QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- In his 16 years as the head coach of the Quincy Notre Dame basketball program Scott Douglas has amassed 15 winning seasons, including a 21 victory campaign which ended with a regional championship.
Fortunately for Douglas and the Raiders, the 2012-2013 season seems to have plenty of upside considering what the team returns with a group of eight seniors led by Alex Fitch and a powerful post presence in Matt McPherson.
By this time next week QND will hit the floor for its first game, and Douglas says having players he can count on is a big plus.
"We do have some veteran guys and some players that have a lot of experience," Douglas noted.
"Early on, and as this season goes on as well, that is something that we're going to really lean on."
According to Fitch, "This year it can only help more to have that experience out there especially when it comes down to the end of the season. During big games, and at end of games, you have to have guys that know how to win and this group definitely has a lot of those people."
What the Raiders possess is something not a lot of programs their size can counter with - versatility. QND features several players who can play a variety of spots.
The improved health of Noble Peters, along with the back court of Nick and Chris Dietrich, as well as Sam Douglas, is another luxury. McPherson says another year of growth makes the Raiders a force to be reckon with.
"I think you're going to see an extension of what we had last year. We're going to have a lot of different guys playing a lot of different positions," McPherson explained.
"Even though we may have a couple guards, or a couple forwards, or something like that (on the court) they can play a lot of different positions for us."
Douglas added, "We certainly have a bunch of high character guys and that always lends (itself) to being quite an advantage for any team. But I think the other thing is that we have some versatility. We have some guys that play with some length and I think that can be an advantage. We're also probably a little quicker than we have been."
The Raiders season begins against Knox County in next Monday's start to the Gully Transportation Tip-Off Tournament. Coupled with the Suns Classic and the new format between the two events gives QND five games this year, meaning they will play every night next week with the exception of Thanksgiving.
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