MORGANTOWN, W.Va – With a new season upon the Morgantown Mohigans, it’s also the start of a new era – post Nathan Adrian. Adrian, who put together one of the best careers in school history, and is now a role player with WVU.
“We’re proud to have had (Nate), he’s made a great emphasis at what he’s done (at WVU), he’s stroking the 3,” head coach Tom Yester said. “He’s telling people what to do as a freshman, and he’s got a lot of upside.”
Without Adrian — and five other seniors that contributed significant points to a state tournament team — the early challenge for Yester’s squad this year will be building a chemistry through a grueling schedule.
“We’re a little behind, we lost our six graduating seniors who did most of the playing last year, so this is a pretty new team,” Yester said. “It’s going to be the old thing that coaches always say, ‘gel’, is the team going to come together, how are they going to fit and I think that takes time.
“I don’t think there is any doubt about it, Scott Core has to score outside for us, (Steven) Solomon has to handle the ball for us and probably score,” Yester said. “We will hopefully get some sharp shooting from Adam Shaw and Andy Vac, with Elvin McNally and Shaun Carden on the boards.”
Morgantown will be without the services of junior C.J. King to start out the year due to an injury that required surgery.
“C.J. King just had surgery and we don’t know how long he will be out for,” Yester said. “Because he would have been the main guy on the inside for us, so we will go shorthanded for awhile.”
As unfortunate as Nate Adrian’s foot injury was to last year’s chances at a state title, it may have been a blessing in disguise for this year’s team. When Adrian went down in the middle of last year, it forced some underclassmen into big games.
“Core, King, Carden and Solomon all stepped up and gained experience,” Yester said. “(Because of that) I think our ball handling situation looks pretty good, I think Solomon and Morgano can handle the ball.”
The Mohigans will also have to grow up fast to get through the grind of their tough schedule. Morgantown opens up with rival University, and then travels to Hedgesville for a tournament in the eastern panhandle. Defending champion Martinsburg shows up twice, to go along with tough teams in the Pittsburgh Showcase for the Mohigans.
“We have a lot of big games, of course we start out with cross town rival, University High which is always big because it has implications on the end of the year,” Yester said. “We have Martinsburg twice, we have Hedgesville and Jefferson, Parkersburg South, everybody can be good in our schedule.”
Morgantown hopes to come out and play an uptempo offense, that likes to run and gun — and Yester believes they won’t have any problem doing that. The ultimate determination on how far the Mohigans can go, however, will be inside, specifically defending and rebounding.
“Run and shoot. I think we can do,” Yester said. “Can we defend and can we take care of the boards, if you take a look the team that get the easiest baskets usually wins, and that’s what we are working on right now.”
The ultimate goal by the end of the season?
“We want to be in the state tournament vying for a state championship, that’s always your goal especially here,” Yester said.
2013-2014 Basketball Schedule
|2||12/20/13 07:30PM||A||HEDGESVILLE TOURNAMENT||-|
|3||12/21/13 07:30PM||A||HEDGESVILLE TOURNAMENT||-|
|6||01/04/14 07:30PM||A||PITTSBURGH SHOWCASE||-|
|8||01/10/14 07:30PM||H||PARKERSBURG SOUTH||-|
|9||01/13/14 07:30PM||A||WHEELING PARK||-|
|11||01/17/14 07:30PM||A||JOHN MARSHALL||-|
|12||01/21/14 07:30PM||H||FAIRMONT SENIOR||-|
|13||01/23/14 07:30PM||A||PARKERSBURG SOUTH||-|
|18||02/11/14 07:30PM||A||OVAC 1ST ROUND||-|
|19||02/14/14 07:30PM||A||OVAC CONSOLATION||-|
|20||02/15/14 07:30PM||A||OVAC CHAMPIONSHIP||-|
|21||02/19/14 07:30PM||A||GREENBRIER EAST||-|
|22||02/21/14 07:30PM||H||WHEELING PARK||-|
|wins: 0 lost: 0 ties: 0|