Bulldogs prep for roundball

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 26, 2015

B.J. Anderson will be one of the leaders of the this year's Bulldog basketball team.

B.J. Anderson will be one of the leaders of the this year’s Bulldog basketball team.


For the first time in nearly a half-century, there will be a new coach roaming the sidelines for the Andalusia Bulldogs boys’ basketball team when Marshall Locke leads the Bulldogs into action Tuesday night against Luverne.


“It’s never easy having such big shoes to fill,” Locke said about stepping in as interim head coach after the retirement of Hall-of-Famer Richard Robertson. “Coming in behind a living legend is not an easy thing to do, but we are going to work hard and I’m going to work hard.”


Locke said the Bulldogs return several players off last season’s team that won the regular season area championship.


“We have a good bit of experience coming back from last year’s team,” Locke said. “We are going to do things a little bit differently this year. I think we are more athletic than we have been over the past few years, and we want to take advantage of that.”


Since the majority of the players are also football players, Locke said that they haven’t had much of chance yet to really implement much.


“Right now, we are just trying to get our basketball legs on,” Locke said. “A lot of people think that since we have been playing football that these guys should be in shape, but there is a difference between football and basketball shape. In football, the typical play last less than 10 seconds with another 30 seconds in between plays, but in basketball you have to continuously run up and down the court for extended periods of time.”


Locke said that the first month of the seasons won’t be about the number of wins and losses, but just to get the team improving with each game.


“I’ve told the guys that state championships aren’t won or lost in December,” Locke said. “For that first month, we want to just get acclimated with our game.”


Offensively, Locke said that the Bulldogs will look to employ an up-tempo offense to take advantage of their athleticism.


“On offense, we are going to want to up-tempo you and try take create quick opportunities,” Locke said.


On defense, the Bulldogs want to create havoc and keep opposing teams on their toes.


“We want to create havoc on defense,” Locke said. “We want to disrupt the rhythm and flow of the offense.”


Locke said that key players this season for the Bulldogs would be sophomore B.J. Anderson and seniors Trevor Parker and Ian Peek.


“Trevor has been a starter for the past three years and he is going to have to step into a major role this season,” Locke said. “B.J. and Ian were both starters as well last season and I expect both of them to really step up and take what they learned as starters last year and help carry this team.”


Besides those three players, Locke said that all the upperclassmen must step up as leaders and show the younger guys what it takes to be Bulldog basketball players.


As for this season’s expectations, Locke said he will sit down with each individual class and discuss their season goals.


“This weekend, I’m going to sit down with each class like I always did when I coached the girls and we are going to talk about expectations and what needs to be done so that we are all on the same page,” Locke said. “Right now, I’m just waiting to find what the nucleolus of this team is going to be.”


Andalusia will begin the season Tue., Dec. 1, in Luverne with the B-team tipping off at 4 p.m. Andalusia’s first home game will be Dec. 3, against Geneva.