Q & A with Liberty boys head coach Brian Martin
News-Times: What can you tell me about this year's team that might differ from last?
Martin: I expect us to be a much better shooting team this year. We have multiple guys who can space the floor by consistently hitting shots and a better understanding of what we are trying to do offensively to create space for each other. We should be more fun to watch as our team looks to share the ball more with each other. We will be smaller than last year, so we'll play a bit different defensively and will need to have a focus on rebounding to ensure that we don't get hurt there.
News-Times: What type of style do you plan to play and is that different than in years past?
Martin: Our offense will look better and more fluid. Guys have a better understanding of what we are trying to do and are accepting the roles that are needed. With better movement and more shooters, we should be able score better than last year. We may change up the way we play defense from possession to possession or game to game as we may lack the size to defend certain types of players.
News-Times: How many returning starters do you have, and who might they be?
Martin: We return five rotation players from last year and two to three that started consistently or occasionally. Aidan Reitzug (senior), Jaxson Lake (senior) and Joey Abelson (junior) are returning guards that are excellent defenders and should cause disruptions for other teams in the backcourt. Cole Smith (senior) and Tyler Rockwell (senior) are two returning bigs that will need to play larger than their size to defend.
News-Times: Who do you expect to be your impact players and why?
Martin: In addition to the players mentioned above, Zane Bernhard (junior) has shown great improvement over the summer in his shooting and overall play. We expect him to be a major contributor on the wing with his length and versatile skill set.
News-Times: Is there anyone that may be new to this year's team or someone expected to play a bigger role this season that people should keep an eye on?
Martin: We have a dynamic new freshman, Bogdan Chobu, who will be a major contributor for us. He is a 5'10 guard with outstanding ball handling skills and a poise for the game beyond his age. He will be an outstanding high school player and will turn heads right away with his strong play as a freshman.
News-Times: What would you say is the strength/weakness of your team?
Martin: We should be a patient, good-shooting team that plays smart and together. We should be competent defensively with our guards and wings but may struggle against bigger teams in the post and on the glass.
News-Times: What do you expect from the league? Who do you view as potential league title contenders?
Martin: Sherwood and Forest Grove return two of the top players in the league and should be vying again for the league title.
News-Times: What are your expectations?
Martin: Our expectation is that we can battle for one of the three automatic berths from our league and make the 32-team playoff bracket.
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