Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2012, 7:58 pm

Geneseo hopes Storm rekindles hoops success

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By Dan Tomlin,

More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood
During a recent Geneseo basketball practice, guard Jordan Starkey drives around Ethan Radue (14) as Nathan Yager (15) defends Grant Burress (33). Coach Brad Storm is back at the helm again this year after being away for four seasons.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood
During a recent Geneseo boys' basketball practice, Ryan Webster drives toward the rim as Luke Snyder defends. Coach Brad Storm oversees the action.
The Geneseo boys' basketball team is hoping to pick up where they left off.

Not from where they left off last year — going 6-19 — but rather where they left off with Brad Storm.

The former, and now current, Geneseo basketball coach is back after a 4-year hiatus, but the last time he was wearing green, he led the Maple Leafs to the conference and regional championship.

Storm's inheriting a team that has been 12-games under .500 since he resigned following his son Tyler's senior year in 2008. The hire happened late in the summer, not giving the team too much time to get to know each other.

So what did they do? They had a sleepover in the gym and have been getting to know one another.

Where's the program at?
"We're pretty far behind from not doing anything this summer. We're still pretty new to each other. It's going to take some time, and we're going to have to be patient. We're a work in progress. They're picking up the major concepts quickly. How fast they can pick the little things up will determine how successful we will be. The big stuff is down, but refining the little things is where we're at."

Jordan Starkey is the top returning scorer, how's he doing?
"The cross country state meet was Nov. 3, and he was at practice on the first day. He's the guy returning with the most experience."

Ethan Reschke looked to have a promising season before tearing his ACL. What's his status?
"He was playing really well at the beginning of last year and then had the injury. He got plenty of time off, and then tweeked it in the Green-White football scrimmage. We'd rather have him later in the year than not have him at all."

How about everyone else?
"Luke Snyder played a pretty significant role last year and will do the same again this year. Austin Frank gets a lot of attention. He's 6-foot-7, but hasn't had a full season without an injury. If we can keep him healthy, he'll be a surprise for the area. There are schools looking at him, but they want to see him play a full season first. Nathan Yager and Ethan Radue are developing into an all-around players, too."

Any surprises?
"Grant Burress didn't play last year, but he's been making an impact in the first couple of weeks. Hopefully he can pick up from some lost time from not playing last year."

Where do you see the Leafs place in the Northern Illinois Big 12?
"I'd be disappointed if we weren't challenging for the conference title. Ottawa and Sterling will be standing in the way as usual. Dixon is also expecting to have a good team. Being away for four years, I kind of lost track of the conference a little bit. I think from what I've seen, heard and remember, I don't think the conference is one where someone is going to walk through it."

Meet the Maple Leafs

Head coach: Brad Storm (6th season, 73-59 at Geneseo)
Asst. coaches: Josh Reschke, Nick McCauley
Last season: 6-19, 3-7 Northern Illinois Big 12; lost to Alleman, 52-49, in Class 3A regional semifinal.
Returning letterwinners: Srs.: Jordan Reschke (5-10, G); Jordan Starkey (5-9, G), Nathan Yager (6-2, F), Ethan Reschke (6-1, F), Jake Scott (6-4, F), Austin Frank (6-7, F); Jrs.: Luke Snyder (5-11, G), Ethan Radue (5-10, G).
Newcomers: Sr.: Grant Burress (6-1, F) Jrs.: Brandon Rumley (6-0, G), Jordan Mielke (5-11, G);  Ryan Webster (6-0, F), Kevin Wolak (6-0, F), Grant Burress (6-1, F), Austin Lindstrom (6-1, F).
Schedule (all games 7:30 p.m., unless tournament or where noted): Nov. 23-24 Geneseo Thanksgiving Tournament; Nov. 30 vs. Sterling; Dec. 4 at Kewanee, 7:15 p.m.; Dec. 7 at Ottawa; Dec. 14 vs. Streator; Dec. 15 vs. Davenport North at Augustana, 10 a.m.; Dec. 20-22, 26-27 DeKalb Chuck Dayton Holiday Tournament; Jan. 4 at LaSalle-Peru; Jan. 11 at Dixon; Jan. 15 vs. Chillicothe IVC, 7 p.m.; Jan. 19 vs. Morris; Jan. 25 vs. Ottawa; Jan. 26 at Yorkville, 6 p.m.; Feb. 2 vs. LaSalle-Peru; Feb. 5 vs. Rockridge; Feb. 8 at Streator; Feb. 12 at Rochelle; Feb. 15 at Sterling; Feb. 22 vs. Dixon.