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60 Days of Hoops: All-Access Preseason Coverage | Classification Rankings | Coaching Records
2012 - 2013 BreakdownOVERVIEW: Head coach Saul Perez is among the top of the coaching pyramid and not because he has a ring on his finger but the fact he works harder than many head coaches. He is one of the brightest when it comes to establishing a foundation. The Knights will lose a majority of it's scoring and inside presence but they are excited for a talented new wave of players. The key player to keep an eye on is senior Rodney Anderson (Guard) who was a 2nd Team All-District 3-5A player. Anderson could be the face but look for several underclassmen to make a name for themselves.
The Knights have seen there share of solid guards the past two seasons and this year will look different with all players from the 2011 State Championship backcourt gone. Enter, senior Rodney Anderson, who excelled late last season earning All-Dsitrict 3-5A honors and looking to be the main focus of this seasons roster. Anderson is one of four returning players from last season and could be an interesting season as they all develop in head coach Saul Perez offense. The backcourt will have to develop quick as three, three-year starters/key role players have graduated who made up 60% of the scoring from last season.FRONTCOURT:
The frontcourt has returners but could be a little on the learning curve this season. They could contribute in this system, however, as this system is one that thrives on team basketball to the extreme. Seniors,Daemund McCants and Jamonte Dennis will get the call in the paint early. The two players have been within the program witnessing the success it has had. They are two players that could get you all the little things to make a huge contribution. The Knights are a team that started to make waves last season for doing the little things well and could look to these players for that success.
The Knights have yet to submit us a schedule but we will try and judge but previous seasons. Already playing in a "big" District, with 5-teams they play a majority of their games down south New Mexico. It is unknown if they will head North to play in the Rio Rancho Holiday Classic like they have in the past. Strictly, looking at games that we know about, one to circle if you are a fan in Las Cruces is the December 15th match-up with Hobbs High School. The Eagles look improved and almost restored and this game could be one the Knights try to steal at home. Looking at other Schedules we see the Knights will travel North (Jan. 18) to play Atrisco Heritage Academy, which is new to 5A, after spending last season in 4A. Looking at District 3-5A the Knights will battle in the middle and could go either way as a Top-2 team or stay out of the District cellar.FORECAST/REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS:
Onate High School has a young head coach but he has quickly established himself among the best in New Mexico. He has instilled a system that won the Knights the 2011 State Championship. The Knights have lost much of their talent coming into this season but return balanced basketball players that will find success in this team orientated system. I like the return of Rodney Anderson as the leader and he could lead the Knights to a successful season and possibly return to the PIT. I have the Knights further down on the 5A chart but this team, lead by an excellent and hard working head coach could be a major dark horse. I like them late January-early-February to really turn a corner and be a team that makes noise. Head coach Perez does a fine job building his teams throughout the season, peaking at the right time.
Comment/Poll: No. 27 Onate Knights60 Days of Hoops
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