With a ‘Saturday standard,’ Bentonville West boys basketball seeks to take the next step

Over the next few weeks, SBLive Arkansas will break down every 6A boys and girls basketball team in the state entering the 2020-21 season. Here’s our look at the Bentonville West Wolverines boys.

BENTONVILLE WEST TEAM PAGE | 2020-21 SCHEDULE

HEAD COACH

Greg White, fifth season (53-57)

2019-20 AT A GLANCE

Overall record: 10-15

Conference record: 5-9 (fifth place in 6A West)

Playoffs: Lost in first round

ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS DEPARTED

G Dillon Bailey, first team

W Kade Ruffner, honorable mention

PLAYERS TO WATCH

G Riley Buccino, jr., 6-3

Buccino made his varsity debut as a freshman and received honorable mention all-conference as a sophomore. In the first two games of the 2020-21 season, Buccino recorded 43 and 29 points, respectively. “I think he’s an elite-level scorer,” White said. 

G Evan White, sr., 5-11

White, a returning starter at point guard and strong outside shooter, also received all-conference honorable mention a season ago. He missed 10 games as a junior because of a concussion, and the team went 3-7 without him. “He’s going to make all the right plays,” coach White said of his son. “He sees the game good, has great vision and a really high basketball IQ.”

G Dawson Price, so., 6-4

Price brings size and athleticism to Bentonville West’s backcourt. The sophomore also is a standout baseball player. “He has a really, really good upside to him,” coach White said. “He’s fearless at the rim and can play inside and out.”

G Cade Packnett, jr., 6-2

Packnett is a junior sharp-shooter who set a school record with eight three-pointers in an early-season nonconference win over Gravette. Coach White said Packnett is a tough guy who is hard to guard. “He’s really come a long way and is a really nice player,” coach White added. “He’s a baseball pitcher and I love that mentality — he’s able to get himself out of bad situations.”

OUTLOOK

The Wolverines project to be a strong outside shooting team with several talented scorers on the roster. Coach White also said team camaraderie has been excellent in the beginning of the season.

“They like each other and like playing together, which is a big thing,” he said. “It’s a lot of guys with a team-first, one-more-pass mentality, and with this time and age, they’re embracing that every game can be their last. They are going out with a sense of urgency.”

While the team lost two all-conference standouts in guard Dillon Bailey (first team) and wing Kade Ruffner (honorable mention), Bentonville West has three impact sophomores in Tucker Anderson, Tucker Bowman and Price. Bowman is the backup point guard, and the 6-foot-5 Anderson brings extra size on the wing.

“He’s going to be a good player by the end of the year, but he’s young,” coach White said of Anderson. 

Bentonville West suffered an 11-point loss to eventual co-champion Central in the first round of last season’s playoffs. With several impact players returning, the team is aiming for a deeper postseason run this season.

“We talk about having a Saturday standard, meaning we want to make it to that semifinal Saturday,” coach White said. “Our classification is so top-heavy with North Little Rock and Bryant — those guys are really good, and then you throw in Bentonville, Conway … there are just a lot of teams that make it difficult to get to that spot.

“We’ve made it to the state tourney every year I’ve been here; now we’re trying to take that next step.”

COACH SAID 

“I think we have length, but we don’t have size. We’ve got a lot of long wings, but not a lot of depth in the post.” — Greg White

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