Joplin boys basketball builds chemistry at PSU team camp

Eagles get offseason practice under new head coach, Bronson Schaake

PITTSBURG, Ks. –  This year, there’s a new face leading the Joplin boys basketball team. Bronson Schaake was hired as the head coach this offseason.

“From everything I heard he was a good coach and now I see that he’s a good coach,” says senior, Always Wright. “What he envisions, he makes us do it on the court. It’s all in pieces right now, but once we put the pieces together, we’re going to be really good.”

The Eagles, are one of 40 teams in attendance at PSU’s team camp. For Joplin, the camp is an opportunity for Schaake to get acclimated with his team.

“It’s an opportunity to see how they gel with one another and how they respond to my coaching style,” Schaake says. “So far they seem like really good kids and are very coachable. They have a lot of potential. They have some size and they have some speed. They seem to pick things up really quickly. They have really good basketball IQ. I just think they need to gel a little bit more together.”

Over the course of the two day camp, the Eagles play six live scrimmages.

“Last year we lacked experience so getting these games in gives us the experience we need,” Wright says.

“You’re playing different style teams,” Schaake adds. “You may play a team that’s really fast or really big team, so it gives me a chance to evaluate it and make adjustments.”

Schaake’s goal for the camp is to maintain a high tempo from tip off to the final buzzer.

“If we can get 32 minutes playing hard focused basketball, that’s what I’m looking for,” Schaake says. “The winning and losing kind of takes care of itself.”

But for the upcoming season, the bar is set high.

“Some of the team goals I have right now are to win the COC and get past the sectional round of the state tournament,” Wright says. “That’s a place that Joplin hasn’t really been able to get past these last couple of years.”

“It kind of sounds crazy, but I told the kids the goal is state,” Schaake says. “That should be your ultimate goal every year, is that you want to be the best one you can be, so why not go for that.”