Journal reporter Scott Lunte talks to Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Bunch about the upcoming season.
Lunte: The first thing I want to talk about is Ahmad Smith. He really had a breakout year last year. What do you expect out of him this year, and how did he develop into this standout player for you guys last year?
Bunch: Obviously, we got a little more help for him next time around. We’ve got a bigger team and some bigger players, and some players returning that played here previously, and so, it’s not going to be just all on him like everyone maybe would have thought it would have been after last year. We’re still looking for him to have a big year and be one of the leaders in scoring.
Lunte: Talk about how competitive the SLIAC field was on the men’s (basketball) last year. Last year there were five teams that were above .500 in conference play. Talk about the competition in the SLIAC, and what do you expect this year?
Bunch: I said going into last year, I thought it was going to be the deepest we have been at the top in eleven years that I have been here. I knew there were four or five teams that were going to be very senior heavy, and were going to be very talented. I wasn’t sure we were one of the five going into the beginning.
We had lost some guys and really weren’t expected by a lot of people to not be in the top four last year. I think it’s going to be a little different this year, not that it’s going to be worse, but it’s just going to be different. Those teams have lost several players like we did. It’s going to be interesting. I think it’s going to be wide open this year.
Lunte: What is it going to take to win the SLIAC?
Bunch: I think consistency. I think part of our problem last year, our offense was kind of inconsistent and so there were times where we shot the ball when we shot the ball well, we looked really good. Other times that we didn’t shoot it as well, where our shot selection wasn’t as good as it needed to be, we struggle a little bit and had trouble winning some of the tougher games. I think this year, with the addition along with Jarrod, getting Aaron Griffin back and the addition of Kevin Miller returning from three or four years ago, it gives us a big post presence inside.
Lunte: Think back. What is your all-time favorite Webster basketball memory?
Bunch: I don’t know if I just have one. One of the best was when Jarrod and Hollis were freshman and we won the conference tournament. That was the day we won the league and the girls had won the tournament earlier in the day. So we all celebrated both winning the conference tournament and then going to the national tournament. That was a really good day.