Don't count on the same players sitting on the bench next to Lawrence High boys basketball coach Chris Davis this season.
Davis plans to keep his Lions fresh, rotating several players in and out during the 2000-01 season.
LHS coach Chris Davis
"Depth will be our strength," said Davis, the Lions' new head coach after spending three seasons coaching the LHS junior varsity. "I think we could have as many as 10 kids get into a game."
Davis and LHS fans will get a look at the Lions tonight at the high school during the seventh annual "Pack the House," which kicks off the winter sports season. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. with the boys basketball scrimmage set for 8:15 p.m. The Lions will open the season for real next Thursday, when they play Kansas City (Mo.) Center in the first round of the Blue Valley tournament.
Junior Stephen Vinson is the top returner for the Lions, who finished 7-14 last season. Vinson was one of the top sophomores in the Sunflower League last season while averaging 8.1 points a game as a point guard. Davis hinted the 6-foot-1 Vinson might move from point guard to shooting guard.
"We're going to try to give Stephen better opportunities to get a shot off," Davis said. "He has a good shot."
Other than Vinson, no other returning Lion averaged more than two points a game last season.
Martin deBoer, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, has impressed Davis the first two weeks of practice. deBoer was limited to eight games last season after breaking a leg in preseason.
"I think Martin deBoer could be a big factor for us," Davis said. "We just need to get him to stay in position. He's pretty thick and he's strong."
With Vinson likely at shooting guard, 5-7 Devin McAnderson will take over at point guard.
"I kind of want to see Devin run the point," Davis said.
Davis might have to wait for McAnderson to run the point. McAnderson is questionable for next week's Blue Valley tournament because of a broken thumb sustained in a recent practice.
Other guards expected to be factors are 6-foot junior D.J. Watkins and 6-3 senior Mark Frederick.
Matt Dunkin, a 6-6 junior forward, should see more varsity action after transferring from Shawnee Mission East at midseason last year.
"He's really got a nice shot," Davis said of Dunkin. "He's so good around the basket."
Terrelle Johnson, C.J. Kie and Grant VanBlaricum are other seniors on the Lions' roster. Several of this year's juniors and seniors last year helped LHS's junior varsity go 15-3, including six victories to close the season.
Davis said several of those same players had successful offseasons.
"We've had to instill a little bit of discipline into everyone's game because a lot of their summertime programs had them running up and down the court," Davis said.
Former Kansas University player Joel Branstrom, the Lions' head sophomore coach last season, will coach the junior varsity this season.