2016-17 basketball preview: Parkview Boys

Head Coach: Landon Cornish
2015-16 Record: 11-15 – Lost to Central in the Class 5, District 11 tournament
Top Players: JT Brown (G), Brady Hill (F/G), Njenga Chatman (G), Christian Willers (G), Lencorya Grady (G), Latre Morrison (C/F)

Head basketball coach Landon Cornish is entering his second season at the helm of the Vikings’ ship.

Last year, Parkview finished fifth in the Ozark Conference (5-4 in conference) with an 11-15 record overall.

“Taking over a program and changing the way things have been for years is not something you can do overnight,” said Cornish. “As a coach you are learning from kids as much as they are learning from you. Building relationships with the kids to earn their trust and respect goes a long way to achieving the goals you have.”

Parkview averaged just over 54 points per game last year with balanced contributions from seven or eight core players. But the Vikings will miss their 6’6” standout senior Garrett Cunningham from last year’s team and will look to the new group of seniors to replace his production (11.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 0.5 BPG, 55% FG).

The 2016-17 team should be loaded in the backcourt with at least five capable varsity guards, spearheaded by senior JT Brown (8.5 PPG, 1.9 APG, 1.3 SPG).

“JT really came on last year and established himself as our best player and leader,” Cornish said. “He was asked to take on a bigger role than he may have been ready for at the time, but he responded and had a great year. He is our team captain and has been pushing everyone on this team to work hard in the off-season and get better. I expect him to have a really good senior season.”

Five other players –along with Brown – averaged between 5 and 8.5 points per game last year. Coach Cornish believes that his offense allows multiple players to thrive and score points.

“Offensively the style we play allows for everyone to touch the ball and get scoring looks,” he said. “We won’t have any one player average 20 points but any given game we will have several guys capable of scoring 20. Last year we had seven different guys lead us in scoring in games.”

That all begins with guard play. Look for junior Lencorya Grady, junior transfer (Central) Demarcus Mason, freshman Dontae Taylor and seniors Brady Hill and Njenga Chatman to move the ball on offense, spread the floor and provide scoring on the perimeter.

Sophomore Latre Morrison measures in at 6’8” and has potential to be a dominant big man.

“He has a lot of natural ability,” Cornish said of Morrison. “His length around the rim is something you can’t teach. He really has a chance to impact the game on the defensive end of the floor with his shot blocking ability.”

Parkview is five wins away from 1,000 in its program’s history and will surely surpass that milestone this season. Coach Cornish has high expectations for his team.

“I want our team to be extremely competitive, play hard, be coachable, and represent ourselves with class. This year’s team is going to be talented and have an opportunity to win some big games. We have a long ways to go, but if we want to be considered one of the best teams in the area we need to be consistent game in and game out.”