Bassett boys basketball

Last season: 3-19

Roster breakdown:

Seniors: Dominic Gill, Jaxon Ford, Jaylen Martin, Tre’Jon Fuller, Armahn Walker-Muse

Juniors: Bryson Brown, Keshaun Valentine, Colin Cunningham, Darius Hairston, D’Andre McGill, Matt Adkins

Sophomore: Bradley Fuller

Players to watch

Colin Cunningham: “He’s a utility guy and can play all over the floor just depending on what you need,” said Bassett coach Adam Haynes. “He’s a really good leader, a smart player, and he’s somebody who’s always in the right spot, whether it’s offense or defense.”

Tre’Jon Fuller: “He’ll be active on both ends of the floor, rebounding the ball and hopefully affecting shots on the inside,” Haynes said.

Darius Hairston: “He’s a guard who can shoot it,” Haynes said. “He’s more of a flasher, can take it to the basket, and a good finisher at the rim.”

What to know:

After graduating seven seniors from the year before, the Bassett boys basketball team stumbled to a 3-19 record in the 2018-19 season.

Last year’s misfortune can be deemed a rebuilding season—one which saw a handful of young players earn valuable varsity playing time.

“Even though we struggled last year, record-wise, I felt we grew and improved as the year went along,” sixth-year head coach Adam Haynes said. “We were competitive in a lot of games that we lost. The last two or three weeks of the season we were playing some of our best basketball.”

The Bengals hope that progress carries over into the 2019-20 season as they attempt to get back into the top half of the Piedmont District after finishing at the bottom last year.

Haynes is confident that Bassett can roll out a nine-man rotation if the team manages to stay healthy—a tall order in past years.

“We’ve got multiple guys that can shoot the ball,” Haynes said. “Defensively, we’re more athletic than we’ve been in five or six years, so we can get out and challenge teams defensively.”

The Bengals expect to have a strong interior presence anchored by 6-foot-5 senior Tre’Jon Fuller. At the starting guard spots, Haynes envisions senior Jaxon Ford and junior Bryson Brown.

“(Brown is) our point guard, so he’s in control of getting everything set up and making sure we’re getting into everything we want to do. He sets the tone for our offense,” Haynes said. “Jaxon is more of a shooting guard. He has a really good mid-range game and does a good job attacking. He does a good job of shooting the ball and making good decisions.”

Bassett will also look to take advantage of newcomer Keshaun Valentine, a junior, and returning junior Colin Cunningham on the wings.

“(Valentine) can play inside, but he’s athletic enough to play the perimeter and get to the basket. I think he’ll be a difference-maker for us this year as well,” Haynes said. “(Cunningham) didn’t see a lot of time last year, but he had a really good summer, a really good fall, gained a lot of confidence. I’m expecting big things from him.”

Bassett Boys Basketball 2019-20 Schedule

All games at 7 p.m.

Dec. 2: Bassett at McMichael

Dec. 4: Salem at Bassett

Dec. 6: Blacksburg at Bassett

Dec. 9: McMichael at Bassett

Dec. 11: Bassett at Franklin County

Dec. 13: Bassett at Blacksburg

Dec. 16: Floyd County at Bassett

Dec. 17: Bassett at Tunstall

Dec. 20: Magna Vista at Bassett

Jan. 3: Bassett at George Washington

Jan. 7: Bassett at Patrick County

Jan. 10: Halifax County at Bassett

Jan. 14: Gretna at Bassett

Jan. 17: Bassett at Martinsville

Jan. 21: Tunstall at Bassett

Jan. 24: Bassett at Magna Vista

Jan. 28: George Washington at Bassett

Jan. 29: Franklin County at Bassett

Jan. 31: Patrick County at Bassett

Feb. 4: Bassett at Halifax County

Feb. 7: Bassett at Floyd County

Feb. 11: Martinsville at Bassett

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