New beginnings for Wildcats | Boys basketball

By David Pan | Aug 21, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Archbishop Murphy senior Trey Miller goes up for a shot during a Maverick Shootout tournament game. Miller will be one of the Wildcats most experienced returning players. Right, Archbishop Murphy’s Jaxon Miler brings the ball up the court.

Archbishop Murphy boys basketball coach Len Bone introduced himself to his new team and players and then sat back and watched them this summer.

The Wildcats played in a couple of tournaments and then finished with team camp at St. Martin’s University in Lacey.

Bone, the longtime coach at Snohomish, didn’t really have much time to implement his system. His goal was to learn about his players.

“I really enjoyed getting to know the kids all the way from varsity to incoming freshmen,” Bone said. “Some of the kids played varsity last year. I was getting to know kids of all ages.”

Five players from last season’s district playoff team graduated, including first-team, all-Cascade Conference center Abe Lucas and guard Jaylon Carter.

The Wildcats won’t be quite as tall a team or as post-oriented without Lucas, a 6-foot-8 post who is now playing football at Washington State.

Senior-to-be Trey Miller, a 6-5 forward, is the team’s tallest and most experienced player.

Senior guard Jeric Williams also caught Bone’s eye this summer.

“He’s a good leader. He’s more of a point guard,” Bone said. “He’s a tough defender and a really good communicator. He doesn’t just say things. He says things that are right on and valuable.”

Beyond Miller and Williams, the Wildcats don’t return a lot of varsity experience.

“Those two probably have stood out the most,” Bone said.

Bone is looking forward to tryouts later in the year and expects he’ll have plenty of options.

“We’ll have a lot of kids to choose from, which is a really good thing,” he

said. “It’s going to be a matter of which of those kids kind of gets more consistent, more comfortable. A lot of kids are going to get the chance to be involved.”

Though Bone doesn’t anticipate any of the freshman class will be ready for varsity ball, he was impressed by the talent he saw.

“They’re a really good group,” Bone said. “I don’t think that I’ve seen all of them.”

Bone retired from Snohomish following a 21-year career coaching the Panthers. In his nearly 40-year high school career Bone compiled a record of 417-250.

The first issue Bone is trying to address is bringing stability to the boys basketball program. Bone is the third coach in three years for the Wildcats.

“Hopefully, they are starting to get comfortable around me,” Bone said. “The kids have had some new coaches. I’m the next one. That’s sometimes a challenge. They like their old coach. I think getting to know the kids is right at the top of my list. We’re trying to see what kind of things we can do next year and maybe some of the things we aren’t able to do.

Talent aside, Bone said the commitment over the summer was good.

“I’m really happy with the guys being there and trying to get better, whether it’s open gyms, going to team camp,” he said. “I feel like there’s a lot of interest. The kids are pretty committed.”

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