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West Allis Central boys basketball preview

Nov. 21, 2011

Last year

Overall: 8-16

League: 5-9

Playoffs: Lost in WIAA regional final to Milwaukee King, 64-52

Conference: Greater Metro

Personnel

Coach: David Mlachnik

Key returnees: Jarvis Garrett, jr. (12.3 ppg); Najeal McMillian, sr. (12.3 ppg); Tonnie Collier, sr. (7.4 ppg); Darvell Brown, sr. (5.2 ppg)

Key losses: Anthony Harris (10.5 ppg), Chris Helm (6.1 ppg)

The lowdown

David Mlachnik moves over to the Central boys after coaching the Bulldog girls the past few seasons, taking over for Lou Chapman, who left in June. Mlachnik inherits some solid talent, particularly in Garrett and McMillian, who shared the team scoring lead last season. Mlachnik said ballhandling and rebounding should be strong points, but defense will be the main determining factor in how good the Bulldogs might be. "If we can get after it (on defense)," Mlachnik said, "we could have a real good year."

Three pointers

1 How long will it take Mlachnik and his players to adjust to each other? Sometimes, it takes a while for coaches and players to adapt and work in a new system. Mlachnik does have boys coaching experience, having directed the junior varsity and freshman teams at Milwaukee Vincent and Muskego.

2 Central will need more consistency than last season, when the Bulldogs were up and down. They never won more than two straight games at any point in 2010-11 and only had one two-game winning streak along the way.

3 A player to watch should be freshman guard Brandon Key, who Mlachnik said played well in AAU action. If Key can make contributions, the Bulldogs will be just that much more balanced and thus more dangerous.

Schedule

Nov. 25 - vs. Madison West at Homestead High School; Nov. 26 - vs. TBA at Homestead High School; Dec. 2 - at Wauwatosa East; Dec. 9 - Sussex Hamilton; Dec. 10 - vs. Nicolet at Homestead High School; Dec. 13 - at West Allis Hale; Dec. 15 - Brookfield Central; Dec. 22 - at Sheboygan South; Jan. 6 - at Marquette; Jan. 13 - at Menomonee Falls; Jan. 17 - at Racine Horlick; Jan. 20 - Brookfield East; Jan. 22 - at Marian Catholic; Jan. 24 - Wauwatosa East; Jan. 27 - at Sussex Hamilton; Jan. 31 - West Allis Hale; Feb. 3 - at Brookfield Central; Feb. 10 - Marquette; Feb. 17 - Menomonee Falls; Feb. 21 - Destiny; Feb. 23 - at Brookfield East

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