| Mountaineers Expect to Cut Down Nets
If practice is any indication of the season to come, Berea College basketball fans are in for an amazing season. - Check out the photo gallery for the Mountaineers' 2007-08 player roster.
The Mountaineers gear up for another season of hard work.
With nine returning players and eight new players, there will be plenty of new faces as well as a new intensity in Berea College men's basketball. This year’s team consists of two seniors, six juniors, two sophomores, and seven freshmen. The captains this year, senior Adam Kirby and junior Cody Hornsby, display excellent leadership capabilities and a mature understanding of the game of basketball. "A team without chemistry cannot win," commented Coach John Mills.
Out of the seven new freshmen there are three standout players. “There are three of them that are way ahead of the others. They have really progressed and they’re ready to help us out this year,” stated Coach John Mills. Nick Britt is a 6’0” guard out of Warren Central High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Britt is an extremely capable point guard. He will be exciting to watch as he orchestrates this year’s offense. Jamie McCarty is a 6’3” guard out of Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, Kentucky. McCarty is one of the purest shooters Berea College basketball has seen in a while. Chase Wolford is a 6’ 3” forward out of Mercer County High School in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. “Chase has a great understanding of his limitations as a player which makes him a better player,” explained Coach John Mills. Brock Whitney is from Bowling Green, Kentucky, and is a transfer from Moberly Community College. We also have two players coming back after taking a break last season. Jermaine Martin and Tony Jones are two talented players and as soon as they are back on the court they will be able to contribute much to the team this year.
Coming off of a 13-17 season, the men's basketball team will be playing an even more challenging schedule this year. Mills explained that the team’s problems stemmed from their inconsistency to shoot three pointers and their inability to make free throws. The new talent will add an explosive offensive threat to the already sound defensive and rebounding aspects of Mills’ coaching style.
With the addition of some better shooting, along with taller and stronger guards, Coach Mills plans to eliminate the mismatch overall team size the Mountaineers experienced in previous years. All of the new freshmen are 6’0” or taller and almost every member of the team is bench pressing more than 200 pounds. Defense was never a major problem, but this year’s new additions are very good defenders and Coach Mills is excited about the abundance of athleticism on the team.
The Mountaineers’ schedule may not result in a 20-win season, but the level of competition will prepare the team for the KIAC tournament. They will be squaring off against some of the top teams in the country, including a NCAA Division 3 team. Mills believes that the caliber of our players will give us a competitive edge with all of the teams on the schedule. "Our schedule, if you compare it with everyone else at our level in the country, is probably one of the top 2 or 3 toughest schedules in the country," explained Mills.
The team will be playing many old rivals this year. Coach Mills is confident about these match-ups. "We're on the right track," declared Mills. Berea will face off against Centre College and Cumberland University this year. Berea College men's basketball has not been able to edge out ahead against Centre College for the last few years, but Coach Mills is planning to be on the other side of the win column this year.
The Mountaineers plan to have a successful season this year--success by Mills’ standards means to win, or at least be in the hunt for the conference championship. "People expect it and we have to deliver," he said.