Kennedy has high hopes for JV basketball

Published 10:55 am Thursday, January 7, 2021

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Even though there’s only one returner from last year’s 15-5 JV boys basketball team, new coach Tim Kenney’s hopes are high going into the 2021 season.

“You don’t have to fuss about these kids being at practice,” he said. “They’re all about practice, which is really a wonderful thing.They’re so unselfish. They’re willing to give the ball up. They have a high basketball IQ. Several have played AAU together, and it shows. This team has potential.”

Kenney has replaced Ty Woodring, who guided Davie’s JV for three years.

Sophomore Burke Rosenbaum is the one returner. There would have been two, but sophomore Hayden Williams will miss the entire season with an injury. Davie needs Rosenbaum, a guard, to be superb, and Kenney believes he will have a big year.

“Burke has all the skills necessary to be successful at the (varsity) level, but he needs more seasoning,” he said. “Quite frankly, he could play all five positions if I asked him to. He’s a very intelligent player. No one is going to outwork Burke in the gym – ever. He does drills the way you ask him to do them. He doesn’t complain; he’s a natural leader on and off the floor. He can shoot, he handles the ball extremely well, he’s unselfish. I mean he’s everything you would want in a point guard.”

The other sophomores are Hunter Davis, Aidan Froelich, Zeb Pilcher, Levi Miller, Brodie Smith and Bryce Bailey.

Davis, who is around 6-4, is a potential staple.

“He has extremely long arms,” Kenney said. “He plays closer to 6-7 just by standing on the floor. He’s got some good basketball skills. He’s got a soft shot. Whenever he makes up his mind, he’s got some nice moves around the basket. He’s not afraid to put it on the floor and take it to the rack. And by golly, if he’s given the opportunity, he can bring the ball up, too.”

Froelich, a guard, and Pilcher, a wing/post, go hard all the time – all the time.

“Aidan works hard,” Kenney said. “He’s the typical lunch-pail type of kid. Hard hat, lunch pail and will come in and do whatever you ask him to do. He’s a hard-nosed defender. He’s very aggressive. He’s going to help us out on the defensive end.

“Zeb is right up there with Burke in terms of work ethic. This kid goes full bore in the gym every practice, every drill. Anything we do is 100 percent for Zeb. He can handle the ball pretty well. He’s a streak shooter. He shoots well enough to play the three. He runs the floor extremely well. He can rebound. He’s a good all-around player.”

Five freshmen round out the 12-man roster. They are Ian Koontz, Luke Clark, Ethan Ratledge, Coleman Lawhon and Carter Helton.

Lawhon, a long-range bomber, has shown vast potential on the offensive end.

“Coleman is a scorer,” he said. “He can shoot the 3 and he’s not afraid to take it to the hoop. He’s got a good midrange jumper as well. He’s got to get more physical; that’s going to be a challenge for all the freshmen. He’s a pure scorer. He looks to score, but he also sees the floor very well. If someone’s open ahead of him, he’ll give them the ball.”

There are several more nice pieces.

“Koontz is very active around the basket,” he said. “He’s got a lot of good drive around the basket in terms of defense and rebounding. He has a nice, soft shot. He’s getting better at playing with his back to the basket. He’s definitely going to help us.

“Ratledge has good basketball instincts. He’s got a nice shot when he squares up. He rebounds well. He’s physical around the basket. If given the opportunity, he can put it on the floor and take it down the court for us.

“Helton can handle the ball and shoot pretty well.”

Kenney has seen an unexpected ascension from Clark, a lefty combo guard.

“I saw Luke at workouts in the spring and summer, and it’s amazing how much he has improved,” he said. “He’s a living example of if he wants it bad enough and is willing to work at it … He’s going to put his time in, he’s going to do the drills the way the coaches tell him and his game has improved a ton since the spring.”

Kenney has coached boys and girls at the middle school and high school levels for many years. His latest stint was as an assistant to Kevin Revels on the varsity girls bench, which lasted four years. Now Revels is assisting Kenney.

“I’m blessed to have Kevin working with me,” he said. “We complement each other so well. He has a wonderful basketball mind. He knows how to teach the game and reach the players. I’m just blessed and thankful that he’s working with us.”