2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 11/21/2013 9:41 AM

Boys basketball: Scouting Maine West

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By Larry Weindruch
Daily Herald Correspondent

Maine West

Last year: 13-17 overall, 3-7 CSL North

Coach: John Bongiorno (first year)

Top players returning: Seniors: Anthony Dones (G), Jamal Sherman (G), Raghav Patel (G), Josh Redd (F), Ryan Wold (F), and Kamein Johnson (F). Junior Joel Ferraren (G).

Outlook: First-year coach John Bongiorno takes over the Maine West program after a successful stint rebuilding the basketball fortunes at Chicago's Francis Parker, where his teams were 57-25 in the last three seasons and won a pair of regional titles. He knows that the Central Suburban North will be competitive. "With Bob Williams at Niles West (who won at Schaumburg) and Dave Weber at Glenbrook North, very few conferences can say they have two state championship coaches. I expect everyone to give us a good run," Bongiorno said. "It's a good conference. In our division Niles North and Glenbrook North are two tough teams." Bongiorno isn't ready to name his starting lineup, although Dones (5-7) and and Ferraren (6-0) logged starters' minutes last season. "We're trying to make every kid accountable," Bongiorno said. "They have to earn their playing time, even the guys who are returners. I don't want them to feel too comfortable. My job is to make them feel uncomfortable. Today, I think we've had the best of our four practices. We had better flow on offense, and defensively, I thought we made a step forward, which is encouraging. We're not where we want to be obviously, but a good step forward." Any Warrior will earn his playing time by playing good defense. "We're looking for guys who can defend," Bongiorno said. "With any team, to be successful, you must find guys who can defend. And they need to make good decisions. Those will be guys will the ones who start." Offensively, the Warriors will display ball movement. "We have some sets, but it's basically the kids being able to react to what the defense is doing. I'm not a big advocate of a lot of dribbling. We'd like to run and get easy baskets on transition. Defensively, we'll be going man to man in the half court. We'll be a pressing team, but if we're not a good pressing team early, we'll wait till we're better. We don't want to give up easy baskets." The Warriors open against Libertyville, and both the coach and team have one goal: "We want to be ready on 25th. There's no exhibition season."

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