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Prep boys basketball: Indians alter style

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In his ninth season as the Sissonville boys basketball coach, Rich Skeen is enjoying something he hasn't seen much with the Indians.

Tremendous size.

Skeen has an abundance of post players, a drastic change from a season ago when the Indians mostly lived, or died, from the 3-point line.

Sissonville will unveil its new offensive game plan when the Indians open their season at Mingo Central on Dec. 4th.

"We are big this season," Skeen said. "We have to change our style of play because of the size and not as many outside shooters. We are bigger and stronger, and our strength will be inside. It will present, hopefully, a lot of match-up problems."

Of their top nine players, only one is shorter than 6 feet, and at 5-8, senior Zach Null is big enough to handle the point. The Indians have seven post players and each of them is at least 6-2.

Skeen certainly sees that as a strength in Class AA

"Most teams hover around the 6-foot mark, but to have so much size is a rarity," Skeen said. "We have a lot of beef but you have got to be able to use that to your advantage."

Trent Stowers, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, will help lead the way after tallying 15 double-doubles last season. He is coming off a solid year where he averaged 16 points and 9.5 rebounds, but will find himself in different spots on the floor.

"Trent has played mostly inside the last three years," Skeen said. "He's the muscle inside. His role, though, will change with the more size we have inside. Being the athlete he is, we can play him some on the perimeter."

"I think the move will help Trent," Null said. "A lot of people don't know but he can dribble good, and he's very strong. He can take advantage of that going to the rack against different players."

The other players who will see significant time in the Sissonville post include seniors Brett Rorabaugh (6-foot-3), Ryan Kelly (6-2) and Anthony Bess (6-3), and juniors Duncan McClung (6-3), Adam Robinson (6-3) and Nathan Miller (6-2).

Skeen also has six seniors on the roster, including starters Stowers, Null, and Austin Crawford.

"That's a lot of experience and playing time coming back for us," Skeen said. "That's big. Those three have started the last two years. We've got some good experience. We have very good senior leadership. I like where our team is at."

While the shift will turn to the inside game a lot more for Sissonville, Null also must make a drastic change. He averaged 13 points per game last season at the shooting guard position as primarily an outside threat for the Indians.

"We are really looking forward to his new role," Skeen said. "He will be a scoring point guard. He's a very good scorer, and is a worker. He has worked really hard this summer, adjusting to his new role."

Null feels ready for the position change

"Hopefully it turns out good," Null said. "I've been practicing my ball handling all summer. I'm always working on my shooting game, too. I actually played point guard until my freshman year. I feel like I have more control. I'm going to try and lead the team, and make things happen."


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