Anderson will keep Law boys team safe, competitive during season

Law coach Jamie Anderson is preaching safety.

Law coach Jamie Anderson is preaching safety.

David G Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD - Jonathan Law boys’ basketball coach Jamie Anderson is a basketball junkie. The former Law standout (1990 grad) and college star at SUNY-Buffalo who played professional ball in Europe and the United States said that while the coaching staff is happy for their players that they will be cautious throughout this COVID-19 pandemic season.

“I was completely ready to have no season,” Anderson said. “They kids are super excited, but we have going on here is a life threatening and scary scenario for everybody. We are going to take it day to day.

“We have our guys in the safest possible environment that we can in school and in the gym. The coaching staff is on the same page as the players,” he said. “We want to play because the enrichment is important to the kids and for their growth as individuals. Safety is most important. Everyone knows someone (impacted by COVID-19), so I think the players get it.”

Law is preparing for its first week of a 12-game schedule.

“Mask breaks are important in our conditioning. Our guys are in shape. We predicate outworking the other team from every perspective. That is the only way we can compete. We are maybe 60 percent condition wise to where a year ago because of the masks,” said Anderson, who in his third season led Law to a 14-7 record including a win in the Division III playoffs before the season was stopped.

“We have to grow some guys,” he said. “The last three years our senior groups have been very good. We have some good returnees and we have young guys with promise at sophomore level.”

Law played its lone scrimmage allowed against Cheshire on Saturday.

“The coaching staff was pleasantly surprised. We won as far as score,” Anderson said. “For our side of the SCC schedule we run the gauntlet. We don’t have Hamden or Xavier until the playoffs, but we do have Fairfield Prep, West Haven, Wilbur Cross, Career and Notre Dame West Haven. Sheehan is never a slouch plus we have Shelton and then our rival Foran. It will be a tough go.”

Law lost five pivotal players to graduation from a year ago but returns an interesting nucleus of players.

Brian Felag, James Marino and Noah Tutlis are team captains.

“Brian is a great athlete and is really good north to south with the ball in his hands. He does a lot of little things well and leads by example,” Anderson said.

“James is a scrappy player and a motivational leader. He is chomping at the bit to play since he is coming back from an injury. He can score inside and outside. He has a strong frame and we will need him on the defensive glass.”

“Noah is one of the best shooters that we’ve had in a long time. He has great range on his shot and his game in more well-rounded because of the work he has put into it.”

Jake Faller, Daniel Maxwell, Nolan McKenna-Hansen, John Neider, Connor Larson and Brendan Buchner will be counted on when Law opened its season with Wilbur Cross.

“Jake will be at the point where he started getting considerable time last year. Then we will play guys by committee. We have lot of guys that our tweeners, guards slash forwards in that 6-foot-1, 6-foot-3 range. They are competent with the ball but not to run the offense. As for running the fast-break overall it may take time to get there.

“Daniel Maxwell is a good shooter with lots of range. We will ask him to do some work down low on both ends of the court.”

Anderson said of his sophomores” “Those guys on bench, Nolan McKenna-Hansen and John Neider are borderline starters. John in the next year or two is going to be an All-State receiver in football, where Brian Felag is a star as well. Nolan is 6-foot-5 and approaching my height (6-6) and has real promise. As a freshman he was he was able to knock down mid-range jump shot.

“Neider is 100 percent effort and intensity. I’ll look to work him in. But like I had to do he has to learn to let the game come to him. He will get there. I will take his mistakes because his energy is great.”

Anderson likes his core group but said he needs to go deeper.

“We will look to conserve bodies,” he said. “Our first 7 players are solid. Our 8 and 9 are good players, they just don’t have that varsity experience. Our top 5 shoot the ball well. In our scrimmage with Cheshire we scored 15 points in the second quarter on 5 three-pointers. It just worked out that way. Our shooting percentage overall was good.

“We want to compete each game and grow as a unit.”

Law visits Amity Friday and will host Prep on Tuesday.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354