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Russellville CyclonesPublished October 27, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
Coach: Codey Mann, third year, 35-24
Assistant coach: Mitchell Wilson
2012-13 record: 11-17 overall and 3-11 in conference; lost to Siloam Springs in the opening round of the Class 6A State Tournament, 56-46.
Returning starters: Andy Campbell, 6-4 junior, 16.5 points, 6 rebounds per game; Cody Underhill, 5-9 junior, 5.3 ppg, 2 apg; Tony Jones, 5-9 junior, 7.3 ppg, 3 apg; Kentrel Scott, 5-9 junior, 5 ppg, 2 apg; and Jalen Curtis, 5-11 senior, 6 ppg, 4 rpg
Best inside players: Campbell, as well as Drew Smith, 6-3 senior, 2 ppg, 2 rpg; Marquis Rhodes, 6-1 sophomore; Ethan Chernivec, 6-3 senior; and Tim Eslick, 6-1 junior
Best outside players: Campbell can play outside as well. He’ll be helped outside by Underhill, Jones, Scott and Curtis, as well as Co-Chese Temple Laws, 5-9 junior, 2 ppg, 1.5 spg; Kregan Kordsmeier, 6-2 junior; Zach Carter, 5-11 sophomore; and Matt Laws, 5-9 sophomore.
How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year?: With five starters back, Mann agreed that the Cyclones should put a better product on the court this year because of the experience they gained last season. “We played six sophomores and two juniors last year who are all returning,” he said.
Team strengths: Shooting, experience and depth.
Team weaknesses: The Cyclones don’t have a great deal of size.
Games to watch: The 7A/6A-Central is traditionally one of the state’s best conferences in any classification. Little Rock Hall won the Class 6A state title last year. Mann said any of the conference games would be ones to watch.
Toughest opponent: Mann said all conference opponents would fit this category.
College prospects: Mann said Campbell already has two offers to play collegiately. “He’s a 6-4 shooter with a great work ethic and lots of upside,” the coach said.
In a nutshell: “Last year was a struggle because of the inexperience of our team,” Mann said. “We lost four conference games by four points or less. We expect to be better prepared for what our conference has to offer this year.”