By TYLER HENRY
Salina Post contributor
After a 10-11 finish to their 2021-22 campaign, the Salina Central boy’s basketball team is primed to take the next step with a new-look squad.
The Mustangs will once again be under the direction of head coach Ryan Modin, who enters his 4th year at the helm and 14th with the program.
Central graduated six seniors over the offseason but feel confident in a rotation of 8-10 returning veterans still battling it out for a spot in the starting five.
While those starting spots remain up for grabs, the Mustangs will expect big minutes from seniors DT Loud-Jones, Kenyon McMillan, Ethan Waters, and Dylan Drane, as well as juniors Hunter Mowery, Dezmyn Gibson, Dylan Puckett, Sam Payne, Mason Nemechek, and Brody Farthing.
Before the tip-off of the 2022-23 season, we had a chance to catch up with Coach Modin to get his thoughts on his Mustang squad.
Q: What were your overall thoughts on the 2021-22 campaign?
A: We went out and competed every night and gave ourselves a chance to win almost every game, so I’m proud of that. We let too many close games get away from us and that’s something I want to see get better this year.
Q: How excited is everyone to get back on the floor and back to playing real games after a long offseason?
A: The excitement is always high when the season starts. Losing six seniors means that there are a lot of openings for younger guys to step into bigger roles this year.
Q: Coming into the year what would you say is the biggest strength of this team?
A: No question about it, it’s our depth. Depending on the game, we can rotate ten guys and not see much drop-off in production. Aside from that, it’ll be our balance on offense. Having more guys capable of scoring means the load isn’t on any one player to carry the team. Also, we will be a quick team and can extend pressure.
Q: What are the biggest question marks about this team as we head into the first few weeks?
A: How quickly we come together as a team and play together on both ends of the floor. We’re putting several new guys into the rotation. Some have played together, some haven’t. The younger guys need to step up quickly. I think they will, but you never know until the games start.
Q: What are the goals and expectations of this team for this 2022-23 campaign?
A: I really like the makeup of this team. If we can put together 4 quarters every night, we can win a lot of games.
Central will open their season on Friday, December 2nd when the Mustangs travel to Maize to take on the Eagles.
For continuing coverage of Mustang basketball all season long, stay tuned to the Salina Post.