Lee Biddlecome figures to be the center of attention for the Carson High School boys' basketball team this season.
Errrr make that the forward of attention for the Senators, who open their season at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Sparks.
After two years of splitting time between the post and forward positions for the Senators, the 6-foot-9 senior is moving full time to the power forward position. It's the same position Biddlecome will play at Bradley University, the school he has already signed a letter-of-intent to play with next season.
"That's where I like to play," said Biddlecome, who sat out during Carson's practice on Saturday with a sprained ankle and may miss Tuesday's game. "I'll be more effective, more of a threat."
No matter where he would have played this season, Biddlecome already figured to be a major threat for his Northern 4A Zone opponents after averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds per game last year during his junior season. He realizes, especially after signing a Division I scholarship, other teams will focus on limiting his effectiveness.
"They'll try to shut me down," Biddlecome said, who's added about 30 pounds to his frame since last season.
Carson coach Tom Andreasen said Biddlecome's skills are well suited for the forward position.
"Lee's got a great ability to read the floor," Andreasen said. "That's what caught the college coaches' eyes - his ability to, at 6-9, run the floor. He runs, shoots, passes the ball around, and does a lot of things for the team. He's one of the better shooters on the team; if all the players had his stroke, they could really shoot."
After playing for both the Senator summer league team and a Reno all-star team, as well as appearing at all-star camps through the summer, Andreasen said Biddlecome has become a much better player.
"(Compared to) this point in the season last year, he's improved a ton," Andreasen said. "I don't think he ever realized how good he could be or how smart he was. Since the end of last season, he's become really focused."
Biddlecome is one of eight returning Senator letter winners from last year's squad that went 14-13 overall and reached the first round of the zone playoffs. There are four new additions to the team; two players from the JV team (Vince Reymus, Chandler Allen) and two transfers (Leo Trabera, a junior from Hawthorne, Rich Serralta, a 6-5 junior from San Jose).
In addition to Biddlecome, the nucleus of the Senators will be made up of junior guard/forward Cody Longero (6-3, 180, 14 pts., 9 rebounds per game in '98-'99) and senior center Matt Leck (6-4, 200), the team's designated rebounder.
"Cody's bigger and stronger this season - he's going to have a great year," Andreasen said.
The other two positions on the floor will be constantly rotated among Reymus, the best outside shooter on the team, and five returners who all should receive ample playing time from Andreasen.
Those players include junior guard Jeff Young (5-7, 135), senior guard Nick Zimmerman (6-1, 175), senior forward Kevin Cote (6-4, 180), senior forward Marc Liveratti (6-4, 180), and senior forward Michael Schreiner (6-3, 160).
"All of these guys can really fly and run the break," Andreasen said. "It doesn't matter who we put around (Biddlecome, Longero and Leck). All of these guys are very versatile players.
"This senior class is really an outstanding group; they're all good, smart kids and can really play. We've been putting different lineups onto the floor every day and no one misses a beat. They've played so much together, they fit like a glove."
Along with everyone else in Northern Nevada, Andreasen expects South Tahoe and Reno to be the Senators toughest competition in Division II this season.
"Our side's tough," Andreasen said. "You'd have to give South Tahoe the edge because they're the defending champions and have everyone back. We're right there with them, and so is Reno.
"We've got to show up for every game and win the games we should win, and then look to beat or at least split with (South Tahoe and Reno)."