By TONY EIERDAM
With a roster full of quick but small players, Mineral Wells Rams head basketball coach Aaron Pappas will have a new philosophy for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
The Rams, which finished 17-17 last year and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, will open the season today at 8 p.m. at Joshua.
Back is lightning-fast guard DaShawn Hicks and point guard Biren Clardy. Guards Juvaree Sutton, Nick Wendt, Reece Tarver and Rascellis Williams and also return, but what is not returning is height.
The Rams’ tallest players are 6-3 forwards Coy Barrick, Mark Glover and Broderick Johnson. Guards Dexter Cross, Danton Mitchell, Maceo Williams, Devon Edmond and freshman Jordan Duckett round out the varsity roster.
“We got a totally different group of kids this year,” Pappas said. “We are more athletic, and we are quicker. We are going to be smaller, so we have revamped the way we are going to play.”
Instead of a low-post offense the Rams employed last year to take advantage of height, this season MWHS will “run and gun” on offense and play “pressure” defense.
“We will use a more up-tempo style on offense with a lot of fast breaks” Pappas said “We will also shoot a lot of threes – anywhere from 20-30 a game.
“Defensively, we will try and pressure teams for four quarters whether it be man, pressure or zone presses. We will mix it up. It will look a lot different from last year.
“Last year, we had more of a half-court set and we ran offenses. This will be fast paced and I think we will be fun to watch.”
Hicks is the top scorer returning, and Pappas said he will be a focal point of the offense. But the coach said each guard on varsity will contribute in different ways.