Powerhouse Illinois is fairly new to the circuit and has hit the ground running in just their second summer. Illinois is filled with talented programs and this group falls into that category. Comprising all local players, this team represents their…
Powerhouse Illinois is fairly new to the circuit and has hit the ground running in just their second summer. Illinois is filled with talented programs and this group falls into that category. Comprising all local players, this team represents their section of the state in a great way. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Coach Rosenberg to learn more about the growing program and take a deeper dive into the players and what makes the team gel, here’s what he had to say.
What are your thoughts on how your team has competed thus far in circuit season? How have you prepared?
We’ve been up and down this season, dealing with a lot of injuries, but all in all we’ve gotten a little better each week and really competed our butts off this past weekend at Midwest Melee vs. the eventual champions, CBE. Our preparation started rocky due to said injuries but the guys have been resilient and have started to lock in at practices now that we’ve got our core group back and healthy.
Which Prep Hoops Next event are you looking forward to most and why?
Looking forward to Nationals at the top of July. It would be great to see how we stack up against the nation’s best.
What are your team strengths and areas that could use improvements?
Strengths – Skilled group of guys who can play positionless offensively, while being able to apply full court pressure and switch everything defensively. When we’re locked in, we can really play unselfish and hunt the best shots for our team.
Improvements – Our motor is sometimes inconsistent. We have a tendency to play down to lesser talent and really get up for teams that we know are really good. We’re working a lot on our competitive edge and ability to keep it going no matter the opponent.
#1 Kai Gustafson
Pick & pop specialist who is a great shooter and shot blocker willing to make the extra pass for a better shot
#2 Dillon Pompey
Feisty guard who is a great athlete. A true 3 level scorer who makes up for his lack of height with speed and ability to finish.
#5 Tayte Cordova
a work horse who makes multiple efforts on every possession, a strong finisher with the ability to absorb contact around the rim and a knockdown shooter from 3. A versatile defender that uses his quickness to guard guards and strength to neutralize bigger players.
6 – Dion Lane Jr.
a dynamic offensive player that can finish through contact with either hand, shoot it from deep, and a creative passer. Uses his length and quickness to shut down opposing ballhandlers, high energy kid. We feed off of his intensity.
7 – Vito Rocca:
Jack of all trades that cleans up everything for us. The hardest working player on the court, best defender, best communicator, can guard 1-5, Elite rebounder, charge taker and passer and takes and makes big shots for us time and again.
10 – Elias Fleming:
Elite shooter and passer, unselfish, willing to throw the hit ahead pass and is fundamentally sound. Has a great pump fake and float game.
15 – Dawson Charles:
superb athlete and relentless rebounder. Has had multiple double-doubles this season. A strong finisher with either hand.
23 – Jake Nawrot
another do-it-all guy who’s best skill is shooting but willing to take smaller defenders to the post, has a great change-of-pace on his drives and can finish from all angles around the rim. Willing passer and good positional defender.
How does your roster stack up against last season’s roster? Any major changes?
Depth is the biggest difference. We’ve lost 4 guys for the season with various injuries this year so this year we’ve had to depend primarily on the 8 above. While it limits our size, the guys have more defined roles and have benefitted from increased playing time.
What facet of the game do you want to improve on most going into next season?
I think our overall toughness can improve. We have a ton of skill but I’m really working to develop our collective will. We will get better at staying aggressive and playing through bad calls, not getting too high when we’re playing well and too low when shots aren’t falling. We’ve been getting better at having a hit first mentality.
Who are your best returning players? Who are your best additions, if any?
Vito and Dion, this is their 5th season playing for me. Tayte and Dawson are in their 1st seasons for me and have been welcome additions.