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Talent plus experience for ’Dawgs

With a strong core of returning players, the Bearden Bulldogs basketball team looks to have a strong 2007-2008 campaign.

The Bulldogs return all but one from last season’s 23-10 team, but according to head coach Mark Blevins the group has a lot of “maturing” to do if it wants to challenge for any championships.

“Even though we have a lot of experience, we have a lot to gain,” Blevins said. “We are athletic. We are big, but our basketball I-Q is very limited. We spend a lot of time on fundamentals. We don’t run a whole lot of stuff. It’s not like most Bearden teams. Everything offensively and defensively is kept pretty simple just because we have to work so hard on our fundamentals.”

The good thing is that the Bulldogs are loaded with talent.

Junior post Demonte Simpson and junior guard Blake Jenkins, 6-foot-9 and 6-foot-7 respectively, have been offered scholarships by Virginia Tech. Fellow juniors Dustin Craig and Nathan Parker may not be far behind in attracting attention from colleges according to Blevins.

“I think probably the player that has improved the most is Nathan Parker,” Blevins said of the 6-foot-4 junior forward. “Nathan is probably going to be a Division-I player if he works hard enough.”

Craig, 6-foot-6 wing, had an impressive summer, but has yet to find his niche. “... He should play Division-I ball as well if he will work at it,” Blevins said.

With those four in the lineup, the Bulldogs look for senior Andy Fennell to run the point.

“We are only going to be as good as Andy Fennell can lead us because the point guard is the most important spot on the team,” Blevins said.

Also receiving plenty of playing time is the versatile 6-foot-4 junior wing Gabriel Campbell.

“Gabriel Campbell has probably played the most consistent for us at this point both offensively and defensively,” Blevins said.

Seniors Marcus Webb and Matt Ternes serve as reliable backup guards. Senior David Upchurch, juniors Benji Ware, DeShawn Oravetz, Josh Collins and freshmen Rico White and Galen Campbell also look to contribute.


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