New Roseville High coach Hassan Nazim walks the sidelines during the game against Lakeview. The Panthers’ next game is against Utica High at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at home.

New Roseville High coach Hassan Nazim walks the sidelines during the game against Lakeview. The Panthers’ next game is against Utica High at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at home.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Roseville High boys hoops excelling on both ends

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 17, 2018

ROSEVILLE — Under new leadership, the Roseville High boys basketball team is off to a solid start, and first-year coach Hassan Nazim sees no signs of slowing down.

At press time, the Panthers were 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division. Roseville last season won just nine games after amassing 18 victories in the 2015-16 season.

Up to this point, the Panthers were averaging 59.5 points per game, putting the team in the top 25 percent of the 35-team MAC. That represents a 10-points-per-game improvement from last season. Roseville has allowed 52.2 points per game — good for 10th in the MAC. 

Nazim, who previously coached at the University of Dearborn-Michigan, Dearborn Fordson and on the Amateur Athletic Union circuit, said unselfishness is the main reason for the team’s solid play.

“We have great kids who show the desire to improve on a daily basis,” Nazim said. “We pride ourselves on playing for each other on both ends of the floor and playing the right way.”

What has led to the team’s offensive improvement is its scheme. Nazim on each possession likes to force opposing defenses to guard a variety of different actions.

“It’s just the kids playing and making good reads,” Nazim said. “Our guards get into the paint and make life easy for everyone else.”

Nazim said he’d like to see his players get to the basket more, but countered that the team shoots about 25 3-pointers each game.

Sophomore guard Martell Turner and junior wing Darien Banks have led the team thus far. Turner, a two-year starter, has put up 16 points and 7 assists per game. Banks has already eclipsed the 20-point plateau three times.

Junior forwards Tayshaun Jones and Lazell Judge, senior wing Austin Lorentzen, senior guard Josh Williamson, and sophomore guard Isiah Collier have made strong contributions as well.

“With the amount of work we put in, I believe that (success) is something that comes naturally,” Lorentzen said. “From the summer until now, we all have been in the gym doing what we have to do to get better.”

Even though it’s his first season, Nazim has set a goal of winning the MAC White. The program’s last division title came in 2008.

“Any team can win on any given night. It’s been that way the past few years, and it seems like a fun division to be a part of,” Nazim said. “The teams are well-coached, and it will be a challenge.”

“Stopping that (division title) streak would mean a lot to us, especially because we’ve been close to achieving that in recent years,” Lorentzen added. “But our main focus is just to get better every day, and if winning a division title comes along with that, then we’ll be more than happy to take it.”

Roseville’s next game is against Utica High at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at home.