PREP BASKETBALL

Monarchs picking up steam with new system

By DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 1/11/18

Rolando Shuler is in his first year in charge of the Manning High School varsity boys basketball team. He was part of Calhoun County High School's first state championship team in 1996 under head coach Zam Frederick. It was the first of many for …

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PREP BASKETBALL

Monarchs picking up steam with new system

Posted

Rolando Shuler is in his first year in charge of the Manning High School varsity boys basketball team. He was part of Calhoun County High School's first state championship team in 1996 under head coach Zam Frederick. It was the first of many for Calhoun County using the full-court pressure defense that Frederick's teams are known for.

Needless to say, Shuler believes in the system. That's what he has the Monarchs doing and they've been pretty successful so far.

MHS is off to a 9-4 start as it begins play in Region VII-3A on Friday with a road contest against Lake Marion. It does come into the contest with three straight losses, but Shuler isn't worried.

"I think we're right about where I wanted us to be," said Shuler, who was Manning's junior varsity head coach the three previous seasons. "In those losses (which came over the Christmas holidays) we were without several players whose families had already preplanned trips. We've got everybody back and I think we'll be ready."

The Monarchs, who are ranked sixth among 3A boys in the latest South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association poll, are averaging 61.5 points a contest, but the offense is really spread out. Guard Israel Brown leads the way with an 11.2 scoring average, while Darias Williams averages 10.8. Freshman forward Corey Graham is averaging 9.7 points and a team high 6.8 rebounds followed by Cam'Ron Cain at 7.5 points and 3.2 assists and De'juan Wilson at 7.4 points, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals.

Devonte Felder, a 6-5 senior, only averages 2.6 points, but he grabs 6.3 rebounds a contest.

Shuler said the reason the scoring is so spread out among the Monarchs is because how they perform defensively leads to a lot of offense.

"It often comes down to who's playing the hardest on defense," Shuler said. "It's who's getting in the passing lane, getting around the court on defense. That leads to a lot of our points, that's really our game. We've got some people that can get hot, but our offense runs through our defense."

Manning made the state playoffs last season and Shuler sees no reason why it can't get back there this year.

"I don't like to make predictions, but I think our chances are pretty good (in the region)," he said.