2023 Reno Huskies Boys Basketball Season Preview
By: J. Ray Dockter
2022 record: 22-4 overall, 13-3 league
Head coach: Matt Ochs, 11th season as Reno HC, 18th overall at Reno.
Key Losses: Gage Krakora, Casey McMahon Griffin MacDonald, Drew Dutton and Nathan Romine.
Overview: The Huskies start the 2023-24 campaign with high expectations after winning 85% of their games last season in route to a semi-final berth in the regional tournament. Coach Ochs squad continues to be one of the premiere programs in all of Northern Nevada.
In my conversation with Coach Ochs he stated a"significant number of returners equal high expectations for us this season." He proceeded to say "[the] league top-to-bottom is better than it has been in quite a while."
The Huskies are typically known for their size advantage historically but Coach Ochs said "our team is pretty small this season and we are more guard-oriented." He continued on stating he "believes this is a special group, that has been on varsity for a while know and having veteran players, fast forwards the processes with players teaching players in practice."
If the Huskies can maintain their progress from last season I can see them hosting a home playoff game with a good shot of winning another regional championship.
Without further ado, here is Coach Ochs answers to our questions we asked him last month.
What can we expect from your team this season?
Offense - We want to space the floor and shoot the three. We lack size to go inside-out so we plan on using our speed and quickness to keep teams off balance.
Defense - We will be switching defenses according to what is working at the time in order to keep team's on their toes. I'd say we are probably going to have a '60/40' split of man and zone defense. We rep our zone everyday in practice - it's central to what we do.
Style of Play - Fast, unselfish, hopefully keep teams guessing. We want to keep team's on their toes and hopefully our shooting comes around because we haven't shot the ball very well yet this season and we need good shooting.
What is the key to your team's success this season?
The key to our success will be our ability to play together and maintain unity while playing collectively for the good of the team.
What is the best part of coaching high school athletics?
Building relationships with the kids, for instance the other night I had a player reach out to me and ask me about investing - specifically Roth IRA's so life-long friendships are key. Also, as former athletes I think that coaching fuels that competitive spot in your life when you can no longer compete and it's a great way to give back. Lastly, strategy from game to game keeps things interesting.
Who do you feel are the team's to beat in the Northern 4A?
In no particular order: Damonte Ranch, Bishop Manogue, McQueen, Douglas, and Reed.
Projected Starting Five (Stats are reflective of last season): Senior dominant to include Harvey Smerdon (12 PPG and 1.4 APG), Noah Hackbusch (10.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and 1.3 APG), Aidan Casey (10.2 PPG, and 3 RPG), Kipper Warmbrodt (3.3 PPG and 3 RPG) and Zack Silverman while also leaning on Juniors Mack Edwards and Levi Boyd (a transfer from North Tahoe who led them in scoring last season as a Sophomore).
12/14 vs. Douglas
12/16 at Carson
12/21 vs. Reed
1/4 at Damonte Ranch
1/6 vs. Bishop Manogue
1/12 vs. McQueen
1/16 vs. Galena
1/19 vs. Spanish Springs
1/23 at Douglas
1/25 vs. Carson
1/27 at Reed
1/30 vs. Damonte Ranch
2/2 at Bishop Manogue
2/9 at McQueen