Russell Looking Forward To Early Challenge With Young Talented T-Birds!

Even longtime Casper College fans will need a program to identify the Thunderbirds this season.

An offseason of change began at the top where assistant coach Dan Russell moved over one spot on the bench to replace former head coach Joel Davidson, who accepted an assistant coaching job at the University of Northern Colorado. The change is also noticeable in the roster as the T-Birds have just two returning players – Jake Johnson and Nate McGinley – and redshirt freshman Chase Riley who were with the program last season.

“This is new for all of us, and it has been a daily grind,” Russell said. “I’m excited because this group is young and naive, but at the same time they play hard and I know they would run through a brick wall for me.”

The first obstacle for Russell and the T-Birds comes Friday against ABCD Prep.

With former standouts Remi Dibo (West Virginia), Corey Spence and Dominique Lee (Northern Colorado) moving on, Russell will be looking for a new group of players to take the reins. Even though it’s early, Russell said some players have already stepped to the forefront.

“It’s going to be hard to replace those guys,” he said, “but we’ve got some guys I’m excited about. Jay Wright will be starting at point guard for us, and he plays really, really hard on both ends of the court.

“And George Edwards, Garrett Swanson and Jake will be heading up our front line. We’ve also got some depth on the interior with Gabriel Vazquez and Tanner Morgan.”

Keep the programs handy because Russell expects to use a number of bodies, especially early in the season, to push the tempo and create havoc on the defensive end of the floor.

“We’re going to play fast and we’re going to be physical,” Russell said. “Hopefully, it will be an exciting brand of basketball. I’m just excited to see how it’s all going to play out.”


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