A fresh wind is blowing through the Shorewood boys basketball program as new coach Chris Hill and the Greyhounds won their season opener, 71-51, over Milwaukee Pulaski on Nov. 22.
Hill, who takes over for veteran coach Phil Jones who did good service for the Greyhounds for several years, comes out of the Rob Jeter/UW-Milwaukee coaching chain that has also seen Allan Hanson land at Nicolet. He is enthusiastic about the opportunities he sees at Shorewood.
"We're doing OK," he said. "The key for us (as coaches) will be to get them to play as a unit, and we're definitely getting there. The kids are really beginning to grasp it. The atmosphere has been wonderful so far. They're looking forward to learning new things and tackling new concepts.
"There's a lot of new terminology out there, but they've attacked everything with great energy."
The Greyhounds, who were 6-17 last season, will build around 6-0 senior guard Mikael Green and 5-11 junior guard DeAndre Anderson.
Green, who averaged an impressive 24 points a game last season, will be looked upon to take more of a leadership role, Hill said. Green will pair with Anderson (17 ppg.) to form a guard-line "opponents will have a very hard time staying in front of," Hill said.
Others who will help out include 5-11 sophomore guard Aaron Eimers, who helped out the varsity late last season, 6-3 junior Julian Rodriguez-Richards and 6-4 senior forward James Ewing.
Hill said all three will play big roles this winter, as Rodriguez-Richards will be looked to play a more physical role underneath, Eimers will use his great experience as the son of Greyhound girls coach Jeff Eimers to great effect and Ewing will use a combination of speed and size to attack the basket with great intensity. Hill said Ewing has "really come out of his shell" in the early going.
"We're going to attack the basket early and a lot," Hill said. "We really don't have any back-to-the-basket scorers, so when the break isn't there, we'll move the ball side to side and make teams defend."
Others Hill has also been impressed with 6-4 junior forward Eli Rivera and 5-11 sophomore guard Delroy Perrin.
Green and Ewing will be co-captains this winter. Other seniors on the team include 5-11 guard Chris Trilliegi, 6-4 forward Calvin Snyder, 6-0 forward Kyle Schmitt and 6-1 forward Arman Khan.
"I've been impressed with how the guys are sticking to the little things," Hill said. "They stay calm, and they share the ball. There wasn't as much of a team concept last year, but since the word go, we've played as a team.
"Because when we win this season, it will be as a team. It's a concept I've learned from all the people I've worked with like (Rob) Jeter, (Bruce) Pearl and (Bo) Ryan. You win as a team. We'll try to keep all those same core values."
In the win over Pulaski, Shorewood took a 31-21 lead at the half and then built on it in the second session. A total of eight players scored, led by Anderson with 21, Green with 20 and Ewing with 11. Green also led the team with nine rebounds.
The Greyhounds will have two weeks off and will open Woodland Conference play at Pius XI on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
"We'll get back to the drawing board," Hill said. "Focus on a lot of 'We' type things. Try to amplify the things we do well."