
SLAM Junior Forward, Jeff Dirkin finishes the possession with a one-handed dunk; the Tars went on to beat Palm Beach Atlantic 83-61. Photo by Monique Henry

Coach Klusman looks to senior co-captain Mitch Woods to lead raw group of basketball talent that features giant frontcourt and experienced backcourt.

The future is bright for Rollins Men’s Basketball.

The basketball season has officially begun, and three games into the season, the Tars are working through the transition of losing three starters from last year.

After losing the first two games of the year in Las Vegas, the team rebounded in their home opener against Palm Beach Atlantic, winning by 22.

Entering his 34th season as the Tars head coach, Tom Klusman feels that this team is quite different from recent years. “Our range has been quite wide so far,”

Klusman said, “The one thing about this team so far is that they play hard; we’re still trying to find what works.” With four new players, including new starting point guard and Florida Gulf Coast transfer, Alex Blessig ‘16, the team is working to find their chemistry and clique, just a few games into the season.

Blessig, who played 13 games for the Eagles of FGCU, brings to the Tars a confident ball handler and a player willing and able to drive the ball down the lane. He also brings the experience of the NCAA tournament run that he and his teammates had when FGCU made it to the Sweet 16 after beating powerhouses Georgetown and San Diego State.

The Tars also bring back Adam Allen, Gr.,  who, after coming from the University of Florida last year, made an immediate impact for Rollins in the first half of the season. His three-point range and his ability to play near the basket helped improve the team overall.

The team’s inside presence as a whole has also improved. Veterans Jeff Dirkin ‘15, and Chris Uhle ‘15 and Lukas Winegarner ‘14, have become more aggressive in their play and their ability to score inside. Look for all three to be dominant forces this season.

Also returning is last year’s starting guard Mitch Woods ‘15. Woods, who transferred from Appalachian State, is one of the   team captains and has become a leader for this young team.

“It’s early, so we’ve still got a lot of faith in our guys and what we do.” Senior and co-team captain Mitch Woods  said. “I think we’re a team that’s steadily improving as the season goes on, as we continue to build more chemistry. I think that later down the road we’ll see what happens, but the future’s bright for us.”


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