TSB looks at the 2013-14 boys basketball season among MISD varsity teams:
For a McKinney High team that fell just short of earning the fourth and final playoff spot in 10-5A a season ago, the 2013-14 Lions may be ready to take that next step.
Lions’ head coach Wes Watson said McKinney will be quicker and possibly have more skill than last year’s team, but he noted that McKinney will be very young, having graduated eight seniors and lost a great deal of length and athleticism.
Watson said McKinney (17-13, 2-8 in 10-5A in ’12-13) will play fast paced this year, utilizing its quickness and sped to gain numbers in transition when attacking the basket.
The Lions will be high tempo entering the offensive zone, using motion in the halfcourt and using more set plays this year into dribble-drive situations.
He said McKinney may look “shaky” early on, but the more the younger players gain experience the stronger MHS will become.
The Lions may have a different look defensively, with Watson saying the quickness may enable him to use multiple looks instead of using a trapping defensive scheme.
Watson said MHS will be leaning on several players this year, most notable senior Jontrell Roquemore, who Watson call “the most improved player from last season.”
McKinney will also be banking on big minutes from senior Remington Edwards and junior Preston Smith.
The Lions open their season Thursday with a trip to Rockwall, and will return to MHS Nov. 19 against Frisco Liberty at 7:30 p.m
The Bulldogs basketball made history Tuesday night when they took the court in Frisco, becoming the first Bulldog basketball team to enter a season ranked in a preseason poll.
And the Bulldogs, ranked No. 12 in Texas 4A basketball, got off on a right foot by defeating Frisco Liberty 65-63 in Frisco.
North returns four starters from last year’s squad that earned the No. 2 seed in 13-4A with a 21-10 overall record and 10-3 mark in district play. The Bulldogs lost to Kimball 56-49 in the fourth round of the state playoffs.
No longer will North be flying under the radar, head coach Darryll Craft said.
And North returns a crop of talented playmakers, including Collin Curran, who Craft called “the best shooter I’ve ever coached in my life.”
Craft said North will also be looking toward Steele Douglas, who at 6 feet 2 gives the Bulldogs size under the basket, and Jullian perry, who Craft said is “willing to take over the game.”
And although North is loaded with talent around the court, Craft said his team lets the game dictate how they play, meaning the Bulldogs don’t subscribe to one style of play.
Craft said North has the ability to grind it out and play defense, winning games by scoring 40 points, but also has the capability to run the court and score in the 90’s.
“Our philosophy is we are willing and able to what it takes do get a win,” he said.
North will have its home opener Friday at noon against The Colony.
Under first-year coach Jason Burton, McKinney Boyd is looking to build upon last season’s playoff berth.
Burton comes to Boyd from the college ranks. He spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Texas State University, and the prior four years as an assistant at Texas A&M Commerce.
He said he is preaching effort, because that’s how good results will come.
“There’s no excuses,” said Burton, who noted that while his team is very young and undersized, there is a reason they are playing varsity basketball.
Boyd finished the 2012-13 season 20-10, and 4-6 in 10-5A play, good enough for the fourth seed in the state playoffs. The Broncos fell in the first round of the state playoffs 59-48 to Richardson Berkner.
Burton said despite his team’s youth, it will grow as the season progresses, saying his younger players will become more experienced and the talent will show.
The first-year coach said Boyd will mix it up defensively, playing a mix of a trap and press, and wants the offense to play a fast pace and move the ball quickly.
Burton said Boyd will be looking toward Nick Barber, Colton Head, Bryon Harrison and Al Hernandez to give Boyd a “offensive spark.”
Boyd will open its season Saturday with a road game against Dallas Carter at 3 p.m. The Broncos will be back at Boyd Nov. 22 to take on Irving MacArthur at 7:30 p.m.