It should be an interesting year for the Altus High Bulldog basketball team.
Coach Rick Bull’s crew will open their season Tuesday when they travel to Elk City. Tip off is set for 8 p.m.
Bull has a young but athletic group of players that were on hand when pre season workouts began.
Here is a breakdown of the club:
Seven players are available at these positions.
Junior Jeremiah Ward, senior Kasey King, and sophomore Jacob Cope are the candidates at point guard.
Juniors Deandre Chandler, Kalyn Knight, Devin Wilkerson and Hasanti McGill are vying for playing at the shooting guard position.
Seniors Malik Knight and Austin Parks plus juniors Tyadrien Wood Hall, Tanner Cross and sophomore McRae Stephens should see playing time at these positions.
Style of Play
There won’t be any changes. The Bulldogs play a fast tempo offense that gets up and down the floor. It will be a pressure man-to-man defense, with a mixture of zones and some full court pressure.
“When I got the job (head coaching job) 10 years ago just knowing that we would always have some kids that can run and typically wouldn’t be very big. I decided on an up tempo style type of basketball, Bull said. “I kind of feel like we have to do that on both ends. If you run the ball on offense and then play some sort of passive defense that typically slows the game down. It still pretty much will be man-to-man and we will mix in a few zones.”
Bull said his optimistic.
“Yeah,” he said. “We’re really as athletic as we’ve been in four or five years. The biggest concern at this point is experience. We have one returning starter (Malik Knight) and and I have two kids that saw any substantial varsity playing time (Devin Wilkerson and Kalyn Knight). We do have some size. Not only do we have good athleticism, we’re little bigger, a little longer than we have been. Those factors I’m hoping is going to offset our lack of experience. It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it. “
The popular tournament will have the same teams in it as last year.
Joining Altus will be Lawton Eisenhower, Lawton MacArthur, Duncan, Clinton, Oklahoma City Centennial and home schools from Dallas and Houston are in the field.
Last year’s runnerup Lawton Eisenhower should be good. Lawton MacArthur lost several players from last year’s team but has had four transfers that moved in that should make them competitive. Centenial has won the Class 3A state title two of the last three years and was a semifinalist last season.
Houston boasts one of the best high school players in the country in 6-9 senior Justin Jackson. He has verbally committed to North Carolina.
“It’s going just as always really good, Bull said.
Bulldog notes: Bull has been in the Altus school system his entire coaching career. This is his 10th years as head coach. Prior to that he was an assistant to then head coach Brent Cummins for six years. Before that he was a coach on the freshman level for 12 years.
Jacob Cope, 5-8, Soph., guard
Jeremiah Ward, 5-8, Jr. G
Deandre Chandler, 5-11, Jr. G
Kalyn Knight, 6-2, Jr. G/F
Devin Wilkerson, 6-3, Jr., G/F
Malik Knight, 6-2, Sr., F/P
Kasey King, 5-9, Sr., G
Hasanti McGill, 6-0, Jr., G?F
Tanner Cross, 6-3, Jr., F/P
Austin Parks, 6-6, Sr., F/P
Tyadrien Wood Hall, 6-2, Jr. F/P
McCrae Stephens, 6-0, Soph., F/P
26, at Elk City, 6:30 p.m.
3, Elgin, here, 6:30 p.m.
10, at Weatherford, 6:30 p.m.
13, at Duncan, 6:30 p.m.
20, Clinton, here, 6:30 p.m.
7, Elk City, here, 6:30 p.m.
9-11, Chickasha Tournament, TBA
14, at Anadarko, 6:30 p.m.
17, Cache, here, 6:30 p.m.
23-25, Shortgrass Tournament, TBA
31, at Elgin, 6:30 p.m.
4, at Woodward, 6:30 p.m.
7, Duncan, here, 6:30 p.m.
14, MacArthur, here, 6:30 p.m.
18, Anadarko, 6:30 p.m.
21, at MacArthur, 6 p.m.
Feb 27-March 1, Regional Tournament, TBA