Friendship Tech head coach Dwayne Shackleford aim for a strong run in the Charter league this upcoming season (Photo Cred - Friendship Tech Hoops)
Friendship Tech coach Dwayne Shackleford is eager to get his bunch back on the court after going 16-6 in his first season with the school, a performance good enough for a self-imposed ‘B’ letter grade. This year will mark the team’s return to conference play as they’ll reenter the Charter league after serving a suspension because of violations before Shackleford came.
The Titans look to overcome the loss of last year’s captain, senior Jaleel Lee, who is headed to Virginia State University this winter. According to Shackleford, losing Lee is a “huge” loss because of the guard’s leadership and ability to rebound at 6-3.
Despite the absence of Lee, the team’s goals this season are big time.
“This is our first year back in the Charter league, so the goal is to definitely go to the playoffs and compete for a championship,” Shackleford said. “And after that, we’re trying to get to the State [Championship] and win. “
Titans leading scorer Kenneth Tyree (17.4 ppg) returns for his senior year and will have a bigger role this season. He’s expected to be more a leader, play both guard positions and increase his scoring output.
Another senior helping Tyree this year will be Malik Miller who is getting some D-1 attention. Miller was second on the team in scoring with just over 16 points per contest. His strength is versatility and he’ll play positions one through four this season. Senior Derrick Love rounds out the upperclassman and will add depth to a guard-heavy group.
Shackleford emphasized the importance of the new-comers this year, too. Starting with junior Brace Barnes who is “hungry,” sitting out last year after transferring from Anacostia. The Titans will add freshman into the mix, as Rasheed Dupree, DaJuan McMillan and Jimile Kirkland look to contribute with meaningful minutes.