For the first time in more than a decade, the La Salle-Peru boys basketball team will have a new coach at the helm.
However, new coach John Senica is familiar with the program and the players in it.
Senica, a 1990 La Salle-Peru graduate, has served as an assistant coach in the program; has a son, senior standout Josh, on the team; and previously has coached most of the roster.
“The transition has been very smooth for the simple reason I’ve coached or coached against pretty much every one of these kids,” Senica said. “So I know them very well, and they know me very well. They know my expectations and I know what they’re capable of and what they can do.”
While familiar with the program, Senica said he’ll be bringing a new philosophy to the Cavaliers.
“We’ve made a lot of changes. We’re going to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. It’s going to be a little bit different look. We’re going to try to be a little bit more up-tempo on the offensive end, and on the defensive end we’re going to try to pick up the aggressiveness and pace there, as well.”
The Cavs, who went 16-15 last year, have a strong returning core to implement the scheme changes, including top two scorers Josh Senica (17.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and Seth Adams (10.7 ppg, 2.1 apg).
Jack Jereb was a starter last season, as well, while Nolan VanDuzer, Brendan Boudreau, Mikey Hartman also saw significant action.
“We’re going to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. It’s going to be a little bit different look. We’re going to try to be a little bit more up-tempo on the offensive end, and on the defensive end we’re going to try to pick up the aggressiveness and pace there, as well.”— John Senica, La Salle-Peru coach
Josh Senica, who was NewsTribune All-Area first team, and Adams once again will be counted on to be the team’s leading scorers.
“Josh and Seth did a lot of scoring for us last year and they’re going to do what they always do. They’re going to come out and give everything they have and, quite honestly, I think it’s going to be hard to stop those two,” John Senica said. “The way our new offense is, we could have four or five people in double figures. Anybody could step in and have double figures. Everybody’s got a role. It’s whoever can produce that night, whoever is getting open shots and what are matchups are.
“Everybody on our team is going to be able to put points on the board.”
The Cavs also have some size with Boudreau, Andy Medina, Richie Santiago and Nolan VanDuezer.
“We have some bigger guys who can score if they get the ball underneath,” John Senica said. “They’re going to be able to step in and bang down low with how strong these guys are. We’re going to have a little more depth at the post position.”
John Senica said the Cavs will have more depth at guard as well with Cordell Wheatly, Brady Romagnoli, Bob Baldin, Andrew Bollis, Erick Satelo and Nick Olivero.
“We have a lot of guards who are going to be able to step in,” Senica said. “We have a lot of guys who are going to be able to play a lot of minutes. Everybody on the team is going to have a role.
“They all play together very well. There’s no individualism. I think that’s a big strength because when you play together, I just think you get a better product and these kids are doing that very well.”
John Senica said the Cavs aren’t looking too far ahead in terms of goals.
“We want to be very competitive,” he said. “We want to be in every game to where we have a chance to win the game. We’re not looking too far down the road. We have a good foundation built right now and we want to keep getting better. We’re going to see where it takes us.”