South Summit boys’ basketball looks to reload in 2014-15 season
South Summit High School boys’ basketball fans won’t be seeing Beau Rydalch and Brad Richins on the court this winter. After losing both players to graduation, this year’s Wildcats’ squad will have to find new ways to score if it wants to be successful.
Coach Dusty Hatch said multiple players are going to have to step up to replace the offensive production Rydalch and Richins provided.
"We have trouble finding a guy who can score when we need him to," he said. "We had that with both Brad and Beau last year. When we needed a shot, we could give it to either Brad or Beau. Our scoring is going to have to be more by committee this year."
Also gone from last year’s team is primary ball-handler Steven Flinders. This year, Hatch said, the Wildcats are going to have to score more in transition since they don’t have the same level of court vision Flinders provided in the half-court sets.
"We struggled scoring in the half court all summer," he said. "We do have speed, though. We’re a lot faster than we were last year, so hopefully we’ll play with more pace and score in the open court rather than the half court."
But, though the offensive philosophy is changing out of necessity, Hatch said the Wildcats have the players needed to play at a faster pace. Seniors Bracken Santos and Ty Jones fit nicely into a system that plans to rely on organized chaos defensively.
"We’ve really been stressing that," he said. "It’s not just Bracken and Ty, though. While they are fast, we have great depth with speed. Mason Gines, a junior this year, may be faster than both of them. With those three, we’re really fast and quick quick defensively, quick laterally."
Down low, the Wildcats are thrilled to have Matt Brady, a transfer from Colorado who was also a member of the state-champion football team.
"Monday was the first time I’ve ever seen him play," Hatch said. "He’s really going to help us. He’s a big kid, very physical under the basket. We lack size and physicality, but he gives us that. He has good footwork, defends well all the things you like to see from your big guy. If all he can do is defend and rebound, he’ll be an asset to our team. It looks to me like he’ll give us a lot more than that, though he’s pretty good from the mid-range and he goes to the rim well."
Flanking Brady at the forward position will be Jason Griffin, a bench player from last year’s team who Hatch thinks is ready to step into a featured role.
"Jason probably should have been starting last year, but we really liked him coming off the bench," he said. "This year, he may be our best scorer. He shoots threes well and he’s left-handed, so when he’s in the post, he creates somewhat of a mismatch for the other team since they’re not used to covering left-handers in the post."
Griffin’s offseason work has Hatch comparing the forward to Rydalch.
"He’s put in a ton of time not just on the court, but in the weight room," he said. "He’s gotten stronger. He’s probably a better three-point shooter than Beau, but he can’t create a shot like Beau did. Still, he should be scoring in double figures every game."
The South Summit bench will feature a slew of sophomores gunning for playing time, but Hatch thinks the sixth man will be junior Tanner Anderson.
"He’s probably improved more than anyone on the team this summer," he said. "He’s a guard and he’s quick and a good defender."
The road to a repeat as Region 16 champions will be a tough one, Hatch said, as Manti should be one of the best 2A teams in the state.
"They’re really deep," he said. "They got a new coach, so I don’t know a lot about them, but they have a 6’9" kid who’s going to be good."
Hatch also noted that Summit Academy has a tall player, too, who will be a challenging matchup for the Wildcats.
"That’s why Matt Brady is going to be really important to us," he said. "Until he came, we didn’t have the size to match up with those types of players."
Around the state, Hatch said Emery is also going to be a tough team to beat. But, he added, after Wasatch Academy decided to play as an independent team this season, the 2A title is up for grabs, so why can’t the Wildcats compete for the crown?
"It’s really wide open," he said. "Manti and Emery are probably the two best teams. After that, it’s anybody’s game. I think our chances depend on how we come together as a team. Are we going to be willing to make the extra pass to the open man for the better shot? What I’ve seen us do over the summer is encouraging to me. I’m really excited."
South Summit gets its season started on Tuesday, Dec. 2, with a home game against Uintah. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Kamas.
South Summit Boys’ Basketball Schedule
Dec. 2 vs. Uintah 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 vs. Ogden (at Pepsi Classic) 6 p.m.
Dec. 5 vs. Carbon (at Pepsi Classic) 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 6 vs. St. Joseph (at Pepsi Classic) 12 p.m.
Dec. 6 vs. Ben Lomond (at Pepsi Classic) 6 p.m.
Dec. 12 vs. Park City (at Park City Classic) 7 p.m.
Dec. 13 vs. Union (at Park City Classic) 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 18 TBD (at Preston Tournament) TBD
Dec. 19 TBD (at Preston Tournament) TBD
Dec. 20 TBD (at Preston Tournament) TBD
Jan. 2 vs. Duchesne 7 p.m.
Jan. 3 vs. Tabonia 7 p.m.
Jan. 9 vs. North Sanpete 7 p.m.
Jan. 10 at Rich 7 p.m.
Jan. 14 vs. Summit Academy 7 p.m.
Jan. 16 at Gunnison 7 p.m.
Jan. 21 vs. North Summit 7 p.m.
Jan. 23 vs. American Leadership 7 p.m.
Jan. 28 at Manti 7 p.m.
Jan. 30 at Summit Academy 7 p.m.
Feb. 4 vs. Gunnison 7 p.m.
Feb. 6 at North Summit 7 p.m.
Feb. 11 vs. Manti 7 p.m.
Feb. 13 at American Leadership 7 p.m.
The Youth Sports Alliance will host a team scramble golf tournament on June 3 at Victory Ranch in hopes of raising funds for its scholarships and youth programs.