DeKALB – As a freshman, Jake Carpenter spent the postseason with DeKalb’s varsity squad, which won the Western Sun Conference and made it all the way to a sectional final.
During his short experience that March, he got to practice with veteran players such as Jordan Threloff, Dylan Donnelly and Pat Rourke. As a sophomore, Carpenter was a varsity player, and two years later the senior is using the valuable experience he gained early in his career to become one of the Barbs’ top scorers, as well as a key defensive stopper.
“It helps a ton. Just all the experiences. Even dressing freshman year, you practiced with those guys every day,” Carpenter said. “Practicing with better talent obviously makes you better as a player. That just really helped me tremendously to where I am now.”
This year, Carpenter will be a lot more than just a practice player, and he’ll be playing a full season. After tearing the posterior cruciate ligamanet in his knee during the 2011 football season, Carpenter wasn’t able to get any game action for the basketball team until last January.
As a senior, Carpenter will be expected to use his long arms on defense, and get to the basket when the Barbs have the ball.
“I think his strength is how he gets up and down the floor, for a guy his size. We like to hit him on the wing on the break,” DeKalb coach Dave Rohlman said. “He’s really good at getting to the basket.”
As a wing, Carpenter said getting to the hoop is his main strength.
“It’s definitely my strong suit, and definitely what [Rohlman]’s encouraged me to do, is drive to the basket more,” Carpenter said.
With Carpenter being one of the players who should carry the Barbs this season, Rohlman said his senior can rely on his experiences from the past three years.
“He’s been in those tough losses, those big wins,” Rohlman said. “I’m certainly believing that he’s going to want the basketball in those situations when the game’s on the line as well.”