Q: What is your coaching experience?
A: I am entering my 15th year of coaching. I had the great privilege to be an assistant coach for two years at San Juan High school under Dennis Jones. Then going to college I was an assistant at Parowan for 3 years. Then as you know I spent 6 years in Moab, and I am starting my 5th year here at San Juan.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your team this year.
A: This year’s team is a fun team to coach and watch play. We are really looking to up-tempo the game. Our motto this year is “Run, Gun, and Have Fun.”
Q: What experience do you have returning?
A: We only lost 2 kids last year, so we bring back a lot of experience. I have several kids with a ton of varsity experience.
Q: So far into the season at 6-0, what has been your team strength?
A: I feel our biggest strength is our experience coming back. Several of our kids have played since their freshman year. Another strength is our depth. I am not afraid to play anyone off the bench. And most of all, I love our team chemistry.
Q: Any weaknesses you dare discuss openly?
A: I feel we have a great start, but at times we struggle on the boards, which has been a big emphasis for us in practice lately.
Q: Who are your go-to players?
A: We teach all our kids to be aggressive and be a threat out on the floor, but Kyle Johnson, Nate Einerson, and Dane Lyman have really emerged as confident go-to players.
Q: Who is your top defensive player?
A: I have two kids who really excel on the defensive end of the floor. Nate Einerson and Teddy Royer have been our defensive stoppers against our opponents. But again we teach each player must be a great defender to be able to play for us.
Q: Who is your top offensive player?
A: Right now Kyle Johnson averages 17 points a game along with 5 assists. He is an outstanding player. He is fun to watch create for his teammates. Nate Einerson is averaging 10 points, Teddy Royer and Dane Lyman at 9 a piece. I feel we usually get a great balance of scoring.
Q: Who is having a break-out, surprise everyone season?
A: If you really like good hard play, guys who get on the floor, and play passing lanes, Teddy Royer is that kind of player. He never gives up on a play. He is all over the floor. He is going to surprise a lot of people. He is our sleeper. Most teams will focus on Kyle, Dane, and Nate, and Teddy will get a quiet 10-15 points. I love how he plays basketball.
Q: How about the JV and C teams? How are they looking?
A: I have great young kids who have worked hard in the off season to become better basketball players. They will have a great season and they will be fun to watch in the future.
Q: What kind of basketball do you play?
A: If you were to walk in our locker room, you would know right then how we teach our kids to play. On the window are our Goals for practice and games; “PLAY HARD, PLAY SMART, PLAY TOGETHER, AND HAVE FUN.”
Q: What has been a highlight so far this year?
A: I guess our highlight is our competitiveness. It is so nice to see all that hard work that we have done in the off season and over the years pay off in games. I feel we have a great chance to win every time we step on the floor.
Q: Of the six wins, which one had the most “wow”!
A: I really enjoy them all, but I guess the Emery game was one that I felt showed we could compete really well in 2A. Emery is a great 3A program and a well coached team, so I felt that was a great win.
Q: Best case scenario, how do you see this team doing?
A: Baring any major injuries, I feel these kids will be right in the middle of the mix this year, if they continue to work hard and improve their game.
Q: What is an effective method you use in practice and in games to build the team concept in basketball?
A: We preach team a lot. We try to communicate with our players. We sit down with each one of them and discuss their role on the team and talk to them on what they need to work on and get better. We want this to be a positive experience for all our players and we want them to enjoy the moments they have together as a basketball family.
Q: Who are your assistant coaches?
A: I feel our strength this year is our staff. We have great experience and knowledge on the bench. I am a lucky head coach to have these men help me. Jason Torgerson, Jimmy Johnson, Travis Black, Steve Olsen, and Cardon Slade.
Q: What is a must-see game this season?
A: I hope all our games became a must see. I hope the fans enjoy watching these kids play. But any game in our region is going to be a battle. South Sevier, Manti, Richfield, North Sevier, and Gunnison are all excellent teams who are all well coached who will all be tough to beat. It should be a great year.