With just two returning starters and a new, faster offensive scheme, the Mineral County High boys basketball team could be in for a difficult season.

But, coach Pete Summerbell thinks these are assets instead of liabilities.

“We’ve got a new mix,” Summerbell said. “We’ve got a young team with a couple of veterans. It depends on how it comes together, but I’m very optimistic that by midseason and the end of the year we’ll be in good shape.”

Serpents’ fans should expect to see faster paced games this year.

“I think we’re trying to put in a little bit of a quicker offense and run the floor a little bit more,” Summerbell said. “With the height we’ve got, if we control the board and we get our running game going we’ll be very exciting to watch.”

Summerbell said his new game plans will be gradually phased in throughout the season, but that strong defense will always be a key factor in Serpents play.

Returning to the lineup are Collin Sanford, senior, and Tyshawn Bonner,  sophomore.

“They’ve got experience,” Summerbell said. “Collin’s played four years for me” he started starting at the end of last year—he earned the position to actually start. Tyshawn, he’s a sophomore and he’s awesome.”

Returning to the back line is Jared Kuehey, a senior center who started “off and on” last season, Summerbell said.

Victor Williams, a senior who transferred into the program this year, is also going to be a crucial part of the Serpents’ effort this season, both as a leader and as a player.

“We’ve actually got some good players as far as having a year or two experience,” Summerbell said.

The Mineral County boys will suit up for the first time on Thursday during the Serpent Classic tournament in Hawthorne.