Midgets putting the pieces together
In the sport of basketball, a team's personnel often dictates its style of play, which is introduced in practice and molded over the course of the season.
For Dickinson High boys basketball head coach Dan Glasser, a style of play may be harder to come by due to his team's lack of experience.
According to Glasser, the current crop of Midgets are coachable, hard-working, and steadily improving, but the young group will need some time to jell and develop an identity.
"It's going to be tough, because I really don't know right now what type of personality this team is going to have," Glasser said. "I would like to run a little bit, because we've got four perimeter players around our center that can do that. But on the other side of that, I'm afraid that we might not be able to endure that throughout the game and fade away at the end of the game. If starters don't have experience, then our bench is really inexperienced. We have to develop that depth."
Traditionally, Glasser also likes to include a mixture of defensive pressure and traps, but that will be harder to do at the beginning of the season as Dickinson may not be deep enough to keep players on the floor fresh and out of foul trouble.
The Midgets do return a number of rotational players from one year ago.
After graduating eight seniors from a squad that was one win away from the state tournament, including leading scorer Krew Matthern, Dickinson will have one senior this year in Cody Maier. The 6-foot-1 guard will be in the starting lineup after producing minutes in a reserve role last season.
Maier is the quiet type who leads by example. On the other end of the spectrum, junior guard Jaiden Wright is vocal with his leadership and is someone who has improved greatly over the offseason, according to the coaching staff.
Glasser describes Wright as "explosive," and said he has gotten stronger and is one of the team's most consistent shooters. After playing basketball throughout the summer, Wright wants to had more to his game.
"Last year, I was a little bit younger and new to the varsity scene," Wright said. "I want to get better at being patient with the ball and working on my passing ability, not trying to force some things. I think that's going to be the biggest thing that I'm going to work on this year."
Maier and Wright are joined by returning junior guard Alex Praus. The trio will serve as team captains.
Starting several games last season, 6-foot-6 junior center Tallon Klatt is back to operating in the middle. Klatt was tied for fourth in the Western Dakota Association with 0.7 blocks per game. Klatt is the tallest player on the roster, while the smallest, 5-foot-10 sharp-shooting Kobe Krenz, completes the starting five from the point guard position.
Guard Tristan Pelton and back-up centers Isaac Gjerde and Evan Showalter complete the list of seven juniors on the roster, by far the most of any class on this team. Guards Jayden Hocker and Remington Schatz are the team's lone sophomores.
Dickinson begins its season at home against defending Class A state champion Bismarck Century on Tuesday, Dec. 1, with tip-off slated for 7:30 p.m. from the Dickinson High Gym.
"I'm excited for our schedule. We have a lot more games at home before our Christmas break this year," Glasser said. "In past years, we've had one home game before Christmas and now we have four games before Christmas. That's one thing I'm excited about just to see where we are at and see where we match against the other teams in our league."