The Hopkinsville Tigers haven't played in the Second Region tournament since 2017, something the program isn't used to, and coach Larry Miller is hoping that changes this season.
After a buzzer-beater from Christian County's Fred Tandy in last season's district tournament, the Tigers ended their year with a record of 16-14.
Miller said the cohesiveness of this year's roster is already better than it was last season, and with 11 combined juniors and seniors, the Tigers have plenty of experience as well as depth that they can use this season.
This year's Tigers plan to run, run and run some more as Miller is going to push his team to the brink every night.
"I guess a question mark and I don't think it's a problem, I'm going
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to play a lot of guys so I think they're going to have to know they're going to come out when they're absolutely busting it," he said. "They're only going to come out about 30 seconds, then they'll be back in. They've accepted that. They've been good about that. They've cheered for guys when they're out."
Another area Miller said he's got to keep his eye on this season is in the paint.
"I think rebounding is a question mark and our half-court defense is a question mark," he said.
It's not often that a senior is a player who's stood out the most in terms of progression, but that's the case for Tiger guard Quan Patterson.
"Quan's the biggest surprise, without question," he said.
Miller said Patterson went from being a bench player to a starter in a few weeks as he's not worried about scoring, but just being a good teammate. Miller added Patterson is a glue guy that's got the ability to bring the team together."
The Tigers graduated three of their top four scorers from a year ago; Don Victor is the top returner with just 8.4 points per game.
Miller said Victor is going to be vital this season for the Tigers' success.
"He can play every position on the floor, and he can guard every position," he said.
Alijah Watts is currently out, but Miller said he hopes his junior standout will return next week.
Hoptown starts the season at 7:30 p.m. Monday at home against Kenwood (TN).