An optimistic preseason outlook for the West Platte boys basketball team was built around returning all-state player Adam Roe. A 6-foot-4 junior, Roe has a smooth game, especially considering he’s typically the tallest player on the floor against fellow Class 2 teams. Well, except for his teammates. Center Bryce Cashman is 6-10 and post player Nathan Couslon is also 6-4, so even though Roe is taller than almost every opposing player West Platte faces, he’s shifted to guard for his junior season.
So far, so good. West Platte enters the holiday break a perfect 9-0 with Roe leading the team in scoring. On Thursday’s snow day, The Star went four quarters with Roe to discuss West Platte’s undefeated start to the season.
Q. What’s the transition of playing as the team’s tallest player to playing guard?
A. “It’s been great. Bryce helped us last year, but he came off the bench. This year, he’s been able to fill a starting role. With him and Nathan, that’s bumped me out to the wing, and I’ve always been more comfortable playing there, starting on the outside.”
Q. Is there anything you’ve placed an emphasis on improving this year?
A. “I’m hoping my defense stands out. That’s what I really want to be known for — a defensive player. I’m hoping when people watch me play, that’s what they see.”
Q. How do you spend an unexpected snow day?
A. “I relax and watch ‘SportsCenter’ all day. I’m just sitting here watching ‘SportsCenter Top 10’ (plays).”
Q. With a break until a Jan. 4 game against North Platte, will you get antsy over the next two weeks?
A. “Of course. When you’re playing well, you want to keep playing. But my dad and I go up to the school on weekends and days off. We do a shooting workout, where I get up 300 (to) 500 shots. We’ll do that just about every day. I just want to keep the ball in my hands until we start back.”
By the Numbers
1 Number of games that Missouri boys lead Kansas in the all-time series at the Hy-Vee Shootout. Schools from west of the state line have won 19 of 28 games the last two seasons, trimming Missouri’s all-time record to 86-85. Ottawa’s Semi Ojeleye was the MVP this season after scoring 32 with nine rebounds in a win against Grandview.
16 The second-closest margin of victory for the Blue Springs South boys team in a 7-0 start. The Jaguars were tested for the first time Tuesday night in a trip to Rock Bridge, and they held on for a 67-63 victory behind 20 points from Justin Pitts. Blue Springs South has won every other game by at least 16 points.
16.3 Steals per game for the Park Hill South girls basketball team. The Panthers have won eight of their first nine games, and an improved defense has certainly played a factor. Samantha Roy is averaging a team-high 4.3 steals.
64.7 Percentage of Hy-Vee Shootout games won by Kansas girls in the event’s history, which dates to the 1995-96 season. Kansas leads the all-time series against Missouri 75-41, powered by St. Thomas Aquinas, which is undefeated in 16 appearances at the city’s premier high school basketball showcase. Fellow East Kansas League powers Bishop Miege (14-4) and Blue Valley North (11-4) also have been dominant.
The Star’s Tod Palmer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sam McDowell (email@example.com) contributed to this report.
| Sam McDowell, firstname.lastname@example.org