Archive for Thursday, April 15, 2004

Newest Bobcat eager to tackle challenge

I am an ultra-competitive person in life. It’s all about the challenge to me.”

April 15, 2004

There is a simple reason why Mike McBride, the former head coach at Licking High School in south central Missouri, wanted the head coaching job at Basehor-Linwood.

"The challenge," said McBride, who school officials selected Monday to lead the Bobcats boys hoops program. "I am an ultra competitive person in life. It's all about the challenge to me."

McBride, an El Dorado native and former junior college basketball player, is the architect behind a resurrection of the Licking Wildcats boys basketball team. He coached there for six seasons and has an overall record of 101-62.

However, it may be more pertinent to look closer at his last four seasons coaching for the Missouri class 3A school. The last four years the Wildcats went 82-28, good for a .745 winning percentage.

This year, they were 20-8 and 6-2 in the league.

McBride compared the turnaround at Licking, which had 26 consecutive winning seasons before struggling to 9-18 and 10-16 four years ago, to the rejuvenation he hopes to inspire at Basehor-Linwood, another program with tradition that has fallen on hard times.

"When I was here, I was looking at the third year to be the year," he said. "To say it's going to turnaround in three years wouldn't be a concrete thing. It may take a little longer than that, but anybody you talk to that knows me, knows I don't quit. If they stick with me, we'll get it done.

"You put me on a basketball court and things are going to happen."

McBride said he likes to coach up-tempo, but that he drills his teams in the half court just as thoroughly.

"I like to coach a fast game," McBride said. "The kids enjoy it, they enjoy showcasing their skills so we like to get up and down the floor. But, we also want to make sure when we need a basket, there's some structure there."

McBride plans to bring a "K-game," halfcourt offense with him to Basehor-Linwood. The offense is heavy on motion, screens, and passing; it's similar to the offense the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks used, McBride said.

But, don't be fooled. McBride said his teams are no strangers to the defensive side of the floor. They'll mix defenses occasionally, but the new coach said man-to-man principles will be reviewed daily during the season.

His philosophy for practice and games is simple: you don't play hard, you don't play.

"If you put the work into it, you'll get to play," he said.

McBride plans to finish the school year at Licking before coming to Basehor-Linwood. He hopes to meet with players and their parents before the school year is out; an exact date of that meeting has not been scheduled.

Also, he hopes to be in town in time to implement an off-season program, which will include weight lifting and conditioning, and summer camps.

For now, McBride said he's excited about the opportunity the Bobcat program presents.

"Watching kids grow is fun to me. The challenge of restoring confidence in kids is fun. Working hard and having success is something they can carry on with them the rest of their lives."

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