By Tyler Stephenson
Basketball Preview With Coach Kaspar
With a new basketball season underway, the Bobcats must find a way to overcome new obstacles. For Danny Kaspar, Texas State Men’s Basketball head coach, his mission is finding a way to get a young team to reach its full potential.
When Kaspar was hired as the Bobcats’ coach last season, he inherited a team with six seniors. This year, Kaspar has eight new players, only three seniors and seven underclassmen. Kaspar said the biggest challenge to start the year has been getting his young players to keep their emotions in check.
“Sometimes we get a little bit too happy and celebrate too early,” he said. “And other times we get down too quickly when things aren’t going well. I told them they’ve got to stay even keeled: don’t celebrate until the games over and don’t get down until the game’s over.”
Although the Bobcats had more experienced players last season, Kaspar said the team lacked leadership. However, he added that he’s already identified several potential leaders on this year’s squad.
“Last year I did not even have captains because I felt we didn’t have a leader on the team,” he said. “This year we need some leadership from our returning players, particularly Wes Davis and Emani Gant.”
One of those leaders Kaspar mentioned, Gant, was selected as a second team all conference player. He said Gant is one of the many offensive threats the Bobcats have this season.
“We have the potential to have several different young men lead us in scoring from game to game,” said Kaspar. “I think Emani is our best inside player, offensively speaking, but on the perimeter, we have several different players that are capable of giving us 15-to-20 points on any given night.”
While it’s still early in the season, Kaspar said he’s seen glimpses of how good the Bobcats can be. And although it has been a struggle at times, he said he’s enjoyed getting acquainted with his new players.
“I think these players trust me and I trust them more,” he said. “Therefore, there is a greater degree of camaraderie between us and I think that’s important to having a winning team.”
According to Kaspar, his goal for the season isn’t just to win basketball games but to make players better men. He said that with a little personal growth and maturity the Bobcats have a chance to be a top contender in the Sun Belt Conference.