Rahk Is Ready To Roll

For Rakeem Brookins, the upcoming season is one which comes with high expectations. The bar has been raised not only from the fans, but from head coach Mitch Buonoguro as well.

“Obviously, we’re going to rely on this young man a lot,” Coach B. said while speaking at this year’s Media Day. “He had a terrific freshman year. I said last year, he’s going to be one of the better guards in the MAAC. He’s got a terrific upside. Last year, he averaged 9 a game. He ran the team, which is not easy as a freshman. He played against really good teams on our schedule and did well. So I’d expect him this year to step up and be a real important key part of the team and show a lot of improvement”.

After hearing those remarks we asked Rahk how he felt about his role on this year’s team.

“I feel comfortable,” said Brookins. “All the basketball teams I’ve played for throughout my life I have played the leadership role. There’s a bit of a difference in college basketball but I’m confident and I think I can take it into my own hands and be a leader of this team”.

Leadership is a key to this year’s team with the addition of six freshmen. Rahk had this to say of his new teammates, “The freshmen have been playing good. They’ve been playing hard. They bring a lot of intensity, they’ve got heart and they have fun.”

When asked about what they add in terms of  speed he said with a smile, “They’re trying to keep up.” He mentioned Evan Hymes in particular.

“Evan Hymes is very quick. Playing against him and guarding him will help me a lot. Staying in front of a quick guard like that will help me during the season.  Defense is another thing that’s big for me from last year I’ve got to step it up on the defensive end”.

We also discussed with Rahk what he has been working on specifically to improve offensively.

“I’m not perfect in any aspect of the game so I’ve been working on everything but shot selection is my main focus.”

We asked Rahk which game he had circled on the schedule as one he was looking forward to. He said, “We’ll take it one game at a time, but, Madison Square Garden (vs. Iona), that’s a big game. I can’t wait.”

When asked which player was most likely to emerge and surprise some people he said, “Brandon Walters. He’s put a lot in all summer .He’s been working out, working on his own in the weight room a lot. He wants it. He’s got a fire for the game”.

Rahk said there is a difference entering into his second season compared to where he was a year ago.

“I’m more ready this year.  I know what it is. I’ve been through it. I just keep thinking about the leadership role. Last year Ryan was the big guy for us, the leader and the heart and soul of the team. I was the engine that kept the team going. With me being the leader it will help us a lot”.

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