CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Capital must replace seven seniors from last season's 14-10 team, but that's nothing new to longtime Cougars Coach Carl Clark.
"We've had a lot of turnover the last three or four years," Clark said. "We had a couple of seniors that played for the first time last season and we had a couple of seniors that didn't play that much.
"Like the last season, we have no starters back this year other than a player that started for the season last year."
But the lack of experience won't have an effect on the team's talent level, which Clark believes is better than last season's, at least so far.
"I think we have a few more athletes than we had last year," Clark said. "We have a lot more basketball knowledge and I think, at this stage of the game, we're a little bit further along than we were this time last year.
"The attitudes of the kids have been great. They're working real hard and they're learning as quickly as possible. They're not learning as quick as we (coaches) want them to learn, but they're doing the very best that they can at this point in the season."
The current challenge for Clark and his coaches is to establish a rotation before the Cougars' season opener Dec. 10 at home against Huntington.
"We have about six or seven kids that are competing for playing time," Clark said. "Every position is open."
Among those are seniors Austin Coleman (6-foot-5), Wesley Johnson (6-5), Tashawn Jones (6-1), Daquan Yarbrough (6-1), junior Carrington Morris (6-1) and sophomores Terrelle Davis (5-6), Jordan Kinney (6-0) and Brad Grose (6-4).
A pair of freshmen, Miguel Bays (5-11) and Tyrhee Pratt (6-1) also have made an early impression and push for playing time.
The lack of experience, however, won't change Clark's expectations for this team.
"We want to win as many games as we can in the regular season and we want to win the championship," said Clark, whose 2001 and 2002 teams won the Class AAA state titles. "That's always our goal.
"I think every group that we put on the floor has that potential. Whether they do it or not is another story. We (coaches) may mess up or they (players) may mess up, but we go in with the idea that every team we put on the floor has the potential to win a state championship if they gel at the right time.
"I think the main key is just how much they're able to learn and do things right as they pick things up during the season and begin to execute everything that we do out there. Execution will be the key thing for us."