Stein wants team to press more
After a couple weeks of practice first-year Eudora High School boys' basketball coach Scott Stein is optimistic about the returning players he inherited from a 14-8 Chad Eshbaugh-coached squad. But he hopes the Cardinals will be able to find their offensive range early in the season.
"I like the fact that we have a lot of experience coming back this year and good senior leadership," Stein said. "Right now, we're not shooting the ball very well."
Stein said that the players have not had to make major adjustments in his offensive and defensive schemes from Eshbaugh's strategies.
"I haven't seen a lot of problems at all," Stein said. "There are a lot of similarities with what I do (and Eshbaugh's system). We are going to press more than in the past."
Stein became familiar with eight of the 12 members on the Cardinal roster as an assistant football coach in the fall.
Senior hoopsters Zac Tyler, Lear Bowling, Tommy Stein, Tommy Shutt and Matt Clark, juniors Dustin Moyer and Kaleb Niedens and sophomore Kaleb Niedens all played on the football field for EHS.
"I was able to learn quite a bit about the kids," Stein said. "We have high expectations and the fact that they played well in football will carry over."
In addition to the seniors who played football, seniors Wes Hinman, James Blades and Jason Burrous and junior David Grote round out the 2001-02 roster.
Stein's coaching staff will consist of Eudora Middle School football coach Kevin Wade, Chris DeVictor and assistant baseball coach Dirk Kenney.
Stein will coach his first game for Eudora when the Cardinals play Belton (Mo.) in the first round of the Cardinal Invitational at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at EHS. Belton lost to Kearney (Mo.) in its first game of the season. The Cardinals will face either Bishop Ward or Frontier League foe Gardner-Edgerton in the second game of the round-robin tournament on Tuesday. In the other bracket, Baldwin will face Turner and Spring Hill will take on first-year school Blue Valley West.
Sophomore point guard Tyler Cleveland said he is ready to step up and take a leadership position this season after playing on the varsity squad as a freshman last year.
"I'm going to have to lead and I think I'm more mature this year," he said. "I'm not turning the ball over as much as I used to."
Senior Zac Tyler, who is coming off a stellar football season in which he made all-state 4A linebacker, said he is ready to get back into game mode.
"I think we're starting to get tired of practices and we're wanting to get games going," Tyler said. "I think our emotion will carry over (from football). Everyone is ready for a break-out season."
While Stein witnessed the eight athletes' competitive nature on the gridiron this fall, he knew that they would also be tough on the basketball court when he watched them play in summer league ball.
"Our team has a competitiveness and you can't count them out of any ballgame," Stein said. "They work very well together and everyone is more concerned with what the team does. I am anticipating good things."