Grizzlies feature youth, experience: Conference championship within reach

If nothing else, experience should not be a problem for the Franklin College men’s basketball team.

The Grizzlies have no shortage of that heading into Mon­day’s season-opener at Centre College (Danville, Ky.).

Although Franklin has only one senior, its roster is packed with juniors and sophomores who have either been starters or regular rotation players throughout their careers.

As a result, coach Kerry Prather enters his 30th season confident the Grizzlies will not only snap a three-year stretch of losing seasons but also will contend for the Heartland Collegiate Conference Athletic Conference championship.

Franklin won the regular-season title in 2009 and earned the HCAC Tournament championship in 2008. The Grizzlies were 11-14 last season and 8-18 the previous two years.

“Now we’re to a more conventional model where, yeah, there a couple of freshmen who are ready to play, but it’s only a couple, and it’s not guys that we’re going to live and die with,” said Prather, who has led the Grizzlies to four HCAC Tournament titles and five NCAA Division III postseason appearances. “That’s more kind of a normal way of looking at a team that’s got the potential of being pretty good.”

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