03/12/10 — Trojans' 'Super Six' has produced all season

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Trojans' 'Super Six' has produced all season

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 12, 2010 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- There has already been a "Fab Five."

So, Mount Olive will have to lay claim to the "Super Six" moniker.

The Trojans' starting five and top reserve have built a strong reputation across both Conference Carolinas and the Southeast Region for their offensive prowess and their ability to churn out productive minutes.

Led by the program's all-time leading scorer Kendrick Easley at the shooting guard position, the group has powered the team to a berth in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional and a date with Montevallo (Ala.) University on Saturday.

Easley is averaging 23.8 points an outing.

"Those six guys really mean a lot to this program on and off the court," said Trojans' head coach Joey Higginbotham said.

"Obviously, Kendrick is the guy that other teams see as the leader on the stat sheet, but all six of them do something different that helps the team."

Starting point guard Derek Staton has gone through a furious maturation process over the last two seasons under Higginbotham's watchful eye. Staton averages 10.3 points per game and leads the team with 169 assists on the season.

Lamonte Theus stepped into the spotlight during the Conference Carolinas tournament championship by hitting the game-winning shot in the closing seconds. The lone freshman starter for the Trojans, Theus boasts a quick move to the basket as part of his offensive skill set.

"We are where we are in the postseason because of a big shot by Lamonte Theus," said Higginbotham. "He came up big for us down the stretch and his ability to eat up a lot of minutes gives us a lot of versatility."

At the forward position, the Trojans are led by junior Craig Hayes. Known for his ability to score in bunches, Hayes has become a more consistent threat for the team this season. Hayes averages 14.2 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 7.2 boards per contest.

Aleks Mitrovic rounds out the starting five at Mount Olive. The always-hustling sophomore has earned a spot in the Trojans' rotation due to his aptitude on defense and his willingness to bang with bigger players in the paint.

The always tough task of being the team's "sixth man" has fallen on senior swingman Mike Holloman in 2010.

As the team's second-leading scorer at 14.6 points per game, Holloman can provide relief at four different positions due to his length and quickness. The role of sixth man was one that Holloman and Higginbotham mutually agreed upon early in the season.

"Mike was getting in early foul trouble, so I thought of him coming off the bench as a way for him to get into the flow of the game without being over anxious," said Higginbotham. "Being the sixth man is no indication of Mike's talent because he could just as easily be a starter."

As a group, the top six players in the Trojan rotation combine for 75 points per game. That equates to 87 percent of the team's 86.2 scoring average.