Pappas continued. “He is a dual threat. If we put him at post and they put a 6-6 kid on him we will take him beyond the three-point line an if they don’t guard him he will knock down a three. If they put a small guard on Mark we will post him up.”
To put a freshman on varsity a coach must really be impressed with his skill and realize he can handle the varsity level. Pappas said that the 5-11 Duckett – part of a successful and athletic local family – can handle varsity.
“I was wondering early on if he could mentally handle this level, and I feel he can, but watching him in practice he is our top five or six in scoring,” Pappas said. “He shoots well, he handles the ball well and he drives to the basket. He has the total package offensively.
“The weakness he will have to work on is mental toughness and defense. He is not yet a real good defender, but he has a lot of up side and a lot of potential.”
With a lot of new faces and a new philosophy, Pappas will use the first four or five weeks of the season to evaluate his entire roster and find out who fits where.
“The headaches for me and the coaching staff (Tommy Fincher and Neil Mesler) will be, because we are so deep at guard, finding the right combinations and finding out who works well with who.
“The schedule is a mix of good teams and teams we feel we can beat. I wanted to schedule some games against teams where we can get some confidence, but we also have top teams like (No. 4) Burkburnett on the schedule.
“When we get to district, Kennedale is ranked No. 5 in the state and they have got their three big guns coming back (off last year’s district championship team). We will be tested by them and Springtown in district, but that is a long way away.