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Men's Basketball: Building a Team

Coach Mills comments on a team needing to build together in response to the Berea College Mountaineers losing to Athletes in Action on October 22.

Mountaineers playing Athletes in Action

At Friday's scrimmage, the Mountaineers lost to Athletes in Action with a score of 72-55. Berea played a good, hard first half, trailing only by six points. A second half consisting of missed free throws and rebounds brought the six point margin to seventeen. "We have a lot of talent, we just need to grow as a team," commented Coach John Mills.

In an interview with Mills, he estimates the Mountaineers to have their "team chemistry" by January. The team has a good number of new comers including three freshmen and three transfers. Mills stated that the new players have a lot talent, but they have a lot of work to do. Robert Rich, a 5'8" freshman is an all around strong player and Mills describes him as a "strong player, with great athleticism and a tremendous input right away." Jordan Samuels, the other dominant freshmen is a 6'2" guard. He has "deceptive quickness" and is a "strong player, simulating a 6'4" or 6'5" player," states Mills. Both of these freshmen bring improved perimeter shooting to the Mountaineer team making 50% from the three point line. Mills is also looking forward to next semester when Justin Lee transfers in. Lee is a 6'11" post player who "plays hard and doesn't rest on his height" explains Mills.

The Mountaineers are "overall much quicker and have improvements all around this season," stated Mills. A great benefit to having so many new players is being deeper into the bench. Players will have more rest than last season, giving more quality game play.

"There is a tough schedule set up this year, but it's going to be a lot of fun," expressed Mills. The Mountaineers open up to Virginia Intermont, which have been in Nationals for the past sixteen years. "They are very quick and the faster they go, the better they play," explains Mills. "We need to be in control of ourselves to beat them," he continued. Another big game to look forward to is against Berea's rivals, Cumberland College. They are a "fun, hard nose rival that we work hard to keep on the schedule each season," said Mills. These types of games "build a good fan base and a fun rivalry" he continued. The conference is the most competitive in years, "anybody can beat anybody," expresses Mills.

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