North boys basketball: Sean Register Jr. elevating his play and his teammates
Jan. 28—While the past two seasons have been filled with ups and downs for the North boys basketball team, one thing has stayed the same: The consistent strong play of junior Sean Register Jr.
A three-year starter, Register has gone from a bright-eyed freshman to the leader of a team that features several key pieces around him. After two seasons surrounded by seniors, Register now has several fellow underclassmen around him.
Register has been working on his game while also elevating his teammates. That's been his focus this season, and it's nothing new for him.
"It's been great to be able to help everybody out and see everyone getting better," Register said. "I know it's my job this season to be a leader for this team, and I came in knowing that. Last year I tried to be as well even with the senior class that we had. Even in losses we were hustling, playing our style of basketball and we're able to stay with our opponents this season. We play together and that's our goal."
He's second in the area in scoring at 27.8 points per game, but Register's work inside has made an impact inside on both sides of the court. He leads the area at 14 rebounds a game and also averages 1.5 blocked shots.
Register leads the team in those statistical categories, and he has ample help. Dylan McDonald has made 27 3-pointers and averages 10.2 points per game.
Register has help inside with Nate Tadiello and Bryce Frasure helping clean up the boards. Having the supporting cast that he can help develop is something that Register knows will play a role in the back half of this season as well as the next.
"I know that I'm going inside against other big guys. But I know it's my job to be getting those rebounds and working against them in the paint," Register said. "But this season I also have Nate inside working with me. It has helped me be even better on the glass knowing that I'm not the one having to shoulder all the load inside. I come in thinking that every rebound can be a point and that also helps the team out."
With Register's experience, he's led the Rangers to a 5-9 record and a pair of conference wins. The progress has been steady from a season ago for both player and team under first-year head coach Clint Nicholson.
Even though their record is not what Nicholson wanted, he's seeing the development in Register and the entire team. Five of their losses have been by 10 points or fewer.
After some challenging seasons, Nicholson has seen the leadership of Register help not just with the development of the team. Turning the losses that weren't close a season ago into one- or two-possession games has been a difference-maker to their overall goal.
"You're seeing him take on a new role because this is his first time with a younger team," Nicholson said. "He's now the guy and it's good to see his game progressing. He understands how everyone plays, what to expect in transition, it's those little things that he's picking up on. All the guys look up to Sean and they have established a good rapport. Our goal for this year is to develop the players around him. We've had injuries and other issues see different players come into the lineup. Some teams have tried to face guard him and we've needed other players to step up."
"The next step for Sean is going to be on ball control. There's still some turnovers for us as a team. So the next step is going to be to have him more confident with the ball in his hands so he can set up the offense as well. We're still trying to find our way to get used to winning and we're seeing that translate at practice and during games."
Coupled with him helping his teammates develop, Register is excited to see his own development help the Rangers along the way. Having the early spotlight on him was something that helped him find any early issues in his game.
Becoming a leader for the Rangers has been an adjustment for Register. He says he is up for the challenge.
"I just need to keep coming to practice and helping my team every game," Register said. "We get on each other when things don't go how we want them to but we also know that the season is a challenge in itself. We play a lot of really strong teams both in conference and out. So with the core of us having one or two more years here, we're working on learning something every time out on the floor."
Register looks to lead North back to the win column when it welcomes Mayfield to Ranger Gymnasium on Jan. 31.