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Rochester Hills

Rochester High boys basketball welcomes new additions

Published November 28, 2012

» click to enlarge «
Rochester High’s Jason Lee looks for space to get around teammate Quadreon France during a recent practice. The Falcons return two starters from a squad that won 20 games last season.

ROCHESTER HILLS — Expectations are high surrounding the Rochester High boys basketball team.

The two-time Oakland Activities Association Blue Division champions return two starters in seniors Manny Mendoza and Arben Camaj from the squad that finished 20-2 overall. This season, it battles in the OAA White.

It also adds one of the top players in the nation with recent University of Kentucky commit James Young, a senior, who transferred in after moving into the district.

Put it all together, and there’s sure to be more than a few teams looking to measure themselves against the Falcons.

“We don’t want to shy away from that,” Rochester coach John Pleasant said. “Last year, there were high expectations, and we didn’t want to shy away. It’s better to have high expectations than no expectations.”

Young, a scoring forward and guard combination, played last season for Troy High, where he helped lead the Colts to two OAA White titles. This season, Troy plays in the OAA Red.

He averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds a game last year.

“He can score from anywhere. He can shoot the 3, he can get to the rim, he can post up, so it’s another thing getting the guys to play with him. He’s a great passer, so the guys have to get used to being ready for the ball. That’s a work in progress, but that’s a nice asset to have,” Pleasant said.

“We have to work out the chemistry and get the timing down of all the things we do offensively, but that’s expected. It’ll get better with the more reps we get.”

The coach added that his team has done its best to quicken the process.

“Everyone is buying in, and I don’t recall having a group work as hard as this in the first two weeks,” he said.

Young believes they can handle the pressure.

“We try not to think about it and just let the season come to us, and just play our best every game,” he said.

To help, Pleasant sets a simplified goal.

“What we talk to the kids about is, ‘Let’s get better every day,’” he said. “You’re not going to get a ton better every day, but after 30 practices, that’s a lot of ground you made up.”

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