Basketball fans around central Virginia have long wondered what the Fluvanna County boys basketball team would look like without YaYa Anderson, the 2011 Virginia AA Co-Player of the Year and two-time Jefferson District Player of the Year.
The early results are in and this much remains true: the Flucos are still a force to be reckoned with.
Fluvanna head coach Munro Rateau has his young squad off to a perfect 7-0 record as the Flucos begin District play Friday at Western Albemarle.
"We've got some young guys that have stepped up for us. We've been a little inconsistent and that's because of our lack of playing experience but when the game's been close they've stepped up and done a good job," Rateu explained after practice Thursday at Fluvanna's palatial new gymnasium.
Two of those youngsters in particular are sophomore guards Jalen Harrison and Vinny Agee. The duo got valuable playing experience last year as freshman, playing alongside Anderson.
Now the two have stepped up to shoulder the scoring load.
"Yeah me and Vinny over the summer we were talking to each other like 'yeah we gotta play hard this year, do everything we can and come back and just fill the shoes of YaYa and take our team to victory this year,'" Harrison said.
Agee, meanwhile, credits team unity for the Flucos' early success.
"We really try to stress on teamwork and we really think the whole team should come together as one big person," Agee said. "I really think its chemistry. We've had a lot of new guys come in, some JV so chemistry is a big part of our success."
"We've played really well as a team. I think that's the biggest thing about this group is we're a team," Rateau added. "We've got 4-5 guys who can score for us. Most of the time Jalen and Vinny are there at the top but we've got some other kids who can score."