Archive for Monday, November 19, 2012

SMNW boys return five letter winners, seek improvement

November 19, 2012, 9:13 a.m.

Updated: November 20, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

Shawnee Mission Northwest boys basketball coach Mike Rose is looking for a better season than the 2011-2012 campaign.

The Cougars were 6-15 overall and 2-9 in the Sunflower League last season.

Rose is in his third year as head coach at SM Northwest. He was head coach at Independence High before becoming the Cougars’ coach.

“We are a fairly young team that does have varsity experience,” Rose said. “We look to have a solid season behind our seniors and with lots of help for our younger players.

“We are looking to improve on last year’s six-win season and move up in the Sunflower League.”

The Cougars return one starter in senior 6-foot guard Luke Fields.

They return five letter winners from the 2011-2012 team. They are 5-10 junior Keaton Cross, 5-11 junior Jake Horner, 6-3 junior Brady Skeens, 6-3 senior Marcus NcNeace and 6-0 senior Lovell Jones. Rose noted that the Cougars will play mostly man-to-man with some zone looks this season.

A steep climb awaits in the ever-competitive Sunflower League.

“I look for Olathe East and Olathe South to be very good, followed closely by Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission South,” Rose said. “It is such a great league because of the level of competition night in and night out.”

Rose thinks that basketball is good in the eastern half of Kansas.

“6A basketball is very strong around the Kansas City area,” he said. “There is a lot of good basketball in this area, and it’s not limited to 6A. Many of this area’s 5A and 4A teams play some pretty good basketball.”

The Cougars open the season at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30 against SM West at home.

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