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Roseville

January 23, 2013

New Roseville boys basketball coach stresses defense

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The Roseville High boys basketball team sat one game behind Warren Mott for first place in the MAC White at press time. Pictured is Panthers junior Elijah Collier.

ROSEVILLE — First-year Roseville High boys basketball coach Sean Hansen said he wants every team that plays the Panthers to remember the experience.

“I want my players to be a little nasty. Nothing outside the rulebook, but I want teams that play us once to not want to play us again,” Hansen said.

Hansen said that nastiness starts on the defensive end. He said he didn’t even coach offense at all until the second week of practice.

Hansen, who has coached at Madison Heights Madison, Clawson High, Berkley High, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley and Macomb Community College, said defense has always been his calling card.

“I averaged about 20 points a game in (high school) in the 80s, but I know defense is what wins games and championships, and that’s what I want us to hang our hats on,” said Hansen, whose Panthers sat at 4-4, 2-1 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division at press time.

Roseville is a point away from being 3-0 in league play after a tough 44-43 loss to Grosse Pointe North Jan. 15. The 44 points the Panthers surrendered are right around their season average of 45.8 — good for lowest in the MAC White and sixth-lowest in the 36-team MAC.

Hansen uses both man and zone principles on defense. Which set Roseville runs in a given contest depends on the opponent, he said.

“Defense is everything,” Hansen said. “We want the opposition to see us as a physical team.”

The Panthers’ coach admitted the team’s defense is further along than the offense. He said the team has made strides since the start of the season, but he still sees room for improvement in terms of shot selection.

Roseville runs a continuity offense called the “shuffle” that’s predicated on ball movement, moving without the ball and getting open without the ball. Hansen said the team has made gradual improvements in all of those areas.

“They were struggling with utilizing and setting up screens,” Hansen said. “But you can see they’ve improved, if you look at empirical data like turnovers, because they’re taking care of the ball better.

“We just need to work on getting better shots — more high-percentage shots.”

The Roseville coach cited senior leadership as a reason he thinks his team’s offense can flourish. Hansen said seniors Tony Capano and Zach Waid lead the charge, adding he has a mature, disciplined group.

Hansen said his team has been kind of Jekyll and Hyde so far, calling it tremendous some nights and mediocre others. He said he understands there’s a transition period and hopes his team is peaking when the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs tip off March 4.

“I think we will peak around that time,” Hansen said. “We’ve got some talented players. If we can put everything together by March, we’ll be a solid team come playoff time.”

The Panthers’ next game is a matchup with Utica Ford II set for 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at Ford II.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.