Reid, Mustangs await tipoff

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The Madisonville men’s basketball team will begin their season shortly following the conclusion of Mustang football.

Coach Chris Reid will assume the helm for his first year in charge of the Mustangs and will be working with an experienced roster.

“I have a senior-heavy group this season and I’ll really be pushing them to make the most out of their final year,” said Reid. “Our goal will be to contend for a District Championship and go as far as possible in the state playoffs.”

It may be Reid’s first year, but he is very familiar with this group of players and plans to display a fast-paced attack on their opponents. Reid will expect to be effective with a 10-12-man rotation showcasing high-octane speed.

“I am quite familiar with these young men,” said Reid. “I have scouted or coached against them in each of the last three seasons. We will look to wear our opponents down and shoot a high-volume of shots. Our players will be challenged to score 100 points in every game. Even if we come up short, we should win a lot of games in the 70s and 80s.”

Prior to Madisonville, Reid was the head coach at Groesbeck High School for four seasons. Reid improved the Goats’ win total by 17 in two seasons and took them to the playoffs for the first time in 5 years.

Reid was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Rowlett High School, for three seasons before Groesbeck. He was mentored by coach Stan Blackmon and worked with players who have made names for themselves at the highest collegiate level. In 2013, the Rowlett Eagles were led by current Oklahoma State shooting guard Jeffrey Carroll, Belmont point guard Austin Luke and UT-Arlington shooting guard Nathan Hawkins. In his three-year tenure as an assistant at Rowlett, the Eagles won 60 games.

As for the Mustangs, Reid will have eight seniors to command in his first year. One of his biggest names will be Tommy Holliday, who he expects to be a contender for District MVP.

“He’s a versatile athlete who can run the floor, play above the rim and is developing a mid-range shot,” Reid said on his 6’4 senior.

Senior point guard Nick Porter epitomizes the pedal-to-the-medal style that the Mustangs will show off in 2017. The speedster has also spent time honing his long range shooting game. Sam Bennett and Kasey Williamson are two of the best outside shooters in the District and should also be a threat from downtown.

Senior leadership should also come in the forms of Cornelius Merchant, Kendell Moffettt and Johnny Simpson. Reid described Merchant and Moffett as ideal senior role players who will do whatever the team needs. Simpson will be part of a heavy guard rotation as well as the heart and soul of the team and one of the better athletes.

A hidden gem for the Mustangs this season could be 6’6 senior forward Trevon House. This will be his first year, but he has shown a lot of promise in off-season workouts. He is long, runs the floor well and can play above the rim.

As for the younger players, sophomore guard Tyrese Brown logged some useful minutes last year and should be a perfect fit for the up-tempo style. Junior Aaron Nellums is one of the best leapers on the Mustangs. When he gets the ball in the open court, Reid described him as “a highlight waiting to happen.”

Tipoff for the new basketball season will depend on how far the Mustang football team survives in the UIL Playoffs, which will begin tomorrow. In the meantime, the scheduled contests will be canceled.

The Madisonville basketball team will look to turn their senior leadership into results with a fast offense and strong defense. Whenever they get to take the court, the Mustangs will look to prove themselves in 2017.

The Lady Mustangs basketball team will be previewed in next week’s paper.

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