Tom Collier is a realistic guy. The second-year Norwich varsity boys basketball coach estimated that his team would finish around 10-6 or 9-7 in the regular season. Count Collier among those in the know who are pleasantly surprised with the Tornado's performance.
Collier pointed out before the season that senior Kyle Edwards was his only proven commodity on the varsity level. Edwards helped Norwich to a Section IV title last year, and was an all-state selection. Also returning to the fold were 2011-2012 backups Danny Carson and Grant Brightman. The duo averaged perhaps a quarter of action per game last year, and their scoring was almost nonexistent. The rest of the Tornado lineup this season was filled by newcomers from the junior varsity level.
“My thoughts (before the season) were based on the age of our kids and having Kyle back as our only returning starter,” Collier said.
Collier planned to rely heavily on Edwards, but that plan was thwarted almost from the start. When practice started from November, Edwards was not fully recovered from a badly sprained ankle that he injured at the end of the Tornado's football season. Edwards played through that, but something was still amiss. Edwards didn't have his usual explosiveness to the basket. His knees bothered him, but again, he soldiered forward through the first four weeks of the season before finally taking a seat in the consolation game of the Stop-DWI Tournament in late December.