Marcus Thomas was hired to take over the Penn State Fayette men's basketball team in May, and it would be understandable for him to think about the future in building his program.
However, he has hit the ground running and that includes with what he wants to see right now.
"I have extremely high expectations this year for our group, despite the change in the staff and with nine new players coming in," he said. "We have strong core of returners, several All-Conference caliber players and several newcomers that we expect to have an immediate impact."
Thomas said the team has been open-minded to him and the rest of the staff.
"The guys have done an awesome job of buying in and believing into what we feel we need to do in order to be successful," he said. "There will be growing pains, but if we continue to strive to improve every single day, we will be playing in games that we want to be playing in come postseason time."
Thomas is looking for contributions from across the board and feels the team will rely heavily on a balanced attack on a nightly basis.
"We are confident that Iman and Tavian can continue to build on their success from last year," he said. "Both are All-Conference defensive caliber players."
Thomas also three other players who will be key to the success of the team in Dom Boring (Lancaster, PA/Lancaster HS), transfer Josh Hankins (Phoenix, AZ/Pinnacle HS) and Trevor Laskody (Morgantown, WV/Trinity Christian HS).
"We feel that Dom can have a breakout season as he has worked extremely hard this preseason and we expect that to carry into the season," Thomas said. "Josh is a newcomer and can be a key player as he has the ability to stretch the floor, playing inside and out and can be a real threat for us offensively and defensively. We will also need Trevor to take the reigns as our starting point guard and take a big step this year if we are to get to where we want to go."
Thomas spoke about three transfer in Hankins, Anthony Davis (New Castle, DE/St. George's Technical HS) and Justin Clagg (Newark, DE/Newark HS).
"They can all contribute for us," Thomas said before turning his attention to the five freshmen the team brought in.
The group consists of Josh Hart (Morgantown, WV/Trinity Christian HS), Junior Saluca (Suva, Fiji/Laurel Highlands HS), Dishon Howell (Monessen, PA/Monessen HS), John Loughrie (Kingwood, WV/Preston HS) and Kaeleb Lehman (Connellsville, PA/Geibel Catholic HS).
"Josh is a tough, hard-nosed guard and Junior is a super-skilled, athletic forward," he said. "Dishon is a crafty wing player who can play inside and out. John is an extremely hard worker and Kaeleb is a gritty guard.
"We are aware that we have a younger group, but we will not make excuses or restrict our goals. We expect to compete for championships, and we intend to do so. To this point, we have meshed well and will continue to strive in the classroom, in the community and in the classroom."
For more information on the men's basketball team, go to https://www.psfathletics.com/sports/mbkb/index or follow us on Instagram @fayetteathletics.