Greenbrier Panthers

Published October 27, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
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Conference: 5A West

Coach: Mike Simmons, first year at Greenbrier, 21st year in coaching

Assistant coach: David Murray

2012-2013: Finished seventh in the conference

Returning starters: Simmons said the Panthers have three returning starters, all seniors: Malik Wright, a 6-3 forward; Jordan Wilcox, a 5-11 guard; and Logan Horvath a 6-5 post.

Best inside players: Justin Tims, a 6-2 junior forward, the “best finisher around the goal,” Simmons said, and Tyler Williams, a 6-6 sophomore.

Best outside players: The coach listed his son, Tyler Simmons, a 6-1 guard, “by far my best scorer,” and Dustin Tims, a 5-10 point guard, saying “he can finish around the goal really well,” and Wright.

How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year? “We had a lot of players play as underclassmen last year, so we have some experience back. Some transfers moved in, and a couple of sophomores should make us able to compete every night,” Simmons said. “The mixture needs to meld,” he said. “We’ve got to get them all to play together well.”

Team strengths: “I think that we can put different lineups on the floor and utilize our size or athletic ability,” Simmons said.

Team weaknesses: “We have a lot of new kids playing for the first time together in a high school season. We will have to learn to play together and be unselfish.”

Games to watch: Simmons said longtime rivals Vilonia and Morrilton should prove to be the must-see games.

Toughest opponent: “Everyone in our league is tough, especially on the road,” Simmons said.

College prospects: Two immediately came to mind: “Tyler Simmons, because of his ability to score and shoot the 3; and Dustin Tims, a very athletic point guard who can finish around the goal and has very good vision,” Simmons said. “Probably some underclassmen, if they work hard.”

In a nutshell: Simmons is optimistic about the season. “If we can develop some chemistry and play hard every night, then we can compete for a chance to make the state playoffs,” he said.

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