Knights spend summer testing out new lineup

  • Charlie Laughtland<br>Enterprise writer
  • Friday, February 29, 2008 11:32am

This year’s jump to the Class 2A level coincides with a considerable rebuilding effort by the King’s boys basketball team.

That process is already well underway.

The Knights spent most of June and July testing out their new-look lineup at the Everett Summer League and NBC team camp in LeGrande, Ore.

“The summer isn’t huge as far as wins and losses, but it’s big as far as preparation for next season,” King’s coach Marv Morris said. “It’s huge for me.”

Especially this year, as the Knights are coping with some substantial offseason departures.

King’s lost Chinook League MVP Chris Faidley and five other seniors off last season’s 18-10 squad that won nine of its final 11 games and finished third at the 1A state tournament in March.

As a result, Morris has been assessing the talent of the newcomers and shuffling his players around to see which combinations work best.

“More than anything else we’re taking a look at who can do what, who plays well together and finding out if some younger kids are stronger than the older kids,” Morris said. “It’s an opportunity to gauge and evaluate. We’ve got a couple new kids, so I’m trying to evaluate them and find out a little about what they have.”

What the Knights don’t have is an abundance of height. Their most productive post player is 6-foot-1 forward Calvin Fujii, who relies more on strength than reach.

King’s was in a similar position last season when 6-foot-5 starting center Josh Drenth sat out part of the playoffs. To soften the blow, Morris instructed everyone to crash the boards and the Knights went on to claim their first district title in 21 years.

Next winter, they’ll continue to battle size with speed.

“We’re going to play disciplined basketball,” Morris said. “We’re not going to go out there and go crazy. But we have the ability with our little guys if people press us to get through them. We can hurt people because we have a little more speed as a whole.”

By the start of the season, Morris anticipates the Knights will form an identity unlike that of the state tournament teams of the past.

“We’re going to have a whole different look and style I’m sure,” Morris said. “It’s going to be different. But I think we’ll be fun to watch. Our little guys run all over the place.”

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