Published: November 13, 2015
As the weather begins to turn colder and the winter months roll around, that means one thing for Royals’ Athletics-basketball season.
It is that time again Royals fans, our men’s basketball team has returned and is ready to try to win the Landmark Conference championships for the third season in a row.
Although the Royals are predicted to only place third according to a preseason poll, Coach Carl Danzig is ready to prove them wrong and come out on top.
“We can kind of sneak in and do our thing. I think we have a great shot of doing it again,” Danzig said.
This season the Royals will be returning without Ross Danzig, Justin Klingman and Michael Fee after losing the three players to graduation.
Danzig is looking forward to this year’s players filling the leadership positions that these three players held. The team is working on closing the gap of the loss of the talent and of the personalities these players brought to the team.
After practicing for the past four weeks, the impact of the losses of the seniors from last year has gotten more bearable, Danzig said. It is never easy to lose good players.
One player to keep an eye on this season is junior John Vitkus. Over the past two years, Vitkus has been working his way off the bench to play more on the court. Vitkus is six feet, nine inches, but runs the court like he is six feet, according to Danzig.
Along with Vitkus, senior Brendan Boken will be returning. Boken has been named to several preseason All-American teams so far this year. This season without Ross Danzig and Klingman there, Boken may be getting double teamed more often. Coach Danzig has been preparing Boken to know that it will not be as easy for him to score this season as it was in the past.
“Brendan has a great attitude. He is on the verge of breaking a lot of records this year,” Danzig said.
Danzig is looking forward to improving the team’s rebounding this season. He suspects that the team will be a bit better at it this year. In the past, Danzig has played four guards and one big man.
However, this season that is not the case. Many of the players this season are bigger than in the past.
“This team has a great chance to do great things,” Danzig said.
This year Danzig named Boken, Patrick Calvey, Brian Farrell and Marcus Thomas as team captains.
Coach Danzig is looking to the captains to motivate the team, be good leaders and maintain the team chemistry and harmony this season. All four are deserving of the role, Danzig said.
“I am particularly excited for Calvey, who is just a great guy. He is probably going to scratch sometime this year. He is a real team favorite, plus he is our team barber. He is a great guy, he is a guy who sits on the end of the bench and just cheers on everybody. He is a real team guy,” Coach Danzig said.
Make sure to check out the Royals basketball team Friday night in the John J. Long Center as they take on the Bryn Athyn Lions at 7:30 p.m. in the Hilton Scranton Invitational.
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