MAN — The Man High School boys’ basketball team hopes to improve from last year’s 9-13 showing and first-round exit from the Class A sectional tournament.
The Hillbillies are scheduled to open up the 2015-16 season on Tuesday at home against the Mount View Golden Knights.
Man coach Harvey Arms is set to begin his 16th season as the mentor of the Billies.
“We have had some very good practices and the kids are working hard and they are ready to play some game competition now,” Arms said.
Man brings a lot of experience to the hardwood this season but the Hillbillies will also have some holes to fill.
Daniel Buchanan, a 6-foot-6 starter last year at center for the Billies, transferred away to Mingo Central, along with 6-5 Tyler Grimmett.
Ross Osborne, a football player who also played for the basketball team last season, has also decided to not go out for the team.
Nonetheless, the Billies will have a senior-dominated team, led by John Thomas Keffer and Kenny Jo Adkins.
The other three starters are expected to be Jake Adkins, Gabby Brown and Josh Adkins.
Keffer, a three-sport star at Man who went over the 1,000-point mark for his career, returns for his senior year to lead the Hillbillies.
Keffer, a guard, is a very good shooter and runs the floor well and is able to dish out a lot of assists to his teammates as well. Keffer averaged 16.6 points per game and handed out 6.6 per game as a junior last year.
Kenny Jo Adkins, a three-year starter, returns for his final season. He averaged double digits in scoring at 11.2 points per game and led the team in steals at 3.1 per game.
Senior Jake Adkins, another three-sport standout and a lefty southpaw, averaged 10.0 points a game last season and will be highly counted on for his rebounding skills as well.
Brown will be the man on the boards with his leaping ability. He also possesses quickness and can run up and down the floor well.
The man in the middle will probably be senior Josh Adkins, who saw a lot of playing time last year. He will take over for the departed Buchanan.
Junior Cameron Simpson will also see a lot of playing time at guard and forward for the Billes while Erik Files returns as a senior who saw a lot of playing time last year and is expected to see a lot more playing time and give the starters some rest time as well.
Brandon Cook and Joe Clark, both seniors, are also on the team.
Man lost Mikle Scott Rowe due to graduation.
Coming over from the Man Middle School are freshmen Tyler Elkins and Zack Cook who could see some limited varsity time for Coach Arms.
Arms is assisted by Bill Lusk and Chris Marcus.
The Billies will be playing their last season at the Class A level. Next season, Man moves up to Class AA for the first time in more than 10 years.
2015-16 Man High School
Boys’ Basketball Schedule
Dec. 15: Mount View, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 28: vs. TBA (at Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament at Chapmanville), TBA
Dec. 29: vs. TBA (at Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament at Chapmanville), TBA
Jan. 2: Greater Beckley Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 5: at Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8: River View, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13: Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15: at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 16: vs. TBA (at Hatfield-McCoy Shootout, Williamson), TBA
Jan. 18: at James Monroe, TBA
Jan. 19: at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21: Ambassador Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 28: at Ambassador Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5: Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 8: at Paden City, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9: Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12: at Mount View, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 16: at Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17: at River View, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 19: at Greater Beckley Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23: Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.