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Chemistry could be key for the men’s basketball team this season

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Straight out of the gym doors from basketball practice, returning Cosumnes River College men’s basketball player Shauwn Brooks stands both proud and humble as he takes on the leadership role as one of the two returning players of the 2012-2013 team.

“We want to win and prove a lot of people wrong,” Brooks said.

This year features a group of young and talented athletes who plan to take on a whole new meaning of the word speed.

“We’re all unified, we’re all on the same page and we all want to win,” Brooks said.

Although they are a team of eager players, they have big shoes to fill after last year’s wicked season in which they finished fourth in the Big 8 Conference and advancing to the sweet sixteen.

With only two returning players, Brooks and Orion Kidd, the upcoming season poses complete unpredictability with a roster of unfamiliar faces.

Lead assistant coach Nicholas Podesta expressed his excitement towards the entirely new team.

“It’s a good mix of kids we recruited as freshmen and kids who transferred from other schools,” Podesta said.

Returning player Orion Kidd also shared his enthusiasm for the upcoming season.

“I’ve never been on a team that clicks like this one does,” Kidd said as he described the daily jokes and laughter in the locker room. “We’re a bunch of goofs,” he chuckled.

All jokes aside, Podesta predicts a competitive season this year as he emphasized the teams up-tempo and athletic style.

“Every single player brings something that makes the team better,” Podesta said. In order to bring home the win “we need to embrace the philosophy of playing together.”

Team defense and rebounding will be critical this season.

There needs to be a lot of help-side on the defensive team, with five guys defending the ball, Podesta said.

Head coach James Giacomazzi also reiterated the importance of aggression and proper execution. “We need to eliminate dribble penetration and force teams to beat us from outside,” Giacomazzi said.

Regardless of the team’s smaller size, they pose a force to be reckoned with. “We’re only as strong as our weakest link,” Kidd said as he emphasized the importance of staying healthy outside the court. “Your whole lifestyle has to be basketball.”

Both coaches and team players are ready and anxious to start competing. The team plans to “come out like a pack of wolves” and “go undefeated,” Kidd said.

The fans should expect to see the team play hard every single night and be entertained by coach Giacomazzi screaming his head off, Kidd said with a laugh.

“He’s much more than a basketball coach, he’s a good person outside of the court,” Kidd said.

When the team breaks the huddle they always end on the word “family” because it’s such a close knit group of players. “We’re all like brothers,” Kidd said. It’s clear the team has a strong work ethic and a winning mindset that will bring home the points. “If we see a big mountain, we think how we’re going to prepare to climb over it,” Kidd said.

In order to progress as a mature team, there needs to be consistency among players, dedication and hard work, said Brooks. Ultimately “I want to start this season off on a good note and really make this school a winning college,” Brooks said.

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Chemistry could be key for the men’s basketball team this season