RANDOLPH, NJ—Randolph Boys basketball is back, and revving up to make the 2019-20 season a slam dunk in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). The team hopes to rally behind their top players' strong leadership abilities and prior experience to bring home the Morris County Trophy.
This season, the roster primarily consists of upperclassmen; many of whom are key seniors, including co-captains Brian Eames and Ryan Ross.
“Both of these guys were selected as captains by all of the players and coaches in the program,” head coach Nick Lavender said. “Both embody everything you look for in a leader and both have the ability to really take over a game if asked to do so.”
Last season, Eames, who was named a 1st Team All-Conference Player, averaged 9.3 points and 5 assists, leading the Rams in both of those categories over the 26-game-long season. Meanwhile, Ross saw eight games of varsity action last season, and this year he is looking to make a big impact on both ends of the floor with his size, strength and athleticism.
The Rams will be playing at a fast pace on offense as they look to push the tempo and get easy baskets in transition. On the defensive side, Randolph plans to run a similar up-tempo pressure defense in order to force turnovers and fluster their opponents.
This attack-first mindset is much different from the Rams’ play style last season, in which they ran a slower offense and played through their size and length. They now will have to be more aggressive and fight harder for rebounds and loose balls at every position.
“I’m excited by the versatility of the roster this year,” Eames said. “We have a lot of experienced players returning as well as a lot of new players that have improved their games and will make immediate impacts on the varsity level.”
The starting lineup will consist of Brian Eames at Point Guard, Jamal Santana at Shooting Guard, Dylan Haun at Small Forward, Ryan Ross at Power Forward, and Justin Lawler at Center. Coach Lavender will look to rotate in key contributors off the bench that includes Daquan Hendrickson, Ryan Martin, Matia Clement, and Sean Lawler.
“I have very high expectations for us as do my teammates and coaches,” Ross added. “I think we definitely are going to surprise a lot of teams this year.”
The team is coming into their opener confident and prepared after defeating Madison, Livingston, and West Milford with ease in pre-season scrimmages. The Rams play Friday night’s season opener against Morris Catholic at home. The game is slated to tip off at 7:00 PM, and is expected to be a thrilling start to the season.