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Hoops: No. 12 Rio Rancho Rams

60 Days of Hoops: All-Access Preseason Coverage | Classification Rankings | Coaching Records


2012 Hoops Pre-Season Coverage
2012 - 13 RAMS

Head Coach:
Wally Salata (14th Year)
Overall Record: 142-193 (13 Years)

Record at Rio Rancho: 28-57 (3 Years)

Roster:
#1 | Marquis Sedillos, Sr. G
#3 | Josh Lucero, Sr. G
#13 | Austin Patterson, Sr. G
#21 | Brady Patterson, So. G
#23 | Enrique DeLeon, Sr. G
#30 | Cooper Cearley, So. F

Classification: 5A
District: 1-5A
Classification Rank: #12 (5A)
Location: Rio Rancho, NM

Trying to get over the hump
The Rio Rancho Rams have dealt with more off-season and out of game problems from injuries to players missing games that has kept them from becoming dominate again in New Mexico basketball. The Rams came in ranked high last preseason but after a mid-season let down, fell to (11-18, 1-6) on the season finishing last in District 1-5A for the second consecutive season. Despite the well under .500 season the Rams managed to make the 2012 State Tournament as the 16-seed losing in the first round.

The Rio Rancho Rams will also lose NMPreps.com Top 100 Player, Nick Tartaglia who graduated in May. Tartaglia led the team in scoring with his deep shooting range. He leads a void in the backcourt along with guard Brandon Saiz.

2012 - 2013 Breakdown

OVERVIEW: The 2012-2013 Rams could be a different team once the season starts for several reasons. For one, back in July 2012 head coach Wally Salata had to dismiss several Rams players (still unknown who those players were). The could play a huge role to who the Rams will be. Then, the Rams graduated four of five starters from last season and could be led by a wealth of talented sophomores. The Rams will look to, two senior guards to take hold of this team. The focal point will be in the backcourt with soon to be three-year starter Josh Lucero (NMPreps.com Top 100 Player Rankings). Lucero topped the charts in team assists and also scoring.
Rio At-A-Glance
Two Year Regular Season
2011-2012: 11-18 (1-6 District)
2010-2011: 4-23 (0-7 District)

Two Year Post Season Look
2012 Post Season: Lost, First Round
2011 Post Season: Missed the Playoffs

Roster/Depth Chart Look
Key Departures:
Nick Tartaglia
Key Returning Players:
Josh Lucero, Sr. G;
Austin Patterson, Sr. G.; Brady Patterson, So. G

2012-2013 SCHEDULE
Nov. 27: @ Valley
Dec. 1: vs. Clovis
Dec. 4: @ Espanola Valley
Dec. 7: vs. Gallup
Dec. 13-15: Joe Armijo Classic
FULL SCHEDULE HERE

BACKCOURT:

The Rams seem to have an experienced backcourt each season and this year they could be at their finest. Josh Lucero returns for his third varsity season and knows exactly what head coach Salata demands. Created a loaded backcourt you can add two-year lettermen Brady and Austin Patterson. The brothers could create a talented backcourt by themselves. This trifecta of a backcourt will be strong, athletic and high intense bringing plenty of issues for opposing teams. Also, added this summer was transfer Marquis Sedillos from Volcano Vista High School. Sedillos brings that to four NMPreps.com Top 100 Players in the backcourt alone. The Rams started out strong last season and will need to continue progressing. The Rams can shoot from beyond the arch but could look to more of a transitional team with all of the talent they have coming back.

FRONTCOURT:

The Rams backcourt was decent last season and this year they could be well improved. Yes, they lose everyone besides one returning post player but the year/summer of development hopefully served well.
Cooper Cearley (Sophomore/Post) will come back after gaining solid experience as a true freshman in 2011-2012. Cearley could have a breakout sophomore campaign and become more aggressive when attacking the glass. In order for the Rams to start to climb they will need Cearley to be a strong presence in the paint.


SCHEDULE ANALYSIS:

The Rio Rancho Rams have been itching for some respect this off-season and they will have their first shot at proving doubters wrong on opening night against Valley High School (Nov. 27). The Valley Vikings played in the Final Four last season and return all of it's players. The Rams will then play host to Clovis High School on December 1st giving them two games against last seasons Final Four participants. The Rams will play one of the tougher schedules this season as they also play potential Top-10 teams, Hobbs (Jan. 25), Albuquerque High (Jan. 16) and La Cueva (Jan. 22). Looking at their regular season tournaments they continue with a stacked schedule as they will play in the classic tournament held at Albuquerque Academy, Joe Armijo Tournament. The Rams then host the Rio Rancho Holiday Classic along with playing in the Albuquerque Metro Championships.

FORECAST/REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS:

The Rams have some nice mixings to make noise this season but will have to make sure that they don't loose confidence with such a difficult schedule. Of their 15 games, not counting regular season tournaments, they will play 13 teams in the Top-25 and 6 or 7 have the potential of being in the Top-10. Head coach Wally Salata, who has proven to be a successful head coach will have the team to make an Elite Eight appearance but could be a bumpy road this season. The schedule could suit them well, however, and come District 1-5A they will be ready to peak. This could be an interesting season for the Rams and they will have to win all of the "must win" games when they come up. If they are trying to shake the bubble talk, they will need to steal wins over high projected teams. State Tournament team, is my projection and will reserve further comment.


Comment/Poll: No. 12 Rio Rancho Rams

60 Days of Hoops
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    Joshua J. Grine joined NMPreps.com before the 2010 basketball season as our Senior Basketball Analyst. Grine is a former coach (Valencia, Rio Rancho) and basketball player (Grants, Rio Rancho) who has been around New Mexico for several years.

    E-Mail: grinejosh@yahoo.com
    Twitter: Twitter Here.
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