Greenbrier boys basketball coach Casey Dees had to wait until football season ended before he could get his full varsity basketball team together.
Dees finally brought his full squad together for the first time Tuesday. The initial assessment brought the usual question marks, but it also brought a smile to Dees' face.
"We've got a lot of kids coming back - eight seniors," he said. "Hopefully, we'll have some good senior leadership."
The eight seniors, including four returning starters, make Greenbrier's boys basketball team one of the most experienced in the county. With a relatively young starting roster last season, the Wolfpack went 14-12 and was one win away from the Class AAAA state playoffs.
Greenbrier often faced bigger and more talented region opponents last season but still managed some big wins, including a 39-36 victory over state-ranked Wayne County in one of the lowest scoring games of the season. The Wolfpack also came within two points of knocking off state-tournament bound Evans late in the season.
"It was the defense. That was the best part of our game last year," Dees said. "I may be wrong, but I see that again this year."
From last season's squad, the Wolfpack will return starters Bryan Andrews, Josh Dailey and Anthony Williams. John Hunter also started at times for Greenbrier last season.
In addition to the returners, senior Antinique Mathis, a transfer from Liberty County, and junior Nolan Belcher, who played for Augusta Christian last year, also earned spots on the squad.
Dees said the tight defense is still there from last year but with improvements.
"I think our biggest asset is our quickness," he said. "Even from our big men. It's something we've never really had before."
While Dees has had less than a week to work with his full roster, Greenbrier's 2006-07 season will begin in eight days. The Wolfpack will scrimmage Lithia Springs at home on Saturday before the regular season begins Nov. 20 with the first round of the Turkey Tip Off Classic at Harlem.
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