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2011-12 Basketball: East Rowan boys preview

By Sean Rinehart
sports@salisburypost.com
After a disappointing 1-20 season, East Rowanís boys basketball team is looking to make significant improvement during the 2011-12 campaign.
Second-year head coach Trey Ledbetter is excited about the potential of his young varsity team.
ěThings are coming together faster than last year,î Ledbetter said. ěWhile we are still unknown, we are more capable than we were last year.î
Eastís success will likely hinge upon the small group of senior players. Roby Holmes, Weston Rogers, Jordan Shepherd, Jared Hough, and Hakeem Gittens will be looked upon as leaders on and off the court.
ěOur seniors coming off of last yearís team are hungry. They are committed to winning,î Ledbetter said.
Gittens, a potential star, has put in the time during the offseason in order to turn some heads in his final season as a Mustang. Ledbetter says it is evident that Gittens has put some mass on his small frame and has some added strength.
ěHe will be a key contributor for us this season,î Ledbetter said. ěIím looking forward to watching him work.î
Jordan Shepherd, who averaged 6.6 points last season, is ready and able to continue contributing with big shots when given the opportunity.
ěJordan is going to get his shots; we will have him roaming all over the court,î Ledbetter said.
Shepherd is not the only shooter the Mustangs have. Rogers is looking to improve upon his 4.4 points per game with some consistent offense.
ěWeston is a steady, consistent player who can really shoot.î Ledbetter said.
Another improved player is Jared Hough.
ěHe worked hard on his strength during the offseason and he is going to contribute in a big way throughout the season,î noted Ledbetter.
The Mustangs will need a big effort from their underclassmen in order to return East Rowan to prominence once again.
There are four juniors on this yearís squad. Dylan Bradshaw, a newcomer to the program, will be looked upon to provide key rebounds in the post.
ěHe has a big body and will contribute when he can off the bench.î
Tyler LíHommedieu and Brandon Nelson are new editions to the varsity program after spending last season on Eastís jayvee while Josh Gobble is returning for his second varsity stint.
ěTyler is sparkplug, much the same way he was during the football season,î Ledbetter said. ěBrandon is a bruiser and loves to rebound. Josh is going to be an important role player for us throughout the season. All three will have an immediate impact on our success.î
Ledbetter is excited about the addition of three sophomores and hopes they will spark some excitement.
ěDonte, Calvin, and Dalton all provide more speed and athleticism,î he said. ěThey bring a consistent energy to our program on a daily basis.î
The lone freshman is Conor Honeycutt, brother of cross-country and track star Cole Honeycutt. Ledbetter describes Conor as a ěfirecrackerî who will most certainly get his moments to make an impact.
ěHe is a hard-nosed, defensive type player who works hard every day to get better.î
While Ledbetter acknowledges that his team has improved, he still recognizes the fact that his team is still a work in progress.
ěThings are coming together faster than last year, and that gives us and the East Rowan community something to get excited about,î Ledbetter said.
New to the East Rowan staff this season is Matt Belk. He will take on the head coaching responsibilities with the jayvee program after Andre McCainís departure, and he is an addition that Ledbetter is excited about. He is also a graduate of East and a former member of the Mustang basketball program.
ěI am really looking forward to working with Matt,î Ledbetter said. ěHe is a great guy and knows what it takes to win at East Rowan.î
Rick Roseman will still be at Ledbetterís side this season as an assistant coach.
ěRick is a phenomenal coach and knows a lot about the game. You just canít get Rick away from the game of basketball.î

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