Categorized | Sports

New names and faces for Cardinal Basketball

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

The names that composed the 2011-12 Cardinal Basketball roster were household names in Brighton.

The only new name was Head Coach Darryle Rogers.

Now entering his season season as the leader of the Cardinals, the veteran coach might be the only name on the 2012-13 people recognize.

Last year’s team graduated key contributors like Ricky Foster, Tony Brooks, Eddie Middlebrooks and Demarious Adams. And players expected to come back have transferred like Demetrius Dyson, Johnathan “Hurt” Starks, Moses Parker and Cameron Foster.

“Sometimes change is good,” Rogers said. “It gives other guys an opportunity to grow and develop. We’re going to start off the season on a positive note. We have a lot of young guys. And we’re hoping they’ll do their best every night.”

Rogers said he is looking forward to the challenge of guiding a team featuring freshmen, sophomores and juniors and molding the players into a new brand of Brighton Basketball.

With impressable minds composing his new roster, Rogers said he has introduced his players to the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley.

“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul,” are the lines Rogers wants his players to embrace.

“We’ve been using the last two lines of that poem to let us know we are the masters of our faith throughout this season being so young,” he said. “We also talk about developing a brand of basketball here at Brighton. Of course we had the superstars last year. We had the big names. But this year we have to develop our brand.

“We people ask about Brighton Basketball, what is your brand?” Rogers asked rehtorcially. “What are they going to talk about? Some of the kids said, ‘We’re going to be scrappy. We’re going to fight.’”

Rogers said that fights starts with his junior point guard Tybon Cooper.

“I’m looking at Tybon to be my floor general, to lead the guys day in and day out against the biggest opponents,” he noted. “He’ll be the main ball handler.”

Rogers said Tybon’s younger brother Tremaine will see minutes as a freshman. He is known for his good passing skills.

In the paint sophomore Lorenzo Hunt will be a factor.

“I’m expecting for him to step up and be that utility guy, rebound and block shots,” Rogers said. “I expect him to score when he has to and run the floor. And he’ll possibly guard the best offensive guy on the opposite team.

“We’re going to have a lot of role players,” he continued. “One thing we’ve talked about a lot this preseason is everybody being a role player, including myself. We all need to listen and develop that concept of team. We talked about mental toughness.”

Rogers said his seniors Heath Baskins and Derek Somerville with be a part of helping the team build mental toughness and excelling in the classroom, locker and court.

So with a roster people will have to learn about throughout the course of the season, Rogers said those who attend a Brighton game this season will see the fight and focus in his players each night.

“I don’t mind being the underdog in a fight,” he said. “We have a very challenging schedule this season. And I’m sure a lot of people have certain dates marked like Dec. 14 and Jan. 19.

“But regardless win, lose or draw, I expect my guys to go our there with class, play hard-nose basketball, play together as a team and learn to trust each other,” Rogers concluded. “That’s the biggest thing. Being the underdog, we can win the fight if it’s long enough.”

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