David Reeder

Special to the Grove Sun

KANSAS -Taking even a cursory glance at this year’s Kansas Comet boys basketball squad and it’s obvious that they are a bigger, perhaps stronger version of their previous incarnations. 

And despite a forgettable opening night performance against cross county rival Jay, Head Coach Todd Lankston is enthusiastic about his team’s chances saying, “Granted we’ve got a long way to go, but with some hard work and dedication we are liable to surprise a lot of people this season.” 

And in truth, the Comets, who are already blessed with a lot of speed, are a significantly bigger team than in the past.

Speaking of speed, Lankston’s son Tyler, and Kendall Cochran are a pair of 5-9 senior guards with sufficient quickness to leave defenses talking to themselves.  The two of them are the playmakers that will do most of bringing the ball down the court.  But Lankston is clearly the fastest of the duo, with a jumping ability that has left many a taller opponent wondering aloud who left the gym door open and let the gazelle in. Also expected to see plenty of playing time at the guard positions are 5-8 junior Brett Odle and 5-10 senior Zac Carnes.  Odle, who is the son of girl’s assistant coach Phil, has the pedigree and the calm demeanor that is oft times needed by the mercurial Comets.  Carnes is a returning letterman whose athleticism will shore up his team’s playmaking corps.

Perhaps the most dynamic addition to this year’s Comet roster is 6-4 sophomore center Brody Kendrick.  Kendrick also has a familial round ball background, in that his sister Kortni was a Lady Comet mainstay over the past several seasons and is now plying her talents at the next level with John Brown University. 

Also expected to see significant exposure at the center position are a pair of seniors in the persons of Brody’s cousin, 5-10 Lane Kendrick and 6-2 Dylan Duncan.

Starting forward 6-2 Cory Cowan has returned for his junior season a slightly taller and noticeably more muscular version of his previous self.  And like his sister Courtney, Cowan has a sweet scoring stroke that is sure to pay off down the stretch. 

And finally 6-2 senior Ethan Fausett brings plenty of experience to the other forward position and looks determined to make his offensive presence known even further.  Also look for 6-0 junior, Jared Lamont and 5-10 sophomore Johnny Lewis to impact the Kansas fortunes as well.

Comet fans might be wise to not give up too early on this year’s team.  Given the right circumstances and a little time, this group might well be the surprise of the 3A battleground.

2010-11 Kansas basketball schedule

Nov 23        Jay                Home

Nov 30        Keys                Keys

Dec 2        Lincoln, Ark.        Lincoln, Ark.

Dec 3        Chouteau            Home

Dec 6-11        Afton Tourn.        Afton

Dec 9-11        Best of the Best    Tulsa

Dec 17        Lincoln, Ark.        Home

Jan 4            Adair            Home

Jan 7            Jay                Jay

Jan 11        Colcord            Colcord

Jan 14        Salina            Home

Jan 17-22        Tri-State Classic    Jay

Jan 25        Adair            Adair

Jan 28        Westville            Westville

Feb 1        Colcord            Home

Feb 4        Chouteau            Chouteau

Feb 8        Westville            Home

Feb 11        Salina            Salina

Feb 14        Keys                Home

Feb 18-19        Districts            TBA

Feb 24-26        Regionals            TBA

Mar 3-5        Area                TBA

Mar 10-12    State                TBA

All varsity games begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Best of the Best Tournament will be girls only.