Ross Boys Varsity Basketball Preview
By Andrew Rudansky
There was a time when the Ross Cosmos boys’ varsity basketball team posed little threat in League VIII. However the winds are changing at Ross, and now more than any other time in their 20-year existence they are becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Just last season the Cosmos finished with a 6-8 won-loss record and went undefeated against all of their Class D rivals. That was good enough to get them the Suffolk County Class D championship and bring them to the Class D Southeast Regional semi-finals, where they finally fell to the Biondi Lions on March 8, 2011.
This was the first time in school history that Ross has reached the playoffs.
Now looking to build on that success, four of the five starters from last year’s playoff team have returned. Kelly McKee, now in his fourteenth year as head coach of the Cosmos, said that these returning starters will be crucial to the continued success of the squad.
Starting at shooting guard is senior captain Liam Chaskey, a fourth year varsity player who is coming off a personally disappointing season, one cut short by a debilitating ankle sprain.
“Hopefully [Chaskey] can get a full year in, he deserves it,” said McKee.
Senior Fuhito Yoshida is returning as the starting point guard. McKee said he will be counting on Yoshida to run the Cosmos offense through distributing the ball.
At the forward position McKee will tap the talents of senior captain Hayden Aldredge and the team’s “big man,” junior Roosevelt Odidi.
Joining these starters will be a number of other returning varsity players and a few new members of Ross’ JV squad. Tryouts for the final team roster began yesterday, November 16 and continue until tomorrow. McKee said that he was excited about the prospects he has in the coming season.
“Because we have so many returning players we should have the experience to be able to do a little of everything on the court,” said McKee.
Not everything is rosy for the Cosmos however, as this year the Class D field got a little bit more crowded.
Smithtown Christian, a Class D school, is the new kid on the block in League VIII basketball after replacing the outgoing Class C Port Jefferson Royals. Last year Smithtown Christian couldn’t field a varsity squad, but now the school provides another hurdle for Ross in their pursuit of a second Suffolk County title in two years.
The Cosmos take on this new competitor two times this season, the first time at home on January 1.
“We always like to play good competition,” said McKee, who welcomed the challenge of another team.
The Cosmos’ first league game is an away game against Greenport on Monday, December 12 at 6:45 pm.