"This is the first year for it,'' he said. "We're down.''
Osborne hopes that the situation is just temporary until everyone is healthy. Otherwise, he acknowledged, it could stunt the growth of players like freshmen Shawn Arthur, Kaden Meeks and Alex Hamrick, who only got to play a couple of minutes each at the end of a 27-point win against Clay County last week.
"We've got the three freshmen and a couple of sophomores we really want to get playing time for us,'' Osborne said. "It's important to try and get some games for them. We're hoping to play some [JV games] when everyone gets back.''
More room to move
Don't expect Buffalo's style of play to change all that much since it moved to a more-spacious court in its brand-new school building.
For many of the 61 years at its old, cramped gym, affectionately known as "The Barn,'' the Bison employed full-court or trapping pressure defense against befuddled opponents and often had them running into (or barely avoiding) the walls and bleachers that tightly ringed the floor.
But now that the spaces are more wide-open in the new gym, Buffalo isn't going to alter its style.
"We're still going to try it,'' said veteran coach Chuck Elkins.
"I think that in order to play slower, you have to have that one dominant person you can go to - and we don't have that. We have [6-1] Dylan Rich and [6-1] Bradley Harris, and they'll do a great job. They'll battle you all the way. They're just not the kind of guys who you can turn everything to in a half-court offense.
"I always felt that way. Back in the day, we had a couple 6-8 kids and we ran everything through them in the halfcourt - but we really don't have that [now]. We've got [guards] Isaiah Robinson and Levi Jordan. We have to use what we've got, and that's to try and outrun people.''
Winfield digs in
The preliminaries are over for Winfield.
The Generals, who competed as a Class AAA independent since moving up a division for the 2008-09 school year, embark on their first MSAC league games in the coming days.
Winfield visits Ripley (1-0) Friday and plays at home against Princeton (1-0) Tuesday before a Dec. 21 date against state power Wheeling Park during the Hoops Classic at the Civic Center.
The Generals began the season 2-0 with one-sided victories against Point Pleasant (66-44) and Lincoln County (81-27).
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.