The Reed boys basketball team is going to look different this year. A lot different.
The Raiders lost nine seniors to graduation, including Co-DI North Player of the Year, Jamel Ramos. And they lost their coach. Former coach Dustin Hall stepped down in the offseason.
Now Zach Sanford is calling the shots. Sanford, 25, was most recently an assistant at Reno High before taking the job at Reed in the offseason.
“It’s a complete overhaul,” Sanford said. “We have a different team than they did last year. They graduated nine guys and they had the player of the year. When you lose size, and you lose leadership, and you lose a player of the year (Ramos) like that, there’s lot that has to be adapted (to), but the guys have picked (it) up well.”
With so much roster turnover, it’s hardly surprising Reed will be young this winter. Excluding a few football players whose season continued through last Saturday’s state semifinal loss to Bishop Gorman, the Raiders have just two seniors, seven juniors and a freshman.
So Sanford and the team are going to take this year as a learning experience and try not to worry about the wins and losses, right? Nope.
“When I got this job, I set the bar pretty high. And I let the kids know I set the bar pretty high,” Sanford said. “I expect us to compete for a league championship, for the No. 1 seed in the High Desert League and go into the playoffs and compete for a regional title. There’s no reason we can’t compete with teams around the league.”
Reed returns three players from last year’s squad that finished second in the HDL before losing in the DI North quarterfinals at home to Bishop Manogue on a buzzer beater: Junior point guard Jeremy Ramos (Jamal Ramos’ brother), and junior forwards Lincoln Turner and Ju’Vae Randolph.
Those three will be asked to lead a style of play similar to year’s past. Up-tempo.
“We’re intense. We’re going to play up and down and try to get out and run every chance we get, score early and often,” Sanford said.
Everything Sanford wants to do is intense, even the mistakes that are sure to pop in his first season.
“I’m sure we’ll make mistakes along the way, but we’re going to make aggressive mistakes,” Reed’s new coach said. “Passive mistakes are scared mistakes. And we can’t be scared.”