The biggest problem Jacy Holloway has right now is finding minutes for all of his seniors.
Admittedly, it’s a good problem to have for the ninth-year Garden City High School head boys basketball coach.
“That’s kind of the big thing, understanding that you’re seniors, you can’t play JV,” Holloway said. “All those guys are truly fighting for a spot. It’s different when it’s juniors, when you can play in games on junior varsity still. As a senior, if they’re not getting minutes on varsity, you’re not playing.”
But so far, a week into the practice season, the dynamic has been positive.
“I really like the chemistry so far,” Holloway said. “They understand that there’s only so many minutes available. Right now, it either hasn’t sunk in to some of them, or they just want to be a part of it and putting forth the effort and focus we need right now.”
For many of the seniors, this will be their first varsity action. Jarrod Springston started last season, scoring 6.8 points and hauling in 3.8 boards per game.
One of the few juniors on the varsity roster this year, Carlos Acosta, also started for the Buffaloes in 2017-18, scoring 7.4 points per game. Other than that, the Buffs have no returning starters, while Devon McKee, Riley Muniz and Kyler Lamb all played in spurts last season.
But most have been in the Buffs’ program for several years.
“We’ve had most of the guys around, and they truly do understand their role, and it’s a role they’ve had for awhile and they embrace it,” Holloway said.
Now it’s just trying to mesh a rotation together and find a playing style that fits that rotation well.
“They want to play fast,” Holloway said. “We’ve really done a lot of things to get them to play faster. But with that, one thing we have to do is rebound better. We haven’t done that well this summer, and we’ll have to do that better if we want to play faster.”
The Buffs have struggled to overcome their lack of size to rebound well in recent years.
“We won’t have as bad of size as I was anticipating,” Holloway said. “We do have two guys 6-5, that are legit 6-5, that will help us.”
Those two are seniors Jackson Dirks and Kelvon Bennett.
“Bennett, he’s a big body and I think he did a really good job this summer,” Holloway said. “But more than that, (rebounding) is an attitude. It isn’t always size. It’s wanting to go get it from somebody else and go chase it.”
So that’s the focus early in the practice schedule for the Buffs. That is, when it’s not focused on Holloway’s newest problem.
“I have to figure out how to make 11 seniors happy,” he said. “That’s totally new to me to have that many.”
The Buffs open their season on Nov. 30, when they host Guymon, Okla.
Contact J. Levi Burnfin at firstname.lastname@example.org.