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    2023-24 Boys Basketball Preview: Beachwood Bison

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    Are the Beachwood Bison reloading or rebuilding?

    That’s the million-dollar question after the Bison graduated an extremely large senior class from last season’s squad that finished 17-9 overall and won a district championship.

    “I feel good about our team,” said fifth-year head coach David Krasnow. “We graduated 12 seniors including our top eight players, so we have an entirely new team. We have a lot of talent; it is just young and inexperienced.”

    The Bison graduate all five starters and return just one player with varsity experience, but don’t write off the Bison just yet.

    Krasnow is confident he has the talent to remain competitive, he just knows it might take some time for those players to settle into their new roles, catch up to the speed of the varsity game, and jell as a squad.

    “I believe our strength is our numbers. I feel like we have seven starters and seven guys that can average double figures. Having seven strong players is tough to defend,” he said. “Our biggest challenge is that we have almost no varsity experience on our roster. I think we will have games where we look amazing and others that we may struggle. I think it will be a process of getting these guys comfortable before we can overcome inconsistency.”

    Senior Daniel Rub, a 5-foot-11 guard, saw varsity action last season and he enters his senior season with much more confidence.

    “Daniel has a lot of talent, but previously lacked confidence in himself and his game, “Krasnow said. “He has found that and is poised for a big year.”

    Robert Friedman, a 6-foot-5 senior center, will help the Bison in many ways this season.

    “Rob is tall long athletic and ready to take the (Chagrin Valley Conference) by storm,” Krasnow said. “He is in great shape and getting better every day. We expect a breakout season from Rob.”

    Junior Nick Reese, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward, has the talent to shine this season. His success hinges on his confidence catching up to his game.

    “Nick has worked hard on his game,” Krasnow said. “He has the entire package to be a great player, he just needs to be confident in himself.”

    Jacob Thomas, a 5-foot-10 junior point guard, and Jayden Koonce, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard/forward, round out the projected starting lineup.

    “Jacob has transferred to Beachwood from Gilmour. He is a true floor general, fast handles the ball well, great leader and teammate. His calming influence will help our team,” Krasnow said. “Jayden is a scorer. He has the entire offensive package and a chance to truly be an elite player at Beachwood.”

    Sophomore C.J. Payton, a 6-foot-1 point guard, and sophomore Larry Clark, a 6-foot forward, will provide the Bison with depth.

    “C.J. is the real deal. When he gets going full speed, he is unstoppable. He handles the ball very well. At times, I see Kyrie Irving, and other times Ja Morant. He also has the chance to be an elite high school player,” Krasnow said. “I love the way Larry plays the game. He is probably our best defender and can and will guard anyone. Larry plays hard, fights for every loose ball, is an unselfish player and a great teammate. Larry will be playing big minutes for us.”

    Despite the roster turnover, Krasnow’s goals for his team remain the same.

    He has his sights set on winning another district championship.

    “We need to play hard, play fast, and play as a complete team,” he said.

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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