Much like a firearm after the discharge of a round, SLCC Men’s Basketball is reloading to shoot—in the basketball sense, of course. Second-year Head Coach Todd Phillips and his staff are getting ready for a 2012-13 year that will feature many new faces in the Bruin blue and gold, with ten sophomores leaving the team at the end of last season.
“We’re going to have a brand new team except for Skyler Halford and some redshirt guys,” said Phillips, who led the Bruins to a 22-9 overall record last season, 9-6 in the Scenic West Athletic Conferene (SWAC). “I’m looking forward to it, I think it’s just about building on what we did last year and getting better.”
- 11/2-3 Bruin Classic TBA
- 11/8-10 SLCC Tournament TBA
- 11/20 Indian Hills 7:30 p.m.
- 11/23-24 Thanksgiving Classic TBA
- 12/15 Snow College 5 p.m.
- 1/3 North Idaho 7:30 p.m.
- 1/5 Southern Idaho 5 p.m.
- 1/31 Colorado NW 7:30 p.m.
- 2/2 USU-Eastern 5 p.m.
- 2/9 Snow College 5 p.m.
- 2/14 Southern Idaho 7:30 p.m.
- 2/16 North Idaho 5 p.m.
Redshirt sophomores Morgan Hesleph and Mike Evans will join 2010 Bruin standout Yi-Hsiang Chou [Shawn Chow] to give Phillips four players who know the ropes at SLCC. With lots of roster spots to fill, Phillips has been hard at work and is near completion of the roster for 2012-13.
“We’ve signed a couple of really great in-state guys, probably some of the best in Utah,” said Phillips. “Jaden Jackson comes to us from West Jordan High School. He’s a great shooter and will be a huge asset for our program.”
Coach Phillips has been on the recruiting path since the day after SLCC fell to Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) rival North Idaho College (NIC) in the first round of the Region 18 Basketball Championships last season.
He’s learned valuable lessons from former Bruin coaching legend Norm Parrish, for whom Phillips was an assistant for three years before Parrish accepted the position as Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Utah.
“What Coach Parrish always told me was that we’ve always got to have our nets out, so to speak,” said Phillips. “Recruiting is a year-round process and we’re always looking for the right player. Some of the fish fall in your net late, sometimes a bigger fish comes along—but we’re always fishing.”
The Bruins recently acquired 6-foot-5 Jawon Buchanan of Seattle, WA, post player Seth Weinheimer out of St George, UT and a guard from Las Vegas with an apt basketball name, Gary Payton. New additions in tow, Phillips says he has also seen great things from his returning redshirt players.
Redshirting an athlete gives them an opportunity to develop without using a year of collegiate athletic eligibility.
“Redshirting Hesleph and Evans gave them an extra year to work on their bodies, get bigger and stronger to have the chance to come in and play for us,” said Phillips, a former basketball player at Snow College and Lewis-Clark State College. “We stress to our redshirts the importance of learning our system and what it means to play at this level.”
Basketball coaches in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) are limited in the amount of practice time they get with their players during summer. With many Bruins out-of-state or working summer jobs before school starts, he will have to wait until October 1st and the official opening of team assessing the team, but he has an idea of what they’ll be good at.
“It’s early to say exactly how we’ll play, but we definitely want to get up-and-down the floor a little bit more this year. You’ll see a faster tempo team and we will hopefully put up some more points,” said Phillips. “Halford can get really get up the floor, and we’ve got some guys that can run with him.”
Phillips feels that the Bruins will have talented big bodies and outside shooting as well, and won’t be shallow in terms of athleticism this year. Though the Bruins have a tough preseason schedule that includes perennial NJCAA top-five team Indian Hills College, he’s confident that the team will perform well.
“We have high expectations, we expect to compete for the conference championship again this year,” said Phillips. “I like our preseason schedule, I think it’s a tough one—and anyone who knows the SWAC knows our league is a monster, but our guys are going to be ready to go.”
The SLCC Men will get their first opportunity to test their fast break legs on Nov. 2-3 on their home floor at Bruin Arena in the annual Bruin Classic Preseason Tournament. The Bruins will play several preseason games before opening SWAC play against in-state rival Snow College on Dec. 15, tipoff at 5 p.m. inside Bruin Arena.
SLCC’s Bruin Arena is located inside the Lifetime Activities Center on the College’s Taylorsville Redwood Campus, and SLCC students are admitted to home games free of charge with a valid OneCard. Home games are broadcast live on SLCCTV (Comcast 17) and on Radio SLCC at radio.slcc.edu. Fans can find out more information at slccbruins.com.