Last season was a very difficult year for Coach Rick Bull and the Altus High Bulldogs.
There was a multitude of injuries and it amounted to a three win season.
Things are looking up this year and Bull is optimistic. “There’s no way to go but up,” Bull said. “I never in all the years I have been coaching have never had a year like last year. The injuries and everything made it tough. We still had a core group of kids that would not seen playing time had it not been for what had happened. I know if we would have had everybody healthy and not had some other issues where we ended up losing players, we would have won more than three. But how many, I couldn’t say.”
But it’s a new year is here and the Bulldogs look for a better season. It all gets started when Altus hosts Elk City Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
There is good reason for optimism in the Bulldog camp this season. Eight seniors are on the 12 player roster.
It’s a guard/perimeter player team.
Three year starter Kasen Warren (6-0, Sr.) heads the group. Diquon Woodhouse (5-11, Sr.), who missed the entire season last year because of a knee injury will be counted only heavily at the guard position. Also Imashay Shivers (5-11, Sr.), Landon Ybarra (5-10, Sr.) and Nico Maldonado (5-11, Sr.) will all see playing time.
“They all have good speed and have a good understanding of we do,” Bull said.
Two sophomores who could work their way into some playing time are two guard/forwards in Kalyn Knight (6-1) and Devin Wilkerson (6-0).
“Both of them have good size and shoot the ball well and their pretty athletic,” Bull said.
Four are set to divide playing time at the forward/post slots. They include Malik Knight (6-1, Jr.), Montel Vidot (6-0, Sr.), Tanner Cross (6-3, Soph.) and Thomas Fernandez (6-0, Sr.).
“I feel good about putting nine to 11 players on the floor any night,” Bull said. “Depth shouldn’t be an issue.”
Style of Play
Nothing much will change. The Bulldogs will be up tempo on offense
“People always ask me aren’t you a little concerned with turnovers when we’re up tempo,” Bull said. “But I think it’s an advantage to us not to get into a half court game. Now, I know you have to play half court some especially when people have us outsized and that happens often. But we’ve have been able to go up and down the floor and keep our turnovers to a minimum.”
Defensively it will be a man to man defense with some man to man full court pressure. There will also be some trapping involved. In the past the 1-3-1 trap and Bull is considering using a 1-2-2 and trap out of that as well.
Bull did say he was optimistic. “Oh yeah, cautiously optimistic,” he said. I don’t see how we can’t be better.”
Once again the Bulldogs will host the Clester Harrington Shortgrass Tournament and it looks to be a good one.
Two time defending Class 3A Champion Oklahoma City Centennial, Lawton MacArthur, Lawton Eisenhower, Duncan, Chickasha, the home schools from Dallas and Houston plus Altus are in the field.
Landon Ybarra, 5-10, Sr. guard
Imasha Shivers, 5-11, Sr. guard
Diquon Woodhouse, 5-11, Sr., guard
Kalyn Knight, 6-1, Soph. guard/forward
Kasen Warren, 6-0, Sr., guard/forward
Devin Wilkerson, 6-0, Soph. guard/forward
Malik Knight, 6-1, Jr., forward/post
Montel Vidot, 6-0, Sr. forward/post
Tanner Cross, 6-3, Soph., forward/post
Thomas Fernandez, 6-0, Sr., forward/post
Nico Maldonado, 5-11, Sr., guard/forward
Clint Cook, 6-2, Sr., forward/post
Head coach: Ricky Bull
Assistant Coach: Tommy Tucker
Nov. 27, Elk City here, 8 p.m.
Nov. 30, Anadarko, here, 8 p.m.
Dec. 4, at Elgin, 8p.m.
Dec. 11, Weatherford, here, 8 p.m.
Dec. 14, Duncan, here, 8 p.m.
Dec. 18, at Clinton, 8 p.m.
Jan. 8, at Elk City, 8 p.m.
Jan. 10-12, Chickasha Tournament, TBA
Jan. 17, Lawton MacArthur, here, 8 p.m.
Jan. 18, at Cache, 8 p.m.
Jan. 22, Clinton, here, 8 p.m.
Jan. 24-26, Shortgrass Tournament, here
Jan. 29, Cache, here, 8 p.m.
Feb. 1, Elgin, here, 8 p.m.
Feb. 5, Woodward, here, 8 p.m.
Feb. 8, at Duncan, 8 p.m.
Feb. 12, at Anadarko, 8 p.m.
Feb. 15, at Lawton MacArthur, 8 p.m.
Feb. 21-23, Regional Tournament