The varsity basketball team comes into the new season with eight returning players and a plethora of fresh faces.
Head Coach Jamal Adams ‘90 said that of the eight returners, most of them had limited roles last season.
Adams said, “Everything we have done this fall is trying to gain experience about what it is like to play with each other and against other competition, so we can start to define roles.”
He notes that this year’s team is one of the hardest working groups he has ever coached. Adams compliments everyone’s work on the current team. Seniors Colby Brooks and Andre Parris and junior Remington Rofer have all stood out to Adams thus far.
In regard to senior forward/center Colby Brooks, Adams said, “He is stronger and playing more confidently. He has done a good job of trying to lead.”
Brooks’ personal goal is to play consistently from the moment he steps onto the court.
He said, “That means being able to hit a consistent three-point shot, while also being able to finish around the basket.”
In the offseason, Brooks worked on his ball-handling, shot and leadership skills; he hopes to play shooting guard this upcoming season.
On Parris, Adams said, “He’s an excellent defender, a phenomenal athlete. He has really improved his ability to shoot the ball off the catch. He has played some good minutes on the perimeter for us.”
On Rofer, who is poised for a breakout season, Adams said, “He has made leaps and bounds in his skill. His confidence has really taken off.”
Rofer played early in the season last year and grew to nearly 6’8” this year.
Rofer said, “Last year was tough. I battled every day and every practice going against some of the best basketball players in California day in and day out. I worked hard in the off-season and gained 20 pounds. I just knew it was time to put my name on the map and make my doubters my believers.”
Regarding Rofer’s new team role, Adams said, “I’m putting a lot of pressure on him to be our vocal leader, even as a junior. I’ve been pushing on him a lot about vocally leading his teammates about where they need to be, and thus far, he has executed at a really high level.”
In addition to honing their basketball skills in the gym, the Cubs are looking to bond off the court too.
Rofer said, “We really all love being around each other, and when we’re together on and off the court, we coexist in unity.”
Adams remarked that one of the keys to the season is adjusting on the fly.
Adams said, “We are just so inexperienced. We have so many unknowns. We are going to have to be patient about the process, and keep applying our trade.”
The motto for Loyola Basketball is “improving every month,” Adams added.
Adams continued, “September, we most certainly did that. October looks extremely promising. If we keep doing that and find ourselves in the playoffs, I would not want to play this group.”
This past summer and into the fall, the young players have stepped up and showed a promising future.
Rofer proclaimed, “Let me speak for the team in saying that let the doubters doubt us because we know at the end of the season, we are going to be mission league and CIF champions.” And you can quote me on that.”