Just like necessity is the mother of invention, opportunity is the father of accomplishment – or something like that. There will be plenty of opportunity for accomplishment and even greatness when Skyline Coach Mike Lovelace rolls out the basketballs for the 2019-20 season.
“We have many players who really want to prove they belong in much bigger roles on varsity and there are opportunities available for a lot of players competing for spots,” says Lovelace, now in his 12th season coaching the Eagles. “The competition will help to make everyone better. We have the potential to have the different player strengths to fit together if the players can get into their roles, take pride in them and work for the betterment of the team.”
Skyline is coming off a 15-8 season, second place in the SEC Red and another District title. But some key players off that team are gone, which creates both holes to fill and opportunity.
“We have to continue to go through experiences together and know that we will face adversity and that we will have to stick together and be united as much as we can,” Lovelace said. “We will have to learn from our mistakes and not make the same mistakes again. We will have to control our emotions and be great teammates who want to do their roles at a high level and not try to play outside of their strengths. We need to have intensity and discipline in our defense and rebounding effort.”
Kabir Bergin (SF/PF) is back for what should be a strong senior season. Bergin has solid big-game experience entering his third season on varsity and he is very excited and hungry to return to action after missing half of his junior season when it ended in January with an injury/surgery.
“Kabir is a talented offensive player who can score inside and outside and shows tremendous poise and leadership on the court,” Lovelace said.
Junior Chris Cayton also is entering his third season on varsity and is moving from a support/role player position to taking over as the starting point guard.
“Chris is a real good on ball defender, he can create his own shot and can shoot well from 3 point range,” says Lovelace. “He plays with a lot of energy and is excited and hungry for his opportunity to help lead this team on both ends of the court.”
Junior Jack Williams is entering his second season on varsity and has made huge improvements since last season. “Jack is an outstanding outside shooter and is improving at scoring in multiple ways along with working hard to help the team rebounding and on the defensive end,” says Lovelace.
Junior Dinalli DeLoach, who also is entering his second season on varsity, has the ability to block shots and control the boards above the rim. “He is able to score in the paint and he can shoot a good percentage from 3 point range,” Lovelace says.
Skyline has a strong roster of new players led by sophomore James Harrison and junior Jermaine Davis.
Harrison will be a solid scorer for the Eagles and has carved out a spot to begin his varsity career by working hard to be one of their primary defenders. “He takes pride in working to be our defensive stopper and bringing defensive energy,” says Lovelace. “He is an aggressive rebounder.”
Davis is a scorer who can knock down perimeter jump shots and has the ability to get to the basket and create for his teammates.
Lovelace is excited to roll out the basketballs and see what happens and see which players take advantage of the opportunities.
“I’m very excited to see how good this team can get by the end of the season with the pieces we have,” he said. “I know these kids love basketball and want to compete for a conference championship, a district championship and a regional championship.”
The Eagles open tonight (Tuesday, Dec. 10) at 6:30 p.m. against University Prep in the Ypsilanti Invitational at the EMU Convocation Center. Their home opener is Tuesday, Jan 14 vs. Pioneer.