11/22/13 — Golden Falcons, Morgan adjusting to each other

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Golden Falcons, Morgan adjusting to each other

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 22, 2013 1:48 PM


PIKEVILLE -- The loss of seven seniors from a playoff team leaves head varsity boys' basketball coach Tod Morgan thinking his first season at Charles B. Aycock is a marathon rather than a sprint.

He hopes the Golden Falcons, a mix of young and experienced players, trust the process of learning a new offensive and defensive philosophy. Morgan also knows it won't happen overnight.

"When you're in year one anywhere, you're kind of going through the process of getting to know the kids and they're getting to know you," Morgan said. "We've been preaching to our kids to trust the process and they've done a great job of buying. It's a marathon. It starts with the little things and continually getting better."

Morgan intends to play an up-tempo offense predicated on getting the ball up the floor, which should create easy scoring opportunities. At the same time, he understands the importance of half-court execution against various defenses.

On defense, Morgan plans to use multiple looks that not only suit his players' strengths, but schemes that work best against a particular opponent.

Michael Williams, the Golden Falcons' tallest player at 6-foot-5, averaged 15 points and nearly seven rebounds last season. He has shown some leadership in practice and can score either inside or outside.

Fellow senior forward Donta Pitt has demonstrated the ability to stretch the defense with his shooting. Juniors Jamere Pryor, Bryce Jordan and Jesse Snickers have each competed for time in the back court.

Morgan hopes football players Trae Woodard, Neil Clark, Jimmy Ellis and T.J. Morrow will trade their shoulder pads for basketball uniforms since football season is over.

Aycock will challenge a navigating schedule that includes measuring-stick games against D.H. Conley, South Central, J.H. Rose and New Bern in the new Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference. Morgan expects to draw an honest evaluation of his team from those games.

The Golden Falcons also face county foes Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne. Playoff positioning and bragging rights are at stake in those games.

"I would have venture to say ours is one of the toughest conferences in the state," Morgan said. "The 3-A games are not just important in our league, but they're rivalry games within our county. With the 4-A teams, you've got some athletes and some really good coaches. We're going to have our work cut out for us every night in this league."