December 19, 2013 at 10:02 PM
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Ask any basketball coach what their recipe for success is, and nine times out of 10, the answer will include the word “depth.”
With three starters returning and a slew of up and coming stars to back them up, the New Providence boys’ basketball team has a lot to look forward to in the 2013-14 season.
“I think we have some talent,” head coach Art Cattano said. “We’ve only had two scrimmages. I saw some good things, but saw a lot of things to improve on. We’ll have nine to 10 kids on the court with not a lot of drop off.”
Seniors Curtis Kyzima, Bryan Sherman and Jordan Morang lead a squad that won only 11 games last season, a surprisingly low number for Cattano, who has been at the helm of the Pioneers for over 30 years.
Last year’s top scorers will be joined by Mike Wilderotter, Matt Romeo, Dillon Thomas, among others, in their quest to dethrone Valley Division-power Jonathan Dayton.
“We definitely want to do better record-wise,” Cattano said. “We have the same goals each year. We want to have a shot to win the conference…and do well in the county tournament, win a game or two there and get to the sectionals.”
These goals don’t seem as far fetched as they might sound. The Pioneers get almost 30 points per game back from last year in Kyzima, Morang and Sherman. Add in a year's worth of experience and points Romeo, Thomas and the bench will deliver, and the Pioneers may have something brewing.
With such a deep bench, Cattano and his coaching staff will have to quickly figure out what pieces work best together. The challenge will be getting all 10 or 11 players to buy into their roles, something Cattano isn’t worried about because of the team’s chemistry.
“The whole group is close,” he said. “They do a lot together. Sherman was the only one to play a fall sport. These kids are all pretty serious basketball players. Its very rare here to have that.”
The Pioneers tip-off their season on Friday night when they visit rival Summit at 7 p.m. They return home on Saturday to host Arthur L. Johnson of Clark at 1 p.m.