Posted On: 07/11/18 5:00 AM

Things are starting to come together for Coach Dan Prete as he takes over the basketball program at Bishop Walsh. Prep Hoops recently interviewed him about various topics as things begin to take shape in Cumberland.

PH: What can be expected from the Bishop Walsh Basketball Program under your guidance?

DP: “Well, I think what we’re going to try to do is build a really good and strong program up in that part of the state. A lot of fun, high tempo basketball. We really want to be able to compete at the Alhambra event. So we’re going to try to do our best to get to that level so they can compete.”

PH: Who are some of the key players to watch for your team this upcoming season?

DP: “Callum Baker and Anthony Torelli are both players that have been with me. They’ll be rising seniors. So I’m excited about them. We got a good transfer, Yeezy (Yavuz Gultekin), from John Carroll. I’m really excited about him because I think he’s really got a chance to turn in to a really strong player. I think he’s just coming out of his shell now, and I think he’s going to be really fun to watch. And I’m excited about Jalen Miller. I really think that he’s an up and coming point guard who kind of made a name for himself last year. I think this is just the beginning for him. He’s a really smart point guard, and he’s still learning a lot, but at the same time he’s kind of got that “old school” game where he’s really starting to put it together now. So I’m excited that he’ll be there running the show. Callum Baker is the guy that was steady for me last year, and he can play so many different roles so I think we’ve got a really good nucleus.”

PH: Could you talk a little about Anthony Torelli for those who haven’t seen him play?

DP: “He’s a very strong and aggressive guard. Kind of does it all. He can shoot. He can handle the ball. He can get to the hole. The best part about him is his grit on defense. He’s that constant communicator and he’s a strong kid so he can kind of guard multiple positions. Multiple types of guards. He’s a kid who can kind of be your shutdown defender. You feel very comfortable when there’s a big time player on the other team putting him on them.”

PH: What can you tell us about your schedule for the upcoming season?

DP: “We’re close to finalizing it. We’ll play some big games in the area, and then also we’ll travel a bit to go play in some games also.”

PH: Who is joining your coaching staff?

DP: “Evan Austin is coming over with me. He was with me last year. I’m actually finalizing another piece or two here over the next couple of weeks as we put the entire staff together.”

PH: What do you hope to accomplish between now and the start of the season?

DP: “Just kind of finalizing the roster. Learning to know a couple of the kids up at Bishop Walsh. I’m getting to learn some of them. Kind of mixing them with our new pieces, so I want to finalize what I’m doing with that. Obviously finalize the coaching staff, putting the schedule together, and hopefully we’ll be ready to role here real soon.”

PH: How would you compare taking over at Saint James to taking over at Bishop Walsh?

DP: “I think the Saint James experience helped me. Because we did have to build a program. And up here, at the same time, we have a lot of really good things in place to help us do that. But I did learn a lot over the last couple of years trying to put Saint James together where now the transition to Bishop Walsh will feel pretty good. We kind of have some background and experience for what we can do to make things better quicker and really get ourselves on the map right away.”