CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Experience along with success return to the Hurricane boys basketball team, a program eager to build upon its accomplishments.
The Redskins return four of their top six players, including the entire starting backcourt, from last year's group that finished 13-10, the program's second winning season in a decade.
"It's one of those things we haven't had in Hurricane in a long time," Coach Lance Sutherland said of the returning experience. "Practice has gone so much better because they've done it now for a year."
Hurricane graduated forward Garrett Tinsley and center Sawyer Smith, as well as Brandon Osburn, yet return three starting guards. Senior guards Rasaan Harris and Ian Miles, as well as rising sophomore Trey Dawson should provide a solid base for further success this season.
Sutherland, the reigning Mountain State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, said Harris provides much-needed reliability as both a leader and statistical contributor.
"He's that senior leader that we've needed for a while," he said. "His actions speak on the court, but he's also the one who will pull aside a player and say 'Hey, this is what we need to do.' He's an extra coach on the floor.
"He's very athletic, very quick. This is probably the quickest or fastest team we've had at Hurricane in a long time. He can score, he can shoot. He can do all of it."
Meanwhile, Sutherland said Miles provides solid defense as well as offensive skills at shooting guard.
Dawson returns after a surprising and much-welcomed end to the season in 2011-12. Dawson finished the year averaging 9.4 points a game, but contributed 13.4 points a contest during the final 10 games of the season and was eventually named Kanawha Valley Rookie of the Year.