Six months of open gym tryouts and practices will finally come to an end tonight when the Kingman Academy boys basketball team opens the 2012-13 season at 5:30 p.m. against Metro Tech at the Betty Rowe Gymnasium.
Today will also mark the first game for first-year coach Bryant Morrison, who was hired in May after coaching basketball and cross country and serving as an athletic director in Peach Springs.
"We have a great team and we have a bunch of great kids that want to work hard and get better," Morrison said. "They are here ready to go."
Lance Martin and Bryeden Potter will return from a team that finished the 2011-12 season 8-13 and just missed the 3A Charter Athletic Association playoffs.
"The goal is to definitely make it to state," Morrison said.
Along with Martin and Potter, Henry and Ike Chinyere, Tarik Skubal and Ben Leader are all expected to contribute. Morrison is expected to get an influx of new players now that football season is over, which should give him a deep bench for the Tigers when they play West Phoenix, EVAC and Peoria Accelerated.
Those are likely to be the teams to beat this year, according to Morrison.
"We are pretty much going take it one game at a time," Morrison said. "I've never seen the kids play the other teams, so that's when we are going to tell - when we actually get out there and see the competition."
Morrison takes over for Eugene Kramer, who resigned after one season. For the team's seniors, this will be their third head coach in three years.
However, despite the inconsistencies at head coach over the last three seasons, Morrison feels that the previous coaches left a strong foundation.
"They definitely developed the kids well," Morrison said. "I'm just going to build upon it and brining my ideas of different offenses that I think will run well together. It's kind of a different style but it's pretty similar."