Replacing senior leaders key for GH's 2019-20 season

Grand Haven head coach Greg Immink addresses a group of players prior to Monday's tryouts.

This week marks the beginning of the boys basketball season. We will head to Spring Lake, Fruitport and Western Michigan Christian later this week to cover the first week of boys basketball practices.

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — The 2018 season was a strong one for the Grand Haven boys basketball team. The Bucs finished second in the O-K Red conference before drawing a Muskegon team that went 18-2 in the regular season in the opening round of districts. The Bucs lost that game 64-57.

This season, the Buccaneers will need to replace crucial scoring production and the senior leadership of former guards Casey Constant and Bryce Taylor. Both Constant and Taylor were three-year varsity players. Finding their successors will be the key to a successful 2019-20 season.

Here are three questions we asked Grand Haven coach Greg Immink before the season:

Who will your impact players be?

Immink: “The seniors on last year’s team had a lot of leadership responsibility. This is a new year and we are going to step up and fill those roles. We have some guys that will be returning that have been on varsity for a couple years as well, so those are probably the guys we will look to especially early on. We are looking for those players to help the guys coming up from JV and varsity players learning a new role and help them get up to speed and introduce them to varsity basketball.”

What skills or values are you instilling in your team during this first week of practice?

Immink: “One of the big things that we want is we want guys that want to compete. I think tryouts itself is a forum where you’re competing for a spot on the team. I’m excited to see the work that has been done over the summer and how guys have improved. I want to see guys that are hungry and guys that really want to win, so that’s one of the things we are evaluating for the tryout. We are also evaluating basketball skills and another big part of it is chemistry and attitude.”

What is the biggest question facing your team this season?

Immink: “A lot of it is going to be how quickly guys come together and how quickly guys are able to step in and really seize their opportunity. Our schedule is going to be tough like it is every year. The sooner we come together as a team and guys raise their game to a level they can get to, the quicker we are going to be playing at a level that is going to be required for us to be competitive in the league and non-conference schedule that we play.”

The Buccaneers open up their regular season on the road taking on Reeths-Puffer on Dec. 13. The next two games are played at home for the Bucs playing Godwin Heights and then crosstown rival Spring Lake. Grand Haven hosts the Lakeshore Cup on Dec. 27 and 28, wrapping up the 2019 portion of their schedule.

Contact D'Angelo Starks by email at dstarks@grandhaventribune.com or on Twitter @DAngelo_Starks.

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