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Marmion filling voids by committee

Senior ColKavanaugh averaged 10.6 points per game last seasfor Marmion. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

Senior Colin Kavanaugh averaged 10.6 points per game last season for Marmion. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Coach: Ryan Paradise

Last year: 14-14

Key returners: Colin Kavanaugh, Sr., Alex Theisen, Sr.

Top newcomers: Danny Bicknell, Jr., Jordan Glasgow, Soph., Mike Sheehan, Jr.

Updated: December 19, 2012 12:58PM

Like many teams, Marmion is entering the basketball season with a lot of questions. The first couple of weeks of practice, though, have provided many answers.

The Cadets, who went 14-14 last year and open the season Monday against Geneva at the West Chicago tournament, look to replace some key players. That was a concern for third-year coach Ryan Paradise, but each day he is seeing signs that several members of his 16-player roster are ready to step up in their place.

“I’m very excited for this year,” said Paradise. “We have a lot of new guys and some contributors (from last year) coming back. We have been having great practices and everyone has been contributing. I like our talent level, energy and attitude.”

Paradise thinks that one strength for the Cadets will be their depth. While in the past he tends to keep his game rotation at 8-9 players, Paradise believes he can stretch that out to 10-12 deep if the right game situations present themselves.

There is also quality to the depth, which is another plus.

“I feel like if I got to the bench we won’t drop off, in fact we might get stronger, and that is very comforting,” he said. “We have a lot of possible looks: big, small, defensive. We have a lot of options.”

Returning for the Cadets is 6-foot-5 senior Colin Kavanaugh, a versatile player who averaged 10.6 points per game last season. Kavanaugh can post up but also step out onto the perimeter as well. Also returning is Alex Theisen, another senior who provided offense off the bench, leading the Cadets in scoring several times over the course of the year.

“I think they will be our leaders,” Paradise said. “The guys have been looking to them to set the tone.”

Defensively, Marmion will predominately play man-to-man, but Paradise feels like they have the kind of athletes that they can switch that up from time to time. He would like to be able to stretch it out and take teams on full court, which would give the Cadets a chance to open up the floor and score points.

While finding more consistent scorers was thought to be a possible issue, Paradise has seen enough in the preseason to feel like putting points on the board won’t be as difficult as once thought.

“I pride myself on defense, but I have been surprised by how many different guys (can score),” he said. “It seems like we find a different guy each practice who might be able to carry us for a few minutes (each game).”

With so many players in the mix, the first part of the season will most likely be spent getting everyone on the same page. Paradise is looking forward to getting into game action so he can see who will be ready to contribute, but as always the focus will be on finding a rotation that works as the winter goes along.

“It’s going to come together,” he said. “Being early we are trying to get everyone to play together. That is going to take some time chemistry-wise but so far it has been working out great.”

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