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Bryant HornetsPublished October 27, 2013 at 6:00 a.m.
Conference: 6A/7A South
Coach: Mike Abrahamson, fourth year
Assistant coach: Steve Wilson
2012-13 record: 19-10 overall and 8-6 in conference
Returning starters: The Hornets have two returning starters, C.J. Rainey, a 5-10 senior whom coach Mike Abrahamson calls a “really good point guard” who is good at attacking the basket, and he should be even better this season. The other is Grayson Giles, a 6-2 guard/forward who is “really athletic and will see a lot of play” during the season and has “good defensive instincts.” The coach said that if Giles tunes up his defensive game, he will be able to play all the positions on the floor.
Best inside and outside players: All guards —Abrahamson said the entire team should be considered guards. “With no one over 6 feet 2 inches, we just don’t have a post player except for Giles,” the coach said. “We do have some athletic people.” He said senior Cederrian Crosby, 6-2, is athletic and is working on his overall game. “We need him to take a major step for us to have success this season,” Abrahamson said. Senior Rickey Buchanan, 6-1, can play inside defense. “He is physical and can play taller than he actually is,” the coach said. “He’s solid.” Caleb Strain, 6-1, is a senior coming back from leg injuries. “He is an experienced player,” Abrahamson said. “When he is able to move well, he will know where he is supposed to be on the court.”
How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last season? “This is a more athletic team across the board,” the coach said. “We don’t have a big guy, but we can play a style that can level out that disadvantage.”
Team strengths: “It is our athleticism and that we will try to play as up-tempo as we can,” Abrahamson said.
Team weaknesses: “Our size and the inexperience of our reserves,” he said. “We have two freshmen and two sophomores on our bench.”
Toughest opponent: The Hornets will play 7A North Little Rock early in the season.
Games to watch: “In conference, Benton has gotten good again, and Sheridan’s very big,” the coach said. “Almost anyone in the conference is tough, including Lake Hamilton, as are El Dorado and Pine Bluff.”
In a nutshell: “We all want to try the up-tempo game, but that will depend on depth,” Abrahamson said.