Cal Schultz lays the ball off the backboard during practice. Watching are, from left, Seth Kostroski, Tyson Tully, Ben Young and Connor Kuhn.
Cal Schultz lays the ball off the backboard during practice. Watching are, from left, Seth Kostroski, Tyson Tully, Ben Young and Connor Kuhn.

   It’s hard to develop chemistry when you’re a young team and your players are unable to stay healthy.

   That’s exactly the problem the Ripon College men’s basketball team has faced during the first three weeks of practice this season.

   The Red Hawks, who feature just one senior, three juniors, two sophomores and 11 freshman, have been bitten by the injury bug.

   “We’re not a very close team yet and you can’t rush that,” Ripon head coach Ryan Kane said.
“I think each day we talk about [how] we have two goals right now in the preseason: One is to get better every day and the other one is to get closer as a team. And the closer we get, the more that guys will start buying into their roles and start trying to really work to do what’s best for the team.”

   He added young guys often are so concerned with their own personal expectations and that gets in the way of what the team needs.

   “The sooner that they can realize that this is bigger than them and they’ve got to do what’s best for the team, whether it be in practice, on the bench, in a game — whatever small role they might play in games or whatever large role they might play in games ... the better we’ll be. So we’re hoping that they just continue to get closer so that they can achieve better.”

   While the Red Hawks will be young this season, Kane noted it won’t be a new challenge to him.

Read the full story, which includes information about the returning players, as well as the freshman class, in the Nov. 8, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.