Returning talent, player accountability excites Grizzlies in pre-season
By Zach Roberts
The Franklin College Men’s Basketball team had a successful season last year, ending with their loss to Transylvania University in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinal in February.
Since they did not have any seniors last year, the Grizzlies look forward to going into the 2019-20 season with their same roster, along with new faces as well.
“This year we are starting out way ahead because we have so many veteran [players],” Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kerry Prather said.
Prather said his job this year is the same as usual: Helping his players get to where they want to be.
There are four seniors on the roster who will be guiding the team, along with many juniors who are stepping up into leadership roles for the first time.
In the playoffs last season, senior guard Kale Morris and junior forward Payton Mills both acknowledged they only had a seven-man deep roster, and they feel the team has more depth now.
Prather said it is important that the team is theirs and that they set the goals.
This helps make the team player-owned and gives them all the credit they deserve when they have success.
“We think conference championship is probably the lowest of our goals,” Morris said, although he said he thinks the team will make deep tournament runs this season.
Mills added that other teams lost key players, but the Grizzlies did not, which will only accelerate their place in conference.
Prather said that these goals will be met with accountability and leadership from the team. Mills said Prather’s belief in the players’ responsibility for their own wins and losses gives them extra confidence.
Although Morris and Mills are two of the top leaders, there are other players set to fill key roles. Senior guard Borden Kennedy and sophomore forward Matt Krause are both returning starters this year.
Getting rebounds and running out in transition will be the most important parts for the offense, according to Prather. The Franklin Grizzles play their first game at 3 p.m. Nov. 9 at Otterbein Univer- sity. Their first home game will be 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 against Spalding.