NEW COACH LOOKING FOR BUY IN: Packer Has Big Senior Class To Mold
CHRIS PACKER HAS HAD A FRONT-ROW SEAT WATCHING ONE OF THE BEST COACHES IN HOUSTON BUILD A POWER PROGRAM.
The Aldine Davis first-year head coach moves over from Eisenhower, where he was the lead assistant for Eagles' coach James Johnson.
"Coach Johnson has been a tremendous mentor to me," Packer said. "He let me spread my wings while at Eisenhower. Some coaches don't give you the responsibilities he did, especially on defense. We had some great kids over there.
"I'm excited for this new opportunity. I can't wait to take what I've learned from him, while putting my own spin on this program. It's a tremendous blessing here at Davis with quality guys, a quality school and a principal who is great to work for."
Davis returns nine seniors from a team that hasn't made the postseason in two years.
"Davis is a brand-name in basketball," Packer said. "What coach Mitchell started here, playing up-and-down basketball, was exciting. We want to try and bring some of that back. We have the guys to do it, but it's just getting them to play together and play hard every night."
Davis is tremendously athletic and has some size.
Jayshon Cannon is a 6-foot-8 post who can protect the paint. He will need to be more of an offensive threat this year as well. JuQuan Irvin and JaQuan Lewis are both 6-foot-5 versatile athletes who bring energy to the up-tempo offense.
"I've never had nine seniors but that should be a positive," Packer said. "It's a new program for them and new expectations. There's a little back-and-forth, but they are hungry to win and so am I. We will move forward together.
"There's just so much potential here," he said. "But I like JJ Watt's quote, 'Success is only on lease and the rent is due every day'. Showing up every day to work is half the battle. It will be the little things that make us or break us."
Other important pieces to Davis' success are Xzavier Benton, Gregory Crawford and Xzavien Lathon.
"I see myself as the energy guy who bring the enthusiasm when we need it," Irvin said. "I'm that guy who flies around. I'm going to go as far as our team will take me. Even Royce Hamm (Texas Longhorns) had a team around him at Davis that made him great. What I like about coach is that he's giving us the opportunity to be ourselves on the court."
Packer hopes that his message sinks into his seniors quickly. If so, they could be a big surprise in Houston.