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R-H has strong potential

High School’s boys basketball team will look quiet familiar this year, and it is poised for a winning season after going 9-11 during the 2016-17 campaign.

“I think on paper we’re really good, but we’re going to have to play the games, so we’ll just see,” Statesmen Head Coach James Graves said. “I think some teams in the district lost key people. We lost a couple people. We have the vast majority of the team back.”

Eight of the 11 players on the roster are returning team members.

This year, the Statesmen feature six seniors and five juniors.

“We have a lot of versatility in what we can do,” Graves said. “We’ve got some big guys, and we can go with a smaller lineup and a faster lineup.”

He said his team could use a lineup with three guards and two forwards, or it could even feature a lineup with two guards and three centers.

The coach noted that senior guard/ forward Tremaine Pugh and senior guard Nasheim Pettus are automatically the two team leaders.

“They have been starters since they were 10th-graders, and you can’t coach experience,” Graves said. “… Three years ago, we began the building process, and we’re going to see whether it comes to fruition. We’ll see how these guys respond.”

The coach also expects to see leadership from senior guard Jordan Jones.

Helping give Randolph-Henry versatility are its four big men: 6-foot-4-inch senior center Kevon Boyd,

6-foot-4-inch senior forward Billy Brantley, 6-foot-4-inch junior center/forward Veiw Moore and 6-foot-2-inch senior center/forward Chris West.

The players joining the Randolph-Henry varsity team this year include junior guard Masud Benu, junior guard Xavier Eubanks and junior forward Treymon Roberts.

The Statesmen open the 2017-18 season on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they visit Amherst County High School, a Class 4 team.