Nov 29, 2022

2022-23 Preseason Profile: Chapman boy's basketball

Posted Nov 29, 2022 10:06 PM

Salina Post contributor

Coverage of Chapman boys basketball is presented by Salina Ortho: Quality orthopedic care when you need it!
Coverage of Chapman boys basketball is presented by Salina Ortho: Quality orthopedic care when you need it!

After a winless 2021-22 season, the Chapman boy's basketball team will look to get back on track and make strides in the right direction as the new campaign gets underway.

The Fighting Irish will once again be under the direction of head coach Drew Gruver, who enters his second year at the helm of the boy’s team.

With such a young group taking the floor last season, Chapman will return a majority of its scoring from a year ago and are primed and hungry to return the program to its winning ways with a familiar lineup that should look like this come tip-off.

G- Ian Suther (Jr)
G- Gage Picking (Jr)
G- Ondre Miles (Jr)
F- CJ Holm (Jr)
P- Weston Langvardt (Jr)

The Irish will also look for big minutes off the bench from Darren Klukas, Ray Whitehair, Kelan Gruver, Drew Elliott, Jed Moody, and Ayden Muniz.

Ahead of the 2022-23 season, we had a chance to catch up with coach Gruver and get his thoughts on his squad.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the 2021-22 campaign?

A: Last year tough for us, we were very young and played a lot of sophomores. Not winning a game was tough but I feel like the players worked hard during the year and improved as the season went on. We have had guys put in a lot of extra time shooting this summer and look for them to make big improvements, I think we will be better this year.  

Q: How excited is everyone to get back on the floor and back to playing real games after a long offseason?

A: Everyone is always excited at the beginning of the year, I feel like the guys that put in the extra work this off-season are ready to get out there and show everyone how much they have improved. I’m excited to see how much we have improved too, we will have a lot of guys competing for playing time so it should be fun. 

Q: Coming into the year what would you say is the biggest strength of this team?

A: We have a lot of guys that got varsity experience last year and know what to expect this year. We have two solid post players in Weston and CJ that I think can cause teams some problems. If we can play hard on the defensive end and be disciplined and in the proper position on defense I think we can cause problems on the defensive end. For us to have a chance to be competitive it will have to be a team effort for sure. 

Q: What are the biggest question marks about this team as we head into the first few weeks?

A: Our biggest question marks are in who is going to buy into playing defense and be willing to work hard on the defensive end of the floor.  Also, who can handle the ball without turning it over. Another question is who is going to score for us. For us to have a chance and be competitive this year we have to buy into defense and stop the other team from scoring easy baskets. We also have to take care of the ball.    

Q: What are the goals and expectations of this team for this 2022-23 campaign?

A: Our schedule is very tough once again and our league is very tough as always. Our guys have talked about wanting to improve each and every day they step on the floor. They want to play hard and play together as a team. They want people to say that they play hard and play the game the right way, win or lose. They’ve talked about how each person on the team must be willing to accept their role and work to fulfill that role as best as possible. We must operate and think as one unit with no selfish motives. They feel if we do these things it will be a successful season. 

Chapman will begin their 2022-23 season at home with the Fighting Irish Classic on Friday, December 2nd.

For continuing coverage of Irish hoops all season long, stay tuned to the Salina Post.