The Delaware Hayes boys basketball team doesn’t have a ton of experienced players back, but, well, it really doesn’t matter all that much.
Not to the coaches and players.
Experienced or inexperienced, Pacers coach Jordan Blackburn said his guys are all vital to the team’s success … and they treat each other as such.
“We have a great culture,” he said. “Our guys really like each other. We are nowhere near the team we are going to be yet, but we love how these guys compete for each other, how well they share the ball and how hard they play.”
The team is young, but still expects to compete. Leaders include 6-5 senior wing Will Yoakum and 6-5 sophomore wing Terin Kinsway — the two returning starters.
“Will was second-team all-league and all-district last year despite missing half the season,” Blackburn said. “He has several D-II offers, including from the No. 1 D-II team in the nation.”
Kinsway, meanwhile, started every game last year as a freshman, averaging eight points and 6.2 rebounds.
Other potential starters include 5-7 freshman point guard Nate Griggs, 6-2 senior guard Kameron Beekman, 5-10 freshman guard Addison Harvey, 6-1 sophomore forward Jack Weller and 6-5 senior forward Sam Midura — the team’s third and final returning letterman.
Others expected to contribute include 5-8 junior guard Tracey Sumner, 6-1 sophomore forward Jwan Lyles, 6-1 junior guard Paul Frentsos, 6-1 senior forward Anthony Rodgers and 6-4 freshman forward Paul Burris.
“This team is a joy to work with everyday, and I’m proud of the people they are becoming,” Blackburn said. “They love the game and take care of each other.”
Blackburn said his team has some work to do to get to where it wants to — namely the top of the newly realigned OCC-Cardinal Division standings — but will do all it can to leave each practice better than when it arrived.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.