Over the past couple of years, the Frank Phillips College Plainsmen have been a basketball team that could shoot the ball as good as anyone they matched up with in the WJCAC.
The biggest problem the team has struggled with is having a lack of size around the basket to develop a good combination of an inside/outside game, as well as grabbing rebounds on both ends of the court.
In looking at the list of players new FPC Menâ€™s Basketball Coach Chris Hackett plans to bring into Borger for the 2011-12 season, there is a sense of optimism that the Plainsmen should be a better team on the boards and scoring in the paint, with five players on the roster listed at 6-5 or taller.
As of this week, Hackett said he still has two letters of intent out and may look to add a couple more players during the summer. But for now, the new coach believes he has the bulk of the team intact that should see time out on the court this season.
Not all the faces on the team will be new to Plainsmen fans when the season starts, with the red-headed Australian James Boonstoppel returning, along with Arlington native Mike Evans.
As the 2010-11 season went along, the 6-2 Boonstoppel saw his minutes increase as he proved to be a dangerous outside shooter, nailing 56 three pointers as a freshman, and proving to be a scrappy player on the defensive end.
In similar fashion as Boonstoppel, the 6-6 Evans worked his way on the floor through the season to become a solid presence around the basket, where he led the Plainsmen in blocked shots.
One redshirt from last year that should develop into a force in the paint is 6-8 Jamaican Melvin Robinson. Hackett believes Robinson should be able to use his long and athletic frame to get rebounds and block shots, as well as having the ability to score inside.
For additional size, Hackett is bringing in help from overseas in 6-9 Alex Zlvkovic of Serbia and 6-8 Ben Murphy from Australia.
Of Murphyâ€™s ability, Hackett said, â€śBen is a very skilled big man that can score inside and out. He is very good in the lowpost but can attack off the dribble and shoot the three.â€ť
Hackett described Zlvkovic as having a big body, but being a mobile player who can run the floor well and score inside and out.
While the team appears to have the size it has been missing in recent years, the Plainsmen will still have several athletic guard and wing type players that have the potential to put up a lot of points and cause opponents trouble on the defensive end.
At the point guard position, Maryland native 6-0 Ronald Scott and Chicago native 6-2 Montero Rice will join the Plainsmen in giving the team two players that make good decisions on the floor and will be looked upon to run the offense.
In describing the two guards, Hackett said, â€śMontero is extremely quick and can get to the basket with ease, especially in transition. Ronald will make the transition from shooting guard to point. He is an incredible shooter, who shot 46% from behind the three line as a high school senior, and is a solid ball handler.â€ť
Rounding out the list of newcomers expected to be on the FPC campus are a trio of wing players from Florida: 6-5 Akeem Johnson, 6-4 Greg Nelson, and 6-2 Taquan McDew.
Johnson and Nelson have the ability to move the ball around well and handle the ball like a point guard, while being able to get to the basket and shoot well from the outside.
Hackett said McDew can shoot the ball off the dribble, spotting up and coming off screens, and has the potential to become a great defender.
As to how all these players come together to form a team, that is still the big question that will have to be answered over the next five months.
But for Hackettâ€™s first season leading the Plainsmen, the pieces just might come together for a group that can compete for one of the top spots in the WJCAC.