Stein hopes gridiron triumphs rub off
Eudora boys basketball coach Scott Stein said he was confident the Cardinals' success on the gridiron would continue onto the basketball court.
"There's a huge carryover effect for attitude and playing the game," he said.
The down side of the football team's success has been team preparation: Stein's team has only had five practices with a full squad because of the football team's continuing games.
"I'm not going to use that as an excuse," Stein said. "Going as far as you can go in football is always a positive thing."
After losing eight seniors from last year's team, Stein said the Cards would rely heavily on two returning starters junior point guard Tyler Cleveland and senior forward Kaleb Niedens, both of whom made large contributions on the football team.
"I'm going to put the pressure on them, and they'll be expected to make us go," Stein said. "The quarterback on the football team (Cleveland) and the middle linebacker (Niedens) ought to be able to handle the pressure."
Stein said Niedens, a 6-2 three-point specialist, would continue to play on the perimeter.
Senior guards David Grote and Tyler Jackson, who both suited for varsity games last season, should get a lot of playing time, Stein said. Juniors Josh Brouhard, Jesse Montgomery and sophomore Jeremie Bryant are also expected to be in Stein's rotation.
The Cards also have some height this season with 6-4 junior Chris Gabriel and 6-5 senior Andrew Bell, both of whom played junior varsity last season.
"Last year's team probably had a lot more expectations," Stein said. "This year, we don't have a lot of expectations, but we have a good mix of kids. We'll be aggressive and able to get up and down the floor."
Stein said the basketball season had three different parts: pre-Christmas, post-holiday break and playoffs.
Eudora opens its season at class 3A Pleasant Ridge Friday before facing Bishop Ward in the first round of the Gardner-Edgerton Invitational Monday.
The Cards defeated Pleasant Ridge and Bishop Ward last season.
"They have quite a few starters back, so they'll be some what of a veteran team," Stein said. "It will be a big test for us. These first six ballgames will be a learning experience."
Luckily, the Cards also learned a few things about teamwork and fundamental basketball this summer. Seven members of the basketball program attended the University of Oklahoma's team basketball camp. The camp featured the Sooners' head coach Kelvin Sampson and several members of last season's Final Four team.
"The camp they went to was excellent," Stein said. "They played against some competition that we usually don't get to see."
Stein said the Cards could be a factor in the Frontier League. Baldwin, however, is picked to win the league.
"I don't think you'll see anyone dominate the league like last year (Spring Hill)," Stein said. "Gardner and Paola will be tough, and Osawatomie will be improved. Hopefully, we'll improve on what we did last year."
Dirk Kinney, last season's freshman team coach, will serve as varsity assistant, while Eudora football coach Gregg Webb will be the Cards freshman coach this season. Kevin Wade will coach the junior varsity squad.