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Weakened Wolves have to wait

POSTED: December 17, 2007 5:02 a.m.
BUFORD — Buford boys basketball coach Milt Travis, who is in the midst of his sixth year at the helm of the Wolves program, is used to this time of year.

He coaches, after all, at a school with a football team that is a perennial powerhouse in the state, meaning that for the first month to month and a half of every season he is without some of his top players.

This year is no different, with the Buford football team getting ready to play in the Class AA state semifinals Saturday against Dublin in the Georgia Dome.

For Travis, however, it’s a positive problem.

"It just means that you have to adjust," said Travis, who has coached his Wolves to two Final Fours and two region championships. "It’s a positive adjustment, those kids that come from football always bring a mentality with them that’s one of hard work, winning and they are ready to get after it."

Among those missing from Buford’s roster (1-1) are six of Travis’ top 12 players, including two sophomores that don’t figure in yet, but he hopes will as soon as they are able to get on the court.

"Aside from the football players we don’t have right now, we lost 9-of-12 players from last year’s team," said Travis. "There isn’t a kid on the floor right now that has tons of varsity experience and even the ones coming in from the football team don’t have experience."

The only exception is four-year player and current starter Twoey Hosch, who also happens to be Buford’s starting quarterback.

"Twoey (Hosch) has been a four-year player for us," said Travis. "He was on the floor when we upset 30-0 Josey (in the state quarterfinals), he was just a freshman."

The football players will, for the most part, take no time off after their season ends and will not only dive head-first into practice, but it won’t be long before they are playing in their first game.

That leaves little time to not only learn plays and gain a respectable amount of chemistry, but also re-condition their bodies for constant sprinting.

"We spent good time with them this summer," said Travis, "and we will hit the floor running when they get here and work on things whether it be Christmas or whenever.

"You can’t make up for lost practice time so you just have to move forward. These are bright kids and we don’t run a complex system. All we really expect is for our people to play hard and with a high level of intensity."

Travis went on to say that the football players intensity level from the playoffs will immediately carry over into their new venture on the basketball court.



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