Clawson High boys basketball back with experience and speed
December 18, 2013
CLAWSON — As Clawson High senior forward Marquian Johnson said, the basketball team “has a good problem.”
The Trojans have 14 players on the roster, and according to coach Rob Fulgenzi and Johnson, they can all play, even if that means less minutes for starters.
“We feel like we have the horses and depth to run this year,” Fulgenzi said during a break from practice Dec. 11.
Of the 14 on the squad, nine played on varsity last season, including two starters in Johnson and guard Jared Ocampo.
Last season, the Trojans finished 8-14 overall and 3-9 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division. They are records that can be partially attributed to the team getting used to their new coach and division.
Clawson had won the MAC Silver two straight years before moving to the Gold and Fulgenzi being hired.
The coach said this past summer was his first with the team, and having a year under their belts is already proving dividends.
“Just in terms of preparation coming in, the guys were prepared. We know what we’re trying to do offensively and defensively; there’s not that learning curve or teaching,” Fulgenzi said. “It’s more of, ‘Let’s get out there and do what we know we need to do.’”
Clawson is looking to play a more up-tempo compared to last season, trying to get as many offensive possessions as it can.
“The reason for that is, we’re a lot deeper this year,” Fulgenzi said. “We have 14 guys that can contribute, so we want to play fast and run. In the halfcourt, we’re going to run our motion offense; we’re going to screen and cut. We have the guys that can get to the basket; we have shooters, and some big guys now that can go up and get an offensive rebound.”
Clawson showed its athleticism in its first two games of the season, beating St. Clair Shores South Lake High 69-46 and Madison Heights High 60-39. At press time, the Trojans were 2-0 overall.
Still, the Trojans know nothing is easy in the MAC Gold.
“The Gold is one of the toughest divisions in all of the MAC, and I think it’s even better this year,” Fulgenzi said. “It’s loaded from top to bottom. If you want to win, you have to play good basketball every night. You’re not going to just get by someone easily.”
That’s a message Johnson said the team understands.
“We already know what to expect. We know they’re going to be battles until the last quarter,” Johnson said. “We just have to be ready to play our hardest and give it our all.”
Catch the Trojans against Royal Oak High at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 on the road.