Head coach: Cedric Anderson (fifth season)
Last season: 22-6, lost in state semifinals
Key players lost: Alex Anderson, Cam Dunnigan, Eli Ramsey, Will Hughes
Key players returning: Tyler Byrd, Sam Cannon, Alexander Blue, Thano Sinis
It may take a while to get used to life without Alex Anderson, the school’s all-time scoring leader and four-year starter who graduated last spring and is now starting for South Alabama.
But head coach Cedric Anderson, who came to Rosemark four seasons and brought Alex, his son, with him, believes his team will adjust. It just might take some time.
“I don’t think anybody will want to play us in February,” the coach said.
Easing the blow of losing Anderson to graduation is the return of senior Tyler Byrd. He averaged 21 points per game last season and is capable of scoring in bunches. He scored 36 points in last season’s state tournament loss to CPA.
A pair of contributors from last year’s state tournament team – Eli Ramsey and Will Hughes – chose not to play basketball this season, which will create more playing time for guys like Alexander Blue, Sam Cannon and Thano Sinis.
“The surprise player is going to be Alexander Blue,” Anderson said. “He’s a leader and he’s going to have to make some big plays for us. And I think he’s capable and he will.”
Rosemark has been one of the best DII-A teams in the state the last four seasons, making it state twice during that span. If the Rebels want to get back to Nashville, they’ll have to do it with a very young team that is largely inexperienced.
“Expectations here,” Anderson said, “don’t change.”