Thursday, January 18, 2007

Article on Rossiter in Staten Island Advance

Rossiter still learning lessons
Former Farrell standout still discovering the ins and outs at Davidson College

Post moves are a way of life in the Rossiter household.

But Stephen Rossiter, who in his time as an Advance All Star at Monsignor Farrell looked like he had been drop-stepping and jump-hooking since birth, says he's always learning more about how to be an effective big man.

Last season at Davidson College, the 6-foot-7 forward injured his foot two practices before the first game of the season. But, he'll be the first one to tell you it wasn't all bad.

"It was kind of rough, but I look at it like I had the benefit of months of practice," said Rossiter. "I learned a lot by just watching last year."

It seems he learned well.

The redshirt freshman has locked up a spot in the regular rotation as the second forward off of the bench for the red-hot Wildcats, which have won 12 straight and improved to 16-3 overall and 7-0 in the Southern Conference with a 79-54 win over The Citadel last night.

The three losses, it is worth noting were at Michigan, at Missouri and at No. 9 Duke.

"I feel like I'm fitting in well," he said.

"I think he keeps improving," said Steve Rossiter, Stephen's dad and an assistant coach at Farrell, a former D-I player himself at Loyola of Maryland. "A year off like that can take away from a guy as a basketball player. You're practicing every day, but that's not game conditions.

"But I think he looks good," added Steve, who attended the game on Tuesday night.

And, now Stephen's been able to provide a glimpse into the Division I basketball world for his younger brother Ryan, currently a senior at Farrell who is committed to Siena next season.

"He was back for Christmas break," said Ryan, after a recent win over Susan Wagner. "He was showing me some stuff he's learned, but he was basically just telling me how much more physical it is."

Ryan thought about Davidson, but said that the Wildcats needed a point guard and wanted him to go to prep school for a year, and he ended up choosing Siena.

"It would've been nice to play with (Stephen)," said Ryan. "But I'll get down there eventually to see him."

So, for the Rossiter family, Davidson-Siena looks like a budding rivalry.

"When we played when we were little, I used to beat up on him," said Stephen. "In fact, my dad always says that's why Ryan has pretty decent footwork, because he used to play me and I was always bigger than him. Now, he might be bigger than me."

So, when the brothers talk, there's little doubt to the subject matter.

"The biggest difference I try to tell (Ryan) about is that you can't take a play off," said Stephen. "It's not like high school. You'll get beat. Everybody you face is big and fast and strong. But it's such a challenge, that I love it.

"You work so hard every day at practice," he added. "But when it's game time and you're winning and your team is hitting big shot after big shot, it really is worth it."

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