For Killeen Kangaroos basketball coach Reggie Huggins, the goal each season is to make the postseason. The Roos (11-4, 1-1 District 8-5A) have split their first two district games of the 2013-14 season and will participate in the Fort Worth Classic beginning today. Huggins recently talked with the Herald’s Albert Alvarado.
What are your thoughts on the rest of the district season?
I think our chances are good, but we have to be humble about ourselves. Just because we won one game doesn’t mean we need to get comfortable with ourselves and we can show up and beat everybody. This is district play, every game is a tough, hard-fought game. We have to treat every opponent and respect every opponent as if they’re the best team out there in America. We’re trying to get better and better. Every team in our district plays hard, plays different types of ways and we’ve just got to make sure we do what we’re supposed to do and lets see what happens after we do that.
Is it a challenge when district play comes this early?
Most of the time we’ve been in a district with eight teams. It’s going to be hard regardless, whether it’s now, after Christmas, whenever you want to start district play. Everybody in the district knows everybody. There’s not too much hiding going on, there’s not too much scheming and changing that other people aren’t ready for. Everybody has video tapes on everybody, you’ve just got to execute and do everything you know you’re team needs to do correctly.
Talk about some of the guys that have been playing well lately.
Obviously, Damarius Cress has played really well, Brian Long is an extremely steady player. Our bench guys have really caused a lot of people problems because they get in and play with reckless abandon. They really get after people, they really push on people, they know that their role is to come in and give energy after the starters got the game going. I think as long as they keep doing that, we’ll be really successful.
You used your last timeout with five minutes left in the game against Shoemaker. Why did you decide to do that?
We were in a frantic moment in that game and my guys called a timeout. I told them from then on we didn’t have any timeouts; we weren’t trying to panic, we weren’t trying to go crazy or anything. We don’t have any timeouts, you’ve got to get the ball in, you’ve got to get it where it needs to go and everything will be fine. They did what we asked them to do, they did what we needed them to do and we had total confidence in them. All 12 players know that anytime they go on, I have full confidence for them to get their job done. From the first man all the way to my last man, I trust them all equally.
Does the holiday break come at a time when you needed it?
That’s the great thing about it. I’m probably going to sit back and watch some movies on Netflix, or stuff like that, and relax. I probably won’t catch much basketball until we get ready to go to Fort Worth. It really is good to have this time because I like for my kids to know that there’s more to life than just basketball. There’s family, there’s friends, going to the mall, watching a movie and all those different things. There’s more to it than just basketball.
Does having Brian Long and Melvin Anthony, two future college players, give other teams more incentive to play hard against Killeen?
Any kid is trying to achieve the success of going to college and getting a scholarship so sometimes you want to go out there and prove yourself against that guy that’s going here or going there and it makes teams playing harder. One great thing is this is District 8-5A and all the players and all of the coaches want to play hard against each other because everybody wants to win. Everybody’s going to get after it, everybody’s going to give their best effort every single game.