Men’s Basketball Conference Preview

Learning a new system taught by a new coach has been a challenge for this year’s Shoreline’s men’s basketball team.  After six seasons with Bellevue, the first year head coach Don Brady brings a system change from last season’s more run-and-gun style.  “The pace of the game is different.  We are more of a half court team than they were last year,” says Brady.

The team’s adjustment to this new system will be one of the main factors in how the Phins fare in the tough NWAC North Region.  The preseason was a indicative of a team making those adjustments.  “The preseason was up and down but we’re starting to figure each other out.  We’re playing better, smarter basketball.  We are the best we’ve been heading into league,” shares Brady, “Our biggest on-court challenges will be rebounding and defense and we’ve shown flashes of doing both very well.  We need to be much more consistent.”

Keys to the Phin offense will be sophomore Ryan Reyes and freshman Marquis Armstead.  Even though Brady coached against Shoreline while at Bellevue, there were some surprises in crossing the I-5 barrier.  “I didn’t realize Ryan was as skilled as he is.  He played hard last year.  He was a hustle player.  This year he’s one of our best creators,” says Brady.  Reyes, a Honolulu native, is second on the team in points scored (128–10.67 avg/gm), rebounds (60), steals (16), and assists (22).  He leads the team in blocks with 9.

The team’s most prolific scorer is Mountlake Terrace grad Marquis Armstead.  He leads the team in points scored (208–16 avg/gm), assists (32), and steals (20).  Freshman Skyler Kelley (Shadle Park HS, Spokane, WA) is ranked 20th in the NWAC with a 3-point average of 46.2%.  He is also 14th in free throw percentage with 84.6%.

Sophomore Adam Johnson is the team’s “most focused rebounder” according to Coach Brady.  The Ballard grad leads the team with 102 rebounds, putting him #4 overall in the entire conference with 10.20 boards a game.

Making the NWAC championship tournament is the goal of every team.  Only the top 4 from each region go, making each conference game a must-win.  Finishing top 4 is a tall order for members of the North Region.  Perennial region leader Bellevue College find themselves atop the two NWAC polls–the coaches and Joward.  Second-year head coach Kyle Grey has Edmonds surprising many in the league with their offensive production.  Edmonds is ranked second in both polls.  Skagit Valley received votes in both polls with their smothering defense.  The Cardinals are currently ranked #1 in the conference in steals and #15 in points against.

“There are 8 really good teams…in the North.  It’s probably the best the region has been top to bottom since I’ve been in the NWAC,” says Brady, “I really think anyone can win on any given night.  I think if we are consistent with our preparation and our defense then we have a chance to be competitive in the North.”

The Phins regional home-opener is Wednesday, January 14th at 7:30pm.  Cost is free for Shoreline students, staff, & faculty with Shoreline ID.  $4 for visiting students, members of the military, seniors, and youth 17 & under.  Children 6 and under are free.  All others are $6 apiece.

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