Gators start basketball season with a whole new team, and much to prove

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Lakeview Gator basketball is finally among us. After finally making it back to the Top 28 last spring, they are hoping to keep the momentum going in 2020. After losing their starting backcourt and a couple key players, the team is going to be very young and the goal of this season will be to prepare the young players for the future. Head Coach Brian Williams has his eyes set on a couple young players that will hopefully produce over the next couple years.

#23 Mike Shields
File Photo

A key player this season will be senior guard #23 Mike Shields. Over the past few seasons, Shields has been a huge part of the bench. His ability to come on the floor and produce starter-like gameplay gives no doubt he will have no hesitation becoming the starting PG for Lakeview. He can shoot and has the ability to stay in front of any person he is defending.

If you want to talk about defense, we can look at the other starting guard, junior #1

Lakeview’s Javonte Howard defends against Captain Shreve’s Corey Coleman.
File photo

Howard. Howard guarded the 1-3 as a starter last year, not to mention his ability to make ridiculously tough shots every game. The team will be relying heavily on this guard tandem to show out this season.

As far as the bigs go, the team will be without senior #33 Udonis Jones, who broke his ankle last week in Lakeview’s football game. This is unfortunate for Jones. Last season he had to miss the first two months from a broken wrist after hitting the game winning layup in the first game of the season.

Thankfully, with the addition late last year of Mykel Slaughter, Jones’ presence will hopefully be solidified. Slaughter, a Senior, has became much bigger and stronger since last year so hopes are he will be a big part of the Gator’s success.

Don’t forget about sophomore big man Dillon Pikes. His size may not match the players he will be guarding, but his athleticism and sheer strength keep him right up there as a player to watch this season.

Now, if one has to pick one young player to watch this season, it’ll be freshman G/F Andrea Sowell. Sowell showed a major amount of upside during his JV games last season, and promises to be a breakout player this year, as well as a cornerstone for years to come. He makes smart shots, knows where to place the ball as a passer and showed a lot of defensive potential last season. Don’t be surprised when that name rings a bell in the future.

We are all hoping Coach Brian’s fast paced style of play will lead his team to victory. Keep up with both the boys and the girls this season, for they are both going to be worth watching.