The last two boys state tournaments that were played have included Greenbrier West. It is a standard that head coach Jared Robertson wants to maintain in Charmco.
“I told the boys that I am spoiled and I am going to be up front about it. Five years in a row we have won a lot of basketball games and I don’t like to lose,” Robertson said. “Everybody thinks we are going to lose now and I am not going to be satisfied with that and I hope they aren’t either. We have a long ways to go and we are really inexperienced, but the kids have worked their tails off so far.”
Just like the football team this year, the West roster took a pretty solid jolt due to graduation. The football team responded with a playoff run and Robertson is hoping his basketball team responds the same way.
However, there will be some serious challenges and some growing pains along the way.
“We have very big question marks on who is going to score for us. Until we can figure that out, we have to play defense every possession, get rebounds and we can’t make mistakes,” Robertson said. “That is hard to do when you are as inexperienced as we are, especially the mistakes part.”
The Cavaliers will not be short on athleticism, which in turn, should make them a strong defensive club.
“People know that we haven’t played a lot of man-to-man the last few years. We have some kids that can play man-to-man now,” Robertson said. “We have worked on that a lot and hopefully we can mix that in with all of our presses and traps that we usually do.”
Chase McClung is the most experienced player back and Robertson says he is the unquestioned leader on the floor and in the locker room.
“The kids respect him and listen to him. It all starts with him,” Robertson said. “He has to take a different role this year. He has been our junk guy the last couple years and now we need him to be our leading scorer. He has to figure out how to play his game and not take that on his shoulders and try to do to much.”
Beyond McClung, the remaining players do not have tons of varsity experience. However, Robertson believes he has players that can make a strong contributions this year.
“Michael Kanote is our big guy in the post. Covid hit him hard last year and he missed a month of the season when we were starting games and that really messed up his season,” Robertson said. “He is
6-foot-4 or 6-5, with a lot of potential. We will do a lot of stuff through him.”
Ty Nickell and Kadin Parker are two football stars that Robertson feels has the potential to be really good basketball players.
“Kadin will be the point guard a lot and Ty will take on the Chase McClung role,” Robertson said. “Ty is strong and just athletic through the roof. He has to do the little things for us and rebound.
Robertson feel those four will be the foundation, but there are some questions to be answered after that.
Braydon McClung, Chase’s little brother, will figure into the mix along with a new face at Greenbrier West.
“Braydon is a lot like Chase, just not has big right now. He plays hard and gets after it. We have a new kid, Dale Boone, who played with this group in middle school. He is back and will definitely figure into the mix. He is a lot like Ty. His dad played here.”
We have a lot of sophomores that was my fab-5 freshman last year on JV and they have worked hard. Chris Davis has grown to about 6-foot-2 and he will figure in. Jacob Nutter is a younger version of Ty and Chase that plays physical.
Elijah Perkins and Russ Bryant are two seniors that haven’t maybe figured in a lot for West until this year, but Robertson feels they can really help his team this year.
“Russ can shoot the ball and Elijah does a little bit of everything for us. He can back up Kanote and play low with Kanote,” Robertson said.
Robertson feels like his team has the potential pieces to be successful, it will be a matter of how much each player can play and where he can play them.
“We are a work in progress, but we are having fun,” Robertson said. “I have really enjoyed practice with these guys and seeing how hard they work.”