“WE ARE HERE TO WIN”: New Coach Ready To Change Basketball Culture
SOMETHING SPECIAL IS GOING ON AT MACARTHUR.
The football team made the playoffs for the first time since 2007, while the golf, tennis and cross-country programs are all district leaders.
Can basketball follow suit?
"With football making the playoffs, it's definitely set the tone," first-year head coach Al Reynolds said. "There is a culture change at school and I tell our guys every day that we have to follow in these other programs' footsteps."
It's a tall order for Reynolds, who comes over after being an assistant at Dekaney.
"I'm very excited," he said. "You can be very innovative with your own program. Some of the things that we did at Dekaney might not work here, but I'm preaching to my guys that there are no excuses or shot cuts. We have to do it the right way to be successful."
Conveying that message is four-star football player Joshua Eaton.
"Josh is a leader on the football field, in the classroom and in the hallways at MacArthur," Reynolds said. "He's going to be that guy that will lead us physically, mentally and hopefully in scoring."
Eaton is a tremendous ambassador for the Generals and will be making his college decision soon for football as one of the nation's top recruits.
"Our Class of 2020 just wants to make our mark before we leave," Eaton said. "At the end of the day, we are all supporting each other in everything we are doing. It's going to carry over to basketball.
"I'm going to bring the energy. Without that, you are just going through the motions. We have the athletes, but we just need to be a more physical team this year."
Coach Reynolds and Eaton will lean on some freshmen to play a big roles 2019-20 – A.J. Stephens will run the point, while Gary Rebolledo will man the paint.
"I know it's a new tempo from eighth-grade ball to varsity, but I'm looking forward to the challenge," Stephens said. "I think the AAU circuit has prepared me some too. I can pressure the ball on defense, score and get my teammates in the correct spots to be successful."
It could be a season of highs and lows for Reynolds with a young team, but he's setting the foundation for the future of Big Mac basketball.
"Our style will be organized chaos," Reynolds said. "We may look chaotic, but we are going to know where we are supposed to be on the court at all times. We are going to have to take a lot of charges and battle for every loose ball. We are going to have to be gritty and fight for everything.
"I have high expectations coming in here and we are here to win."