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Morrilton Devil DogsPublished October 27, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
Coach: Trent Tipton, 15th year
Assistant coach: Nick Harrell
2012-13 record: 14-13 overall; fifth in conference, one spot short of qualifying for the Class 5A State Tournament
Returning starters: Marcel Swinton, junior guard, 10 points, 4 rebounds per game; and Rayshod Criswell, senior, 5 points and 3 assists per game
Best inside players: Mickey Donald, senior, and Marquis Swinton, junior
Best outside players: The Devil Dogs will look to Marcel Swinton, as well as senior Shawn Brockman and junior Juwan Calvin, to lead from the outside.
How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year?: Tipton said he is looking for improvement in 2013-14. “I think we have a chance to exceed last year’s finish,” he said. “We have a chance to do well in conference if we play well.”
Team strengths: The Devil Dogs will look to build around their depth, and quickness will be another strength.
Team weaknesses: Morrilton lacks a great deal of height. That weakness often leads to another — rebounding — so the Devil Dogs must work hard to overcome that.
Games to watch: Tipton said he expects all 5A-West contests to be ones to watch. The conference schedule includes Clarksville, Shiloh Christian, Alma, Greenbrier, Harrison, Huntsville and Vilonia.
Toughest opponent: Tipton said Clarksville will be formidable again in 2013-14. “They have the most returning players, and they won our conference last year,” he said.
College prospects: The coach said a pair of juniors — Marcel Swinton and Juwan Calvin — have the potential to eventually play at the next level.
In a nutshell: The Devil Dogs hope to match the 2013 accomplishments of Clarksville, Huntsville, Harrison and Alma, all of which moved on from the 5A-West to the Class 5A State Tournament last year. While Huntsville fell in the opening round, Alma finished state runner-up (to Jacksonville), and Harrison and Clarksville reached the state semifinals.