Recently hired Banks County High School boys’ basketball coach Mike Cleveland has jumped into his new role with both feet.

Cleveland, who arrived at BCHS by way of Hart County High School, began summer practice last week with his new team and reported “good turnout.”

“I’ve been happy with our start,” Cleveland said. “The players are working hard. We have a smart, hard-working group.”

Normally, Cleveland said he would like for his team to play 60 combined junior varsity and varsity games. With him only recently being hired at BCHS, however, the coach said the Leopards will play 21 times this summer.

“We pretty much have a full schedule,” Cleveland said. “We are going to practice several times each week. I believe games are won in the summer. We only have a narrow window in which to work this time of the year so we are making the most of each day.”

By competing this summer, the coach hopes it will make the transition to a new coach easier for the players.

Wanting to be fundamentally sound, Cleveland said he plans to use a slower tempo at BCHS, something of a change from his time at Hart County. He plans to use both zone and man-to-man defensive schemes.

To ensure an easier transition, the middle school team will run the same schemes at the high school.

Currently, Cleveland said Scott Strickland will be his junior varsity coach but he has not completed the remainder of his coaching staff yet.

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