2017-18 Taos Tigers boys basketball preview


Taos Tigers Boys’ Basketball at a glance

Colors: Orange, black, silver

Coach: Hernándo “Nando” Chávez (1st season)

2016 overall record: 1-26

District 2-4A record: 1-7

District 2-4A teams: Pojoaque Valley Elks, Robertson Cardinals, St. Michael’s Horsemen, Taos Tigers, West Las Vegas Dons

Key Players

Abdul Khweis, freshman. Individually, Khweis has all the needed tools in the toolbox. Lanky and agile, Khweis handles the ball exceptionally well and moves with ease laterally. Look for Khweis to score in the double-digit range consistently and to play multiple positions throughout the year.

Quinn Moon, junior. One of the impressive stats from last season that may have been overlooked, was Moon’s field goal percentage. By pulling the trigger on the five to 10-foot jumpers, Moon chipped in several high percentage shots in the paint – creating space for other scorers. Look for more of the same this year, as Moon utilizes his speed to produce lots of points.

Justin Madrid; junior. One of a strong trio of guards, Madrid brings range, ball handling skills and a court awareness to the Tiger backcourt. Shots from beyond the arc and the ability to lead the fast break are just a few of the strengths Madrid brings to the Tigers.

Taos Tigers current roster:

Jude Suazo, senior; Colin Russel, senior; Allen Martínez, senior; Santiago “Saint” Cortez, senior; Quinn Moon, junior; Derek Chacon, junior; Enrique Archuleta, junior; Martin Jaramillo, junior; Justin Madrid, junior; Husam Khweis, junior; Tristan Garcia, eighth-junior; Cruz Martínez, junior; Noah Armijo, sophomore; Abdul Khweis, freshman.

2017 Outlook:

It’s difficult to compare win-loss records from last year due to the forfeiture of all but one of Taos’ wins resulting from a personnel rules violation. The difficulty lies in the coverage and evaluation of team victories that were reported in real time as such – but ultimately became losses at the end of the 2016-17 season. In effect, the stricken games are null, so no stats or records can be counted except for the 2-0 final score designation.

Thus, in a sense, the Taos Tigers are working off a clean slate: new coaching staff, new team philosophy, new record, new uniforms and new attitude. All that is needed is a new indoor arena.

The main issue that hampered the Tigers last year was the inability to score baskets. In the 17 losses that actually occurred on the court, the Tigers managed just 806 total points for an stinging 47.4 point-per-game average. In nine of those games, Taos languished in the 40s or 30s – cracking the 60-point horizon just once (61 points in the loss against the West Las Vegas Dons on Feb. 11, 2017) the entire year. Scoring averages ticked upward slightly during the District 2-4A season when the Tigers improved to 47.8 points-per-game, but in class 4A teams must score in the mid-60s consistently to be successful.

Other key factors to Taos’ success will be defend the basket and to keep bigger teams from easy, interior shots. Plus, the ability to apply full-court pressure and sustain attacks with fresh legs off the bench will help against district foes. Also, many of the players are familiar with Coach Chávez’ system, so learning curves will be shortened. Another factor to consider is the fact that every team (except Robertson) in District 2-4A has a new coach, so league opponents may face learning curve challenges of their own.

2017 Tigers basketball schedule

Bold- denotes home meet.

* - denotes District 2-4A game

(All home games to take place at Otero Gymnasium and all times are approximate)

Nov. 25-25, at Bernalillo Invite, T.B.A.

Nov. 28, Santa Fe Indian School, 7 p.m.

Dec. 2, Moriarty, 3 p.m.

Dec. 5, Capital (Santa Fe), 7 p.m.

Dec. 9, at Mora, 4 p.m.

Dec. 14, Escalante (Tierra Amarilla), 7 p.m.

Dec. 21, Bernalillo, 7 p.m.

Dec. 27-29, at Stu Clark Tourney (NM Highlands University), T.B.A.

Jan. 4-6, at Ruidoso Shootout, T.B.A.

Jan. 9, at Los Alamos, 7 p.m.

Jan. 11-13, at Hope Christian Tourney (Albuquerque), T.B.A.

Jan. 16, Pojoaque Valley, 7 p.m.

Jan. 19, at St. Michael’s, 7 p.m.

Jan. 24, at West Las Vegas, 7 p.m.

Jan. 27, Robertson (Las Vegas), 7 p.m.

Feb. 2, at Pojoaque Valley, 7 p.m.

Feb. 7, St. Michael’s, 7 p.m.

Feb. 10, West Las Vegas, 7 p.m.

Feb. 13, at Robertson (Las Vegas), 7 p.m.

Feb. 19-24, District 2-4A Tournament

Mar. 2, First Round – State Tournament, T.B.A.

Mar. 6-10, State Championships (Albuquerque), T.B.A.

Schedule game dates, times, opponents and locations are subject to changes, updates, postponements, delays and cancellations.