News
Opinion
Sports
Business
Community
entertainment
Schools
News
Announcements
Classifieds
Place Ad
Advertising
Contact Us
Archives
Search

Solid returning core gives FHS boys chance to make noise in District 4-AAA race


2003-04 Farragut High School boys’ varsity basketball team
A trio of three-year starters anchor an FHS boys basketball attack whose strengths are experience, outside shooting and defense.

“I think this may be the best defensive team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” head coach Donald Dodgen said. “It’s quickness, even the big men are quick — they’re quicker than they look. Right now defense has got to be our strength. In this district, you’ve got to be able to play defense. This bunch is capable of playing real good team defense. They are very unselfish. They play very, very hard. They help each other out.”


Key questions: Is this team gritty enough to have someone step up and make big plays late in close games? Is this Farragut team gritty enough to push back (legally speaking) when other teams may try to push them around? “They’ve got to get a little more aggressive, intense,” Dodgen said. “I think they need to be able to push just a little harder ... I think we’re going to have to have some good things happen early to us leadership-wise from the four seniors.”

Other key questions? Will Greg Gibson, a multi-talented 6-foot-2 shooting guard, be able to bring enough chemistry to the point guard position? Does Farragut have a consistent inside scoring threat?

“This is an unproven factor bunch, but this is a good bunch,” Dodgen said. “Our younger bunch, our juniors and sophomores, are going to have to contribute. They are capable of being a real good team. I see some bright spots at times out of all of them. There’s still a long way to go. I think we’re going to have a real good ballclub. They play pretty well together. They run the floor well.”

THE PLAYERS

Senior guard Gibson is a three-year starter who has used his abilities as an outside shooter, pull-up jump shooter, and penetrator to reel off a handful of 26-plus point games in his career. He has led the team in scoring each of the past two seasons. He also led the team in steals last year.

Naturally more of a shooting (or two guard), Gibson will be asked to run the show at the point. “He must be able to distribute and run the offense at the point,” Dodgen said. “He’s got to be able to get the ball to the wings and our inside game. He the best penetrator we’ve got, and maybe the best passer we’ve got. He’s got to be able to score for us in double digits ... lead us in assists, and get a steal occasionally.”

Senior 6-foot-4 wing Jay Hunter is a bigger and more physical version of Gibson, as the three-year starter is also a proven outside shooter and penetrator who can make things happen. Second on the team in scoring last season, Hunter must aide Gibson in scoring points.

Also second in rebounds, Hunter will need to give major help to senior post/wing Tim Torrence on the boards.

“Jay brings us a very strong gentleman, inside and out,” Dodgen said. “Jay also has got to score in double figures, and he’s also got to be able to get double figures in rebounds for us.”

Senior post/wing Torrence (6-foot-4), also a three-year starer who returns as the team’s top rebounder and top defensive player, is moving to the wing. “Tim’s also got to be double-digits for us (in scoring), and he’s also got to rebound for us and probably (defend) some of the quicker and stronger outside wing players for us,” Dodgen said.

Ben Bosse, a 6-foot-6 junior who was a top reserve last season, and Kyle Huckins, a 6-foot-5 junior, are expected to start in the post. “They are going to have to rebound for us,” Dodgen said. Though very thin and not especially physical, Bosse showed some promise as an inside scorer off the best last season.

Michael Wright, a 6-foot-2 junior, adds depth at the guard and wing after seeing ample playing time last season. Although not a fill-it-up shooter, Wright brings ample athleticism off the bench.

Ben Wilson, a 6-foot-3 junior, is labeled by Dodgen “as an outside shooter for us” and could provide some key spot scoring off the bench as a point/wing.

Others to watch off the bench are junior post/wing Noland Nevels, senior point Nick Brabson, and 6-foot-5 post/wing Tyler Powell “who I think will be a pleasant surprise,” Dodgen said. Sophomore post/wing Jordan Hays (6-foot-3) saw some varsity “mop-up” duty last year.

Other Admirals looking to contribute are junior wing/post Blake Denny, sophomore point/wing Marcus Huie, and sophomore post Shaun Smith.

Dodgen’s assistant coaches are David Ball, Ben Lyle, John Heatherly, and Lynn Sexton. Part-time assistants are Scott Tate and Jeff Grubb.

BOTTOM LINE

Saying earlier this month that he thinks Bearden is the best team in the district “right now,” Dodgen places his Admirals “maybe second or third.”

“I don’t think we’re at the same level as Bearden right now,” Dodgen said. “I think we can get there, but I think we’re going to have to work just a little bit harder.”

As for Dodgen’s biggest concern, “depth, I know we’ve got some kids that can come along and play,” he said. “I need the younger ones, the sophomores and juniors, to be ready to go, to help our seniors. I’ll be honest with you, I think we’ve got a good bunch of young kids to fill in with these seniors we’ve got.”

Keys to success: “Stay healthy” and “play as a team,” Dodgen said. “We’ve got to leave all the egos at home.”



Reflection: “One of my biggest disappointment here is that although we’ve won district tournaments here, and we’ve been to the region seven years in a row, we haven’t been able to win a region tournament,” Dodgen said.

  News | Opinion | Sports | Business | Community | Schools | Obituaries | Announcements
Classifieds | Place Ad | Advertising | Subscribe | Contact Us | Archives | Search

© 2004 farragutpress