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Legendary mentor now coaching up Lancer players


Chuck Ramsey was not officially hired until July, after the recruiting cycle for the 2012-13 season had ended and the vast majority of players had already made their fall commitments.

The players on the current roster were selected through an open tryout.

6-5 center Karl Nettgen had a nice career as a starter at Antioch and 5-11 sophomore Layne Gierke started at Highland Park, while players like 5-3 Devante Nicks from Zion-Benton and 5-7 Dan Ryan of Libertyville were spark plugs off the bench on their respective varsity teams last year. 6-3 forward Jerry Gaylor, once a key piece of the puzzle at Grant, was not with the Bulldogs for the majority of his senior season. A few players from non-Lake County schools will also be called on to contribute.

On Thursday in a scrimmage at the College of DuPage, the Lancers substituted in two five-man units which Ramsey switched up at the intermissions.

After the first 20-minute period, the Lancers trailed 41-15. They trailed 67-52 after the second 20-minute period and closed to within 77-69 after an additional 10-minute period was added on.

The Lancers will be significantly undersized against most opponents, making it a nightly struggle to score in the post the way Ramsey’s recent teams at Warren were able to do with Nathan Boothe and Darius Paul.

The scoring on Thursday was balanced, with the athletic Gaylor leading the way with 12 points.

Ramsey believes that several players who will be ineligible during the first half of the season can be solid contributors in the second half.

Updated: December 29, 2012 1:43AM

It did not take the players on College of Lake County’s men’s basketball team long to get the message.

Says Karl Nettgen, who played prep hoops at Antioch: “Almost every day in practice, our assistant coach reminds us that we haven’t won the conference since like 1983. I think that’s one of the big goals everyone in the program shares.”

And so it begins.

After a Hall of Fame career at Warren High School, during which he became the winningest coach in Lake County boys basketball history, Chuck Ramsey is now coaching players he used to coach against as he begins his reign as coach at CLC in Grayslake.

And while there are obvious differences in terms of skill level between what Coach Chuck had and Warren and what he has on his first team at CLC, one thing remains the same:

The coach’s desire to make his charges better young men and better basketball players.

It should be an interesting season on game nights this winter on campus in Grayslake.

Here’s Coach Ramsey’s thoughts as he prepares his team for the season ahead.

■ “Our recruiting focus is going to be Lake County, and obviously we want to get that going. CLC has a lot to offer in terms of an education as well as of course an opportunity to play basketball. Getting these kids an education is a really important part of what we want to do.”

■ “I knew what to expect. You can’t take anything for granted. These guys are from very different backgrounds both individually and the team-wise. They have different fundamentals. We have a lot of guys who haven’t played very much at their respective schools, or maybe haven’t played at all. You can’t assume anything.”

■ “If these guys are going to play basketball, they might as well play it the right way. Full effort, full concentration, being physical, and being aggressive, that’s how the game should be played. We have to get better at that.”

■ “Our No. 1 priority is playing hard. We have to play harder than the other team. That’s one of the big challenges we face right now, is getting the guys to play with the effort we expect of them every day in practices and in the games. We’ve had a few practices where it hasn’t been there, so that’s something we’re still learning.”

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