The Mansfield boys basketball team is looking to rebound from a season in which it missed the playoffs, and to do so, coach Jason Speakes said he will need a couple of his guys to lead the way.
Terrance Eason and Mo Handy are two returning starters for the Tigers in 2014-2015, and Speakes said, especially with the level of competition it will face in its new district, Mansfield will really need Eason and Handy to step up to the challenge.
“Mo is going to be a junior this year,” Speakes said. “He got some great experience competing with some older guys last year. He learned a lot, because a lot of those guys went on to play college ball.
“I think he grew up as a player and understands the level of competition our district brings,” Speakes said. “He is a heady guy, a smart guy who understands the game. I'm going to be needing him to put the ball in the basket.
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“Terrance is a very athletic post man, who can block shots and is a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor. He's got that post presence that you want to have. We are expecting big things from him this year.”
Speakes said he has a couple of areas that he discussed with his players about where he would like to see them work during the off season.
“Everyone is playing summer league basketball right now,” Speakes said. “So they are getting plenty of competitive basketball over the summer, and we give them some workouts we want them to do. One is a post workout for the big man and the other is a guard workout for Mo, and hopefully they are getting into a gym and working on these things.”
Speakes said he will rely on Handy and Eason a lot to provide leadership this next season.
“It will be a tremendous amount,” Speakes said. “Aside from those two, we're going to be pretty young and have to solidify a lot of positions on the floor. So those two guys are going to be the anchors of our team next year.”
Speakes said that both Handy and Eason will be critical to any success the Tigers enjoy this season.
“The district we play in is arguably one of the toughest in the state,” Speakes said. “These guys have a taste of what it's going to take. We didn't finish as high in the district standings last year as we would have preferred. These guys understand the commitment level it will take to reach our goal, which is to make the playoffs.”