bateman varsity boys b-ball


After finishing last season with an 11-16 record, the boys varsity basketball teams will try to rebound and compete for a Capital Valley Conference title this winter.    

With 10 returning players from last year’s team, including five coming back for their third year, the varsity team could be primed to make a quick turnaround.

Coach Greg Granucci feels that all five of the third year players’ experiences from the last two years will help them perform better this year.

However, the team will be without one veteran, senior Jimmy Jaggers, this year due to his early graduation at the end of the first semester. Jaggers has played varsity since his freshman year, and Granucci feels that the loss of him will have an impact on the team. Even still, he is confident that his players will be able to cope and be successful this year.

“Losing Jimmy is going to impact us because I think he played really well for us last year and was a presence inside,” Granucci said. “We have guys that are stepping up right now and I think we are going to be just fine.”

One of those players who are going to have to step up is senior guard Tommy Edwards. A third year varsity player, Edwards was the team’s leading scorer last year and he feels that another year of experience is only going to help.

“I think knowing the speed of the game is really going to help us this year,” Edwards said. “We have played three years, and I think we know what it takes to be a varsity player.”

Last year, Edwards ranked third on the team in rebounds and fourth in assists. This year, he feels that he can become a better leader while fine tuning his game at the same time.

“I think this year I can improve my rebounding skills and become a better passer while still staying one of our teams best scorers,” Edwards said. “Because it’s my third year, it enables me to become a leader on the floor.”

After playing his sophomore season, Edwards experienced a big jump in all of his stats. One player hoping to experience similar growth from sophomore season to junior season is Joe Cirrincione.

Cirrincione played varsity last season as a sophomore and was a valuable weapon of the bench as he was top nine in points, assists, and rebounds on the team. Now, going into his junior season, Cirrincione will try and improve his game just as Edwards did.

“Last year, I played mainly off the bench and I think I did well in that role,” Cirrincione said. “That being said, I think I will embrace more minutes this year and hopefully make a sizeable leap in my points, rebounds and assists.”

As a sophomore Cirrincione gained valuable experience just like Edwards and the other four third-year varsity players did. If his statistics improve, Cirrincione believes that a big part of his success will be because of his experience gained from being on last years team.

Granucci also feels that Cirrincione is ready to profit from last years experience and that he has seen Cirrincione grow since he first started playing varsity last year.

“Joes maturity level has gotten a lot better,” Granucci said, “He has already experienced the speed and flow of the varsity level so I feel like that is going to help him this season and going forward.” 

In an effort to have a more successful year, Granucci said that the team identified some of the problems it was having early on and the boys have practiced accordingly to fix those issues.    

“I think we need to take care of the ball better this year and turn the ball over less, and on defense we need to be better,” Granucci said. “We work on those things everyday, and a lot of our team goals that we set include those things.”

Another aspect that Granucci and his staff wanted to address was team chemistry.

After the first week of practice, the team participated in a rope course at Sacramento State University. Granucci felt that it allowed the players to become closer in order to better their relationships.

The boys are currently in the preseason and will begin league play in January.