Tiger Cubs look to improve in '09

Thursday, December 3, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Boasting a roster with the smallest guy checking in a 5-foot, 11-inches, Troy Greenlee and the Greencastle Tiger Cubs hope to improve from a disappointing season last year.

"This is the probably the tallest team we have ever had," Greenlee said. "And it's one of those things that we were kind of disappointed last year on how we finished as a team and I think that a lot of the guys are trying to put themselves in a better position to have a better team and be able to compete for championships."

This season Greencastle has three 6-foot-7-inch along with two others topping the 6-4mark.

The Tiger Cubs have only two seniors -- Jordan Hickam, who returns from last season, and Eric Embry, a transfer student. Nick Hutcheson also returns to the Tiger Cubs this season. He averaged 8.8 rebounds and eight points per contest last season. He was also selected for the second team all county team last year.

Even though he only has one returning senior, Greenlee is confident.

"We have a lot of players who are anxious and very hungry to play some varsity basketball," Greenlee said. "Tyler Lewis is one player who played some varsity last year, but this will be his first time playing extended varsity minutes this year. Spencer Moore is in the same situation, along with Keith Carr this year.

"Talent wise, those kids were good enough to play varsity last year, it's just a matter of them having another year under their belts and will be expected to do a lot for us this year," Greenlee said. "I think those guys are going to make an impact this year."

One player Greenlee thinks will surprise people is Lewis.

"He is going to be one of those players that people will be surprised on how well he has come along," Greenlee said. "He is going to be a versatile player for us this year. He can shoot the ball, he can drive the ball to the basket, and he is 6-foot-4-inches and he can handle the basketball.

"Defensively, he just has long arms and can do a lot that way," Greenlee added.

Moore is another player Greenlee believes will impress people.

"He is a lot like Tyler in that he is going to surprise people on how much he has improved," Greenlee said. "And defensively, I think he is one of the better-on-the ball defenders that we have had in quite some time."

Greenlee said there is one player that he will be expecting a lot from -- Hickam.

"Even though he played varsity last year, we are going to be asking him to do more this year. We are going to be asking him to score more for us and defend some of our opponents' better players," Greenlee said.

Greenlee also knows that to have a solid basketball team, you have to have some depth on your bench.

"JT Hennette is a junior this year who we think can come off the bench and give us some quality minutes. Brad Haussin, a sophomore guard, is one we think can come in and score us and defend pretty hard for us as well," Greenlee said.

The Tiger Cubs are 0-1 on the season and are in action Friday in the Putnam County Classic when it takes on South Putnam in game two at 8 p.m.