High expectations for senior-laden Indians

by Todd Brooks

Coming into his second year as Comanche head coach, Anthony Bowie finds himself in a good spot - a starting line-up of five talented seniors.

“The best thing that has happened to us is that we have been able to be together,” Bowie said. “Right after basketball season ended last year, we were able to start early. The next day we had guys lifting weights. I think that continued on in the spring and in the summer we got a full offseason together and played in some competitive team camps, which was great. So, it’s probably different going into year two. I didn’t come in until June last year and we weren’t able to do that much.”

This year, he’s been able to work more individually with the players.

“We have so many opportunities now for the kids to get better,” Bowie said. “We’re always having open gyms and they are lifting weight. I’m able to learn their abilities more and work on their areas of weakness.”

It’s also been another year for the players to get used to his system.

“We have all five starters back and our sixth man in Colby Shannon back,” Bowie said. “He’ll have to step in early because we have a couple of starters out with injuries.”

When everyone is healthy, the starting five will consist of Myles and Dillon Ellis, Hunter Lassley, Corbin Bowen and Briar Blair.

“Myles has been working tremendously on his shot and getting his shot off quicker,” Bowie said. “With defenders coming at him, he’s got to be a shooter. He’s a really good defender. He put in a lot of hours in the offseason on his shot.”

Bowie also said he has had some good scrimmages.

“He’s really taken some steps to be a better player,” Bowie said. “His brother is an explosive guard. He loves to play in open space and play off some high ball screens and get to the rim and create. Briar is a really good slasher, and probably the best one who can go and create his own shot.”

In the low post will be Lassley, who improved dramatically in the second half of the season with his offense.

“Hunter was all conference last year and he’s continued to make strides working on the inside,” Bowie said. “He likes to play around the perimeter and shoot it, but the next step for his game is developing an inside game and he’s been making strides.”

Rounding out the seniors will be Bowen.

“He’s a playmaker guy,” Bowie said. “You can plug him in anywhere and he can play any position. He can play the point, he can shoot a little bit and score off the bounce and he can guard big guys. He has that little bit of an attitude in him, a little bit of Draymond Green and so we look to him to make plays and he’s a really good passer.”

There will be some depth on the bench as well with players such as Jonathan Alvarez, Hollister Pollock, Brycen Lassley and Joe Zavala.

“Joe’s got a real good feel for the game, he’s just a young guy but he knows the game well and we can plug him in there,” Bowie said. “Cooper Epperson works tremendously hard. He actually is a scout guy, but he challenges those other guys about what they are going to see in a game. He’s a really great practice player and a really great kid to have in your program.”