With just one returning starter from a four-win team, Cardinal’s boys’ basketball team is focused on development this season.
Jon Cummins returns for his 15th year as the team’s head coach after a one-year hiatus. He inherits a program with some talented players but one very short on experience.
“We are extremely young,” Cummins said. “We have a process in place and if each player does his job, we can be in position to win games.”
The Huskies finished 4-19 overall and 3-13 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division last winter.
Despite having just one returning starter and two others with varsity experience, Cummins knows the Huskies have the chance to greatly improve on their record from a season ago.
“We have youth and with youth, you have the opportunity to grow,” he said.
Joe Soltis, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, is the team’s lone returning starter.
“He will be the heart and soul of our team, the vocal leader on and off the floor,” Cummins said.
Sophomores Jake Bean, Paul Gall, and Ethan Detweiler, and freshman Troy Domen round out the projected starting lineup.
Bean is a 6-foot-2 guard/forward, Gall is a 6-foot-3 forward, Detweiler is a 5-foot-11 guard and Domen is a 5-foot-8 point guard.
“Jake has grown a few inches since last year and is getting used to his longer frame. This gives him an opportunity to back guys down on the block or take them off the dribble on the perimeter,” Cummins said. “Paul has worked hard in the offseason to improve his all-around game. He’s getting more comfortable playing with his back to the basket. Ethan will be our defensive stopper. He will outwork any player he has to guard. He’s a throwback player that wants to dive on the floor for any loose basketball. Troy has a high basketball IQ. I have a lot of trust in him to be the floor general as a freshman on our team.”
Seniors Cardell Shephard, a 6-foot guard/forward, and Sebastian Granito, a 5-foot-8 guard, and juniors J.R. Kochy, a 6-foot forward, Payden Swiger, a 5-foot-8 guard, Trace Filla, a 5-foot-10 guard, and Tony Soltis, a 6-foot forward, will provide the Huskies with depth.