River Valley Ozark Basketball Preview 2015READ ONLINE
Clinton Yellow JacketsPublished October 27, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
Coach: Tim Jones, second year
Assistant coach: Cole Gardner
2012-13 record: 2-18
Returning starters: Marcus Miles, 6-4 senior center, 14 ppg; Fielder Dufrene, 5-9 junior point guard, 10 ppg; Blake Baker, 6-1 senior guard; Ethan Branscomb, 6-4 senior forward; and Cole Ward, 6-0 senior guard.
Best inside players: Jones said Miles would be the returning defensive presence inside. He is also the returning top scorer from last season.
Best outside players: The coach said Ward would be the returning leader outside. Dufrene, the quarterback for the Yellow Jackets’ football team, will direct the team as point guard.
How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year? Jones had been at the school for some time before taking the reins as head coach in 2012-13. He said the Yellow Jackets were still in rebuilding mode. “We are just trying to create a program that we will continue to build,” he said. “It’s going to take a few years for that, but that’s what we’re focusing on. We still have to get better.”
Team strengths: Jones said the Yellow Jackets would have “great senior leadership” this season. That should be invaluable in the rebuilding process. They also have some size.
Team weaknesses: The coach described his team as “still young as a program.” The Yellow Jackets will work on improvement and establishing a winning base.
Games to watch: Heber Springs is the Yellow Jackets’ geographic rival and conference foe. Any time those two teams play, look for a dandy.
Toughest opponent: Heber Springs. The Panthers return five senior starters from a team that went 18-11 last year and finished third in the 2-4A Conference.
College prospects: None at this time.
In a nutshell: Jones continues to stress program building. A year into the process, the Yellow Jackets should be better, he said. “We’ve had more time together, a year behind us, more stability. But we’re still building as a team, and that will take a while.”