That’s right. This afternoon and evening Allen Community College’s basketball teams open practices for the 2012-2013 season. The season begins Nov. 1.
Allen’s head coaches Mark James and Andy Shaw told the Register their players are ready to get things started. The Red Devil women and men have been working hard since the start of school with conditioning and weight lifting.
“We’re excited to go to full practices. Our players have come in and worked as hard as they did last year for us,” said James, second-year ACC women’s head coach. “Having everybody back but one player from last year really is making our jobs as coaches easier.
“Our sophomores know what we expect of them in conditioning, in practices and in games. They have taken the freshmen and been strong leaders.”
First-year men’s head coach Andy Shaw has the opposite situation with just two sophomores back from last year.
“But we’ve liked what we’ve seen from our 13 new kids. All of our guys have bought into our system and responded really well to our conditioning and weight lifting sessions,” Shaw said.
The Red Devil women’s first official practice is at 4 o’clock this afternoon. Allen’s men follow with their first practice at 6.
First scrimmages for the Allen teams come quickly. The women have one on Sunday and the men scrimmage on Oct. 13.
The Red Devil men went 14-17 overall last year and 8-10 in Jayhawk Eastern Division play. Shaw was the assistant coach, now he’s head coach and Ben Rovenstine is his assistant.
“We’re both 25-year-olds with a lot of energy. Ben came in and did a really good job recruiting for us. We have Seth Walden and Drelan Tripplett back. We have a good group of freshmen and transfer players,” Shaw said.
Shaw said he is in a learning process being such a young head coach. He said he has reached out to former coaches and his father, who is an assistant coach at a NCAA Division II college.
The Red Devil women bring back nine players off their 11-20 team of last year. They were 6-12 in Jayhawk East play.
“We have 15 players out this season and our players are on a mission. Last year, we were picked to finish last in the conference and that didn’t set well with our girls,” James said. “It has fueled the work ethic of these players and we’ve been pleased with what we’ve seen in conditioning.”
James and Aubrey Jones are back as a coaching staff for the second year in a row. That is a big plus for the ACC women’s basketball program as it has had coaches come and go quickly.
Nov. 1 is the target date for both Allen teams. The men are at Hutchinson Community College that night to open the season. The women play at Oklahoma Wesleyan in Bartlesville, Okla., that afternoon.
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