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More balance for Hawks basketball?

Tevin Gunn, Hardin Valley Academy's versatile wing/post, said this season's Hawks Varsity Boys Basketball team is more balanced from top to bottom.

It doesn't depend on any one player, as Gunn said the Hawks did last season, when the program won four games — the first four in school history after a winless 2008-09 inaugural season.

“We don't have an all-around best player, and I think that's better for us, honestly,” the 6-foot-3 junior said about a team with only two seniors yet a core of experienced returnees. “Now, we know that we all have to contribute.

“Now, we have a lot of people who can score,” added Gunn, a full-time starter last season and one of three Hawks who started at least part of last season. “We had some underclassmen this year, who were freshman last year who just weren't ready. And now they're ready, and because of that I feel like we are more well-rounded as a team.”

Hawks head coach Keith Galloway said of Gunn, “He's really a good rebounder and he's a good scorer from all distances. He can hit the three, and he's good around the basket. He'll play some on the inside, some on the outside.”

Senior V. J. Brown was a part-time starter at guard in 2009-10. “V.J.'s a good ballhandler, a strong scorer and a good defender,” Galloway said.

Brown, who said rebounding is his top attribute, added this year's Hawks “bonded more; instead of arguing so much, we've all come together, finding out each other's strengths and weaknesses.”

Galloway said his top three scoring threats are Gunn, Brown and junior two-guard Sherrius Smith, who started a few games last season.

“He's a good scorer, a good shooter and a great passer,” Galloway said of Smith, who joins Gunn, Brown, junior point guard Jonathan Franklin and freshman forward Zak Carter as opening-season starters.

Franklin “is an excellent ballhandler,” Galloway said. “An extremely hard worker on both ends of the court. “And he’s a good shooter.”

Zak Carter “is an excellent passer,” Galloway said. “He can score around the basket, and he can hit an open shot. He's going to end up being a good player for us.”

Senior guard Tyler Baker “is a pesky defender and a good shooter. Good ballhandler.”

Sophomore Micah Goss, point guard/two-guard, “is a good ballhandler, has a really high basketball IQ, and he can shoot,” Galloway said. “He's a very good defender, too. Got good hands on defense.”

Jalen Carter, a 6-foot-3 sophomore post, “has good moves in the post, and he's a good post defender,” Galloway said. “And he's a good defender on the perimeter, able to guard inside and out.”

Daniel Dedrick, a 6-foot-7 junior who hasn't played since middle school, “is still raw in his skills," Galloway said. "But he's getting better, and he can rebound for us and block shots.”

Sophomore forward newcomer Geovanny Rivera, “he's like a slasher, he's about 6-[foot]-3, 6-4. And a good rebounder.”

Other Hawks looking to contribute include junior guard Michael McKinney, “Very smart out on the court, very coachable.” Galloway said.

Assistant coaches are Shane Chambers and Wes Hobbs.


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