After the first visit to the Iowa High School State Basketball tournament since the early nineties, the Prince of Peace boys basketball team is looking at a complete roster overhaul.
The Irish graduated four of their starting five and five seniors in all, leaving them with a very young and inexperienced roster.
Head coach Gerry Murphy has a long road getting some of his team up to speed.
“We’ve got a lot of new people and faces and we really haven’t got a lot of our stuff implemented,” Murphy said. “We’re way behind on that, probably more than I’ve ever been so that will be a challenge.”
Their key returner is going to be senior Nathan Moeller. Moeller, a lengthy presence in the middle of the lane with a soft jump shot, averaged almost 16 points a game while leading the team in blocks and rebounds last year.
He was a junior on a senior-heavy roster last year and now has a new role with his team.
“He’ll have to be the leader this year,” Murphy said. “And I think he’s already been doing that through the offseason and first week. He’s been a lot more vocal and worked with the younger guys to try to get them on board as to what’s going on.”
Moeller will have a different look this year, getting his looks from the hands of new guards on the perimeter.
Also returning as a senior with some varsity time is Gage Ruden. Ruden scored 32 points (for the varsity) last year seeing minutes here and there, while also leading the JV squad. He brings much needed ballhandling to the mix.
“Gage got some action and was an influence with that group,” Murphy said. “He sees the floor well.”
Kyle Sager and Brandon Raab also dressed with that team last season and are coming into their junior campaigns. They, along with juniors Kyler Wallace and CamRon Williams will make up the upperclassmen who are trying to fill out the roster.
It may be a completely different Irish from the 20-4 team last year, and it most certainly will be a slow start to the season.
“I think we’ll know where we’re at by Christmas,” Murphy said. “Hopefully we’ll have our stuff implemented by then and we’ll see what adjustments we have to make.”